This house was built in 1858 -1859 for William Bell. Bell died in 1859 and his estate went to his children. James, Ann, John, Robert, William H., Isabella J. (Bell) Smith, Hannah (Bell) Pressy and Margaret (Bell) Morse. Ann Bell was appointed guardian for two sons, Joseph W. & George W. Bell, both minors at the time if William's death. The property and estate was auctioned off on June 4, 1859. Posted in the Andover Advertiser on May 17, 1859 under Guardian Estate - Ann Bell, the advertisement lists "a two story Dwelling house nearly new, a barn and other convenient out buildings together with about 10 acres of excellent land, well supplied with 30 fruit trees....There are several very desirable house lots connected with the estate, which will be sold separately.....Personal property; 1 horse, 2 wagons and a quantity of household furniture."
[The Bell property was also on the south side of Harding St. west of the railroad bridge]
The property was sold to John Wood, wife Margaret on on June 4 and the deed recorded on July 1, 1859. Two bids were made by Wood the first for the minor sons share at $52.18 and the second bid of $182.63 for the remaining. Total $234.81 for the homestead farm and two parcels of land.
John Wood was born in in 1790 and his wife Margaret b. 1798. John had owned the property just four years when he died on Nov. 13, 1863 at age 73 years. Wood is interred at South Parish Cemetery. The Wood family heirs were wife Margaret, and children William, Francis M., George, James, Eliot, Ann Barnett, Margaret McTernan and Hugh Wood. Son William Wood handled the estate and it was sold to their brother George Wood for $1900 on March 30, 1865. George held the property for three years then selling to Dennis P. Driscoll and John J. Driscoll on June 22, 1868 for the sum of $1800.
Dennis P. Driscoll and John J. Driscoll then divided the property through separate deeds on on Oct. 28, 1868. Dennis P. was deeded the "north part of the house now occupied by James Cotter, and the cellar underneath from the north side of the chimney, also the north side of the barn, and John J. was deeded the south portion of the house now occupied by James Cotter. It is not known if George Wood had rented the house to Cotter or the Driscolls.
John J Driscoll and Mary F. Collins would later deed the remaining half of the property to Dennis on Sept. 25, 1906. The deed is very specific; The south part of the house, formerly occupied by James Cotter, with cellar under from south side of the the chimney & the wood shed on the west side of house, 8 feet 6 inches of the south side of the barn with cellar under the same, use of the well near the house, a right to pass across the land, also the southerly part of the field on which the buildings stand. Westerly side of the lower field, near the old wall, near small brook and westerly part near the railroad...."
Dennis P. acquired the entire homestead parcels for the Driscoll heirs on Jan. 31, 1907 and deeded the property to Jeanie Driscoll on Feb. 1, 1907. Jeannie then sold to Eben Simmons on October 10, 1907. Simmons held for nine years then selling to David J. & Mary J. Scott on Aug. 12, 1916.
David J. & Mary J. Scott owned for 33 years. David died on March 28, 1948 and Mary sold the following year to Frank & Catherine D. Merrill in March 1949. Merrill owned for ten years then selling to Schlott Realty Co. William Schlott pres. on Aug. 17, 1959. The was investment property for Schlott. and in 1964 was purchased by John K. & Mary R. Keith. John Keith died on Aug. 16, 1967. Widow Mary would later re-marry to Woodrow W. Miller. The property was then placed in both names in 1972. Mary would later sell to John D. & Cheryl A. Edwards on May 1, 1984.
In 1994 the State Highway Department needed to replace the Harding St. Railroad bridge which had a wooden deck and an angular pitch on the west end ramp. The old Beard home at 14-16 Harding St. (Circa 1842 - 1850) was taken at that time and razed to create access to repair the bridge abutments and new deck. To avert taking this home at 18 Harding St. a permanent access easement was given to the Edwards to their home and property. A narrow driveway to the east of the Beard house gave passage to the Bell house, nearly hidden from view prior to 1994.
Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Advertiser - May 21, 1859 - p.3 col 3 Guardian Sale
William Bell - 1858
William Bell estate, Heirs; James, John, Robert Bell, Isabella J. Smith, Hannah Pressy, Margaret Morse, Ann Bell, guardian for Joseph W. & George W. Bell minors
John Wood, wife Margaret - July 1, 1859 - b. 593 leaf 84 - $52.18 - Auction
John Wood, wife Margaret - July 1, 1859 - b. 593 leaf 85 - $182.63 - Auction
John Wood estate, heirs - died Nov. 13, 1863 age 73 years
William Wood - Mar. 24, 1865 - b. 682 leaf 48
George Wood - Mar. 30, 1865 - b. 682 leaf 49 - $1900
Dennis P. Driscoll & John J. Driscoll - June 22, 1868 - b. 752 leaf 195 - $1800
Dennis P. Driscoll - Oct. 28, 1868 - b. 759 p. 142 - North side of house
John J. Driscoll- Oct. 28, 1868 - b. 759 p. 142 - South side of house
Dennis P. Driscoll - Sept. 25, 1906 - b. 237 p. 163 - South side of house
Dennis P. Driscoll - Jan. 31, 1907 - b. 242 p. 245
Jennie T. Driscoll - Feb. 1, 1907 - b. 242 p. 247
Eben Simmons - Oct. 10, 1907 - b. 253 p. 437
David J. & Mary J. Scott - Aug. 12, 1916 - b. 367 p. 499
David J. Scott estate, Mary J. Scott - Mar. 28, 1948 - Probate
Frank & Catherine D. Merrill - Mar. 31, 1949 - b. 723 p. 87
Schlott Realty Co., William Schlott pres. - Aug. 17, 1959 - b. 899 p. 402
John K. & Mary R. Keith - Apr. 11, 1964 - b. 1007 p. 127
John K. Keith estate, Mary R. Keith - Aug. 16, 1967 - Probate
Mary R. (Keith) Miller, wife of Woodrow Miller - July 30, 1972 - b. 1227 p. 101
John D. & Cheryl A. Edwards - May 1, 1984 - b. 1803 p. 168
Mark T. & Maureen A. (Dunlap) Zythovicz - July 14, 1999 - b. 5496 p. 190
Nathan & Joanna Chesley - Mar. 8, 2012 - b. 12849 p. 137
Kenneth P. Walsh Jr. & Jeannie M. Havens - May 29, 2015 - b. 14244 p. 68
|Historic Name||William Bell House|
|Construction Date||1858 - 1859|
|Source||ECRDS, ENRDL, style-njs|
|Roof||asphalt - gable|
|Outbuildings / Secondary Structures||garage|
|Major Alterations||vinyl siding, replacement windows|
|Map and parcel||37-22|
|Recorded by||James S. Batchelder|
|Organization||Andover Preservation Commission|
|Date entered||April 13, 2016|