127 Andover St

Historical Narrative: 

The properties at 127, 129, 131 & 133 Andover St. were all once part of the Abiel Abbott Farm which extended down to the Shawsheen River on both sides and contained 240 acres at the time of his death. The heirs then sold off the farm at auction on April 21, 1856 to Alfred Kittredge of Haverhill and Warren Ordway of Bradford for $5099.99. Kittredge established the Abbot Hat Company on the site of the current Ballardvale playground in 1863.

It is most likely Kittredge built these homes during his ownership as they are not listed in the 1860 Andover Valuation. Kittredge became insolvent in 1867 and his property was assigned to John B. Nichols of Haverhill and sold to the Whipple File & Steel Manufacturing Co. on Sept. 2, 1867 for $2800.50

William Pierce President of the Whipple File & Steel Manf. Co., employed 400 men in the foundry in 1864. The company went into bankruptcy in 1871 and the company holdings were assigned to Edward L. Page, John W. Beals, Thomas J. Homer, and Thorton K. Lathrop on June 21, 1871.
Stephen Blaney, of Peabody, a wool buyer, purchased the former Abbot Hat Factory building and much of the property along Andover St. on July 1, 1871. The 1872 Ballardvale map lists the former Hat Factory as the Blaney Shoe Factory. Blaney also held the Ballard Vale House as well as these properties.

Blaney sold the home at 127 Andover St. on July 7, 1873 to Ellen Ashworth, wife of James Ashworth for $1500. James Ashworth was born on Dec. 25, 1830 in England. James, a shoemaker, immigrated in 1850. James married on Dec. 7, 1855 in Lawrence, MA to Ellen Gray b. 1835 in Ireland, dau. of John & Ellen “Nellie” (Coleman) Gray. Ellen came to America in 1852. James & Ellen had one daughter Sarah b. May 1860 in Ballardvale. James enlisted on July 5, 1861 in Co. H., Mass 1st Heavy Artillery Company as a Private. He was promoted and later mustered out on July 8, 1864. He was a member of the “Pioneer Corps of Maryland Heights, and the Gen. William F. Bartlett G.A.R Post 99 in Andover, serving many years at trusted color bearer.”

Their daughter Sarah C. was an operative in the wool mill and married on Aug. 23, 1881 to Thomas A. Matthews b. 1858 in England. Thomas was a spinner in the mill. They had two daughters Adele S. b. 1886 and Marcia Gray b. Oct. 20, 1889.

The Ashworths would sell the house to their daughter Sarah and son-in law Thomas Matthews on March 17, 1907. James continued as a shoemaker until his death on March 7, 1909. Ellen died on April 27, 1911. Both are interred at Spring Grove Cemetery. Thomas advanced to Superintendent of the Woolen Mill by 1910. They later sold to their daughter Marcia G. (Matthews) Sherry on July 10, 1917.

Marcia G. Mathews married Frank R. Sherry b. Apr. 20, 1890 in Andover, son of Richard J. & Mary J. (Galvin) Sherry. Frank was a Pattern maker. Marcia and Frank had one son Richard Arthur Sherry b. Apr. 13, 1918 in Ballardvale. Richard was a dairyman, worked for Sidney P. White’s Wild Rose Dairy. Richard married in 1942 to Margaret M. Their son Colin A. and wife Diane are now owners of record of the family home which has remained in the family line for 156 years


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence
Ancestry.com - Ashworth, Matthews, Sherry families
Andover Townsman

127 Andover St. 115-13
Abiel Abbot
Abiel Abbot Heirs – April 1856
Alfred Kittredge & Warren Ordway – Apr. 21, 1856 – b/ 531 leafs 210-212
Alfred Kittredge, to John B. Nichols assignee – Sept. 1, 1867
Whipple File & Steel Manufacturing Co. – Sept. 2, 1867 – b. 730 leaf 277 – parcel 1
Edward Page, assignee – May 1870 –
Stephen Blaney – May 7, 1870 – b. 6 pgs. 236-239 – (p. 237) 3rd parcel
Ellen Ashworth, wife of James – July 7, 1873 – b. 22 p. 115 - $1500
Ellen Ashworth, wife of James – Sept. 8, 1905 – b. 264 p. 522 – 2nd parcel
Thomas A. & Sarah E. Matthews – March 17, 1907 – b. 270 p. 280
Marcia G. (Mathews) Sherry – July 10, 1917 – b. 378 p. 164
Frank R. & Marcia G. Sherry – July 15, 1952 – b. 765 p. 271 – parcels 2 & 3
Richard A. & Margaret M. Sherry – July 15, 1952 – b. 765 p. 271
Richard A. Sherry estate, d. Dec.22, 1989, heir Margaret M. Sherry
Margaret M. (S) Sherry estate, Janet M. Laurette-Mitton
Colin A. & Diane A. Sherry – Apr. 10, 1996 – b. 4476 p. 105

Inventory Data:

StreetAndover St
PlaceBallardvale District
Historic DistrictAndover Historic Building Survey
Historic NameAshworth - Mathews - Sherry House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1863 - 1865
SourceERDS, NERDL, style,
Architectural StyleGreek Revival
Foundationstone & granite
Wall/Trimclapboard/wood/vinyl clad
Major Alterationsreplacement windows, vinyl siding and double windows on the lower floor.
Acreage0.528 acre
Map and parcel115-13
Recorded byJames S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1980, 9/26/2019