12 Oak Street

Historical Narrative: 

12 Oak Street –Patrick & Bridget McGowen House built 1848 -
1870 Valuation – John Graham – House $275, 1/8 acre land $50 = $325.
1920 Valuation; Catherine Tobin; Oak St. Ballard Vale – House $88, 4331 sq. ft. of land $100 = $900
The Ballardvale Machine Shop Corporation with John Marland, President, purchased much of the property in the center of Ballardvale in 1847. Some land was then sub-divided into house and store lots and the company began selling off parcels in 1848. John Marland and John Howe Jr. owned the large parcel along Center St., auctioning 35 house lots on July 28. 1847. The auctioneers were Loring, Abbott and Porter of Boston.

Samuel Abbott of Boston and William Abbott of Andover followed suit with their property on Oak St. (formerly called West St.) and Tewksbury Streets. They began auctioning of lots on April 5, 1848. The parcel was divided into 24 house lots along both Oak St. and the north side of Tewksbury St. Asa A. Abbott drew the plan of land in Ballardvale Village in May 1848. The lots were sold at auction by Thomas C. Foster on April 5, 1848. The greater portion of the village center was developed at this period of time.

Herman P. Chandler purchased lot #11 at auction on June 2, 1848 paying $67.41 for the 4213 Sq. ft. parcel. Chandler built the house on the property and used it as income property. Herman Phelps Chandler was b. Dec. 19, 1801 son of Nathan & Lucy (Ballard) Chandler. Herman married Phebe A. Ballard on Feb. 17, 1831. Their homestead was 4 Lovejoy Rd. on the corner of Dascomb. Rd. The 1850 Andover Valuation lists H.P. Chandler’s property in the West Parish and includes the House in Ballard Vale $250. Chandler held the property for for 15 years then sold to John Graham, wife Hannah on Sept. 19, 1863 for $400. Graham purchased and additional strip of land 2’x59’x2‘x 59’ for $20 adjoining the property in 1866. The 1870 Valuation: John Graham – House $275, 1/8 acre land $50 = $325.

John Graham was born 1820 in England, married Hannah Taylor b. May 1823 in England and immigrated in 1848. John was a Spinner and worked at the Ballardvale Mill. He is listed in the 1850 census. They had nine children of which seven survived; Alexander Benj. b. Apr. 14, 1850, James Andrew b. Oct. 10, 1853, Hannah F. b. Feb. 28, 1857, Mary E. b. Feb. 1858, Emily E. b. Feb. 1860, Sarah Jane b. Nov. 10, 1862, John Malcolm b. Jan. 2, 1865 and Francis Ann b. Sept. 22, 1867. Graham held 7 years then sold to Patrick McGowan in 1872 and moved to Groveland. They returned to Andover prior to John Graham’s death on Jan. 10, 1892 of a cerebral hemorrhage at age 65. Hannah purchased a home at 163 North Main St. in 1884 and died on Aug. 29, 1902. They are interred in Spring Grove Cemetery. Three children were afflicted with dementia as adults and were institutionalized. James and Mary E. were admitted to Danvers State Hospital where they worked in the kitchen and laundry. Hannah F. was admitted to Andover’s Alms house on March 17, 1890.

Patrick McGowen purchased this home on May 7, 1872 for $400 and held a one third ownership in the property at the time of his death. His wife and daughter Kate held the other two thirds. From the 1870 census it appears that McGowan was renting this house Patrick McGowan was born Oct. 1834 in Leithin, Ireland, son of Miles Owen & Catherine (Flanagan) McGowan. He immigrated through St. Johns, Canada, to Roxbury, MA 1850 and moved to Ballardvale in 1853. Patrick worked at the J. P. Bradlee Co., Ballardvale Mill as a Spinner and Flannel Pressman. Patrick married Bridget McManus in 1853 in Andover. Children; Catherine “Kate” b. Jan. 2, 1854, James J. b. May 6, 1855 – d. Sept. 10, 1962. John Thomas b. April 1, 1857-Oct. 13, 1884, Francis Henry bpt. Oct. 29, 1860 - d. Apr. 25, 1863, and Mary Elizabeth b. Sept. 19, 1863 – d. Mar. 10, 1890. Bridget died after 1870.
Patrick re-married on Dec. 3, 1887 in Lowell, MA to Elizabeth (McVey) Coxton , b. 1838, dau. of Henry & Elizabeth (McDermitt) McVey, an operative. The 1900 census reveals the Patrick could not read or write, but Elizabeth could. They also have a two year old Ada Coxan b. Apr. 1898 in Maine, listed as a boarder. In 1910 she is listed as Catherine Coxan, age 12 grand-daughter.

Patrick died on Aug. 29, 1910 at age 76. His funeral was at St. Joseph’s Church and burial at St. Augustine’s Cemetery. The probate gave Patrick’s share to his wife and Kate held the other 2/3 share.
The property then went to his daughter Catherine “Kate” (McGowen) Tobin. Kate married on May 23, 1880 in Andover to John Tobin b. Ireland, son of Cornelius & Ellen (Daley) Tobin. John was a laborer with the railroad. John & Kate had two children; James b. Mar. 1881 and Mary b. Dec. 1882.

Elizabeth McGowen died in 1917 and her 1/3 share was purchased by Kate for $150. 1920 Valuation; South District: Catherine Tobin; Oak St. Ballard Vale – House $800, 4331 sq. ft. of land $100 = $900. Kate lived with her daughter Mary F. & son-in-law Thomas O’Donnell on Tewksbury St. The house was used as rental property. Kate sold to Mary J. (Scanlon) York, wife of Walter R. on Nov. 6, 1923. At this time the McGowen family had owned the house for 51 years.

Walter Richard York was born on Center St. in Ballardvale on Oct. 216, 1896, son of Richard & Mary Jane (Riley) York. His parents lived on Oak St. at that time and Walter was the sixth of seven children. Richard was working for the B&M Railroad in So. Lawrence when he registered with the WWI Draft service. He served during the war and returned to Ballardvale and boarded with Henry H. & Mary A. Wrigley on Oak St. Richard married in 1920 to Mary Josephine Scanlon b. June 3, 1892 dau. of James & Emma M. (Lucier) Scanlon. In 1930 census they reside here with daughters Marguerite M. b. 1921 and Joan b. 1929. Walter’s mother Mary J. age 62, widow lives with them. In 1940 Mary’s father James Scanlon lives with them. The York family held the property for 27 years then selling to Donald Y. & Geraldine H. Wrigley on Oct. 10, 1950. The 1949 Andover directory lists Donald & Geraldine at 16 Oak St. Numbering of houses changed in the 1930’s and again in 1958.


Essex Country Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Valuation Schedules, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1920
Andover Maps 1852,
Ballardvale maps 1848, 1856, 1888, 1906
Federal Census records
Ancestry.com - Chandler, McGowen, & Tobin families

Samuel & William Abbott – Oak Street lot auction Apr. 5, 1848
Herman P. Chandler – June 2, 1848 – b. 398 leaf 118 – $67.41 lot #11 (4213 Sq. ft.)
John Graham, wife Hannah – Sept. 19, 1863 – b. 656 leaf 66 – $400. lot #11 w/blds.
John Graham – Apr. 27, 1866 – b. 706 leaf 58 w/blds. & strip 2’x59’x2‘x 59’ $20
Patrick McGowen – May 7, 1872 – b. 14 p. 320 – $400 lot w/blds. & strip.
Patrick McGowen, estate, Aug. 29, 1910 - heir Catherine Tobin Probate
Elizabeth McGowen estate, Maynard E.S. Clemons, Extr. – Apr. 4, 1917 – b. 376 p. 128
Mary J. (Scanlon) York, wife of Walter R. – Nov. 6, 1923 – b. 491 p. 9
Donald Y. & Geraldine H. Wrigley – Oct. 10, 1950 – b. 742 p. 92
Pauline T. Wrigley – Oct. 2, 1961 – b. 945 p. 241 – parcel #2
Richard J. & Pauline T. Wrigley – May 15, 1967 – b. 1082 p. 452
Christopher J. & Cory H. Rose – Apr. 30, 1997 – b. 4740 p. 220
Jeffrey D. & Hillary Canner – Mar. 31, 1999 – b. 5385 p. 278

Inventory Data:

StreetOak St
PlaceBallardvale District
Historic DistrictAndover Historic Building Survey
Historic NameGraham - McGowen House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence/rental
Construction Date1848 - 1849
SourceERDS, NERDL, style,
Architectural StyleGreek Revival
Foundationstone & granite
Wall/Trimclapboard/wood/vinyl clad
Roofgable - asphalt
Acreage0.352 acre (4331 sq. ft.)
Map and parcel157-28
Recorded byJames S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date enteredDec. 18, 2021