Queen Anne style; high style Queen Anne, Clapboard exterior on the first level and cedar shingle on the second story with fish scale and sawtooth details reserved for porches and roof dormers. Front gable embellished with rising sun fan shape woodwork. Porch turned columns, corbel brackets and medallions add to the visual texture. Multi-paneled front and side doors and diamond paned porch doors on the second level porches. The window size and mullions are varied and are original to the home. Great detailing.
The giant Beech tree, so carefully saved when the house was moved in 1901, continues to provide shade to the home. In full foliage for eight months it almost obscures a view of the house from the street.
Themes: Architectural, community development, education.
Original owner: Phillips Academy/Andover Theological Seminary Trustees
This home formerly stood on site of present Peabody Archaeology Museum. Built for Professor John Wesley Churchill and occupied by him until his death in 1900. Churchill was one of a group of Seminary professors in 1880's who represented the new liberalism [along with Egbert Smyth, Wm. J. Tucker, George Harris and Edward Hincks]. They were accused and tried on charges of heresy from conservative element at Andover Theological Seminary. The dispute over religious orthodoxy became a cause celebre and focused wide attention in Andover.
John Wesley Churchill was born May 26, 1837 in Fairlee, VT, son of John Emery & Eliza Jane (Coburn) Churchill. The family moved to Nashua, NH and here John attended school. He later enrolled at Phillips Academy then graduated from Harvard. John entered the Andover Theological Seminary Class of 1867 and was professor of Elocution in 1868.
John or Wesley, as he preferred, had a gift of a commanding voice and a public reader. He taught Elocution at Phillips and Abbot Academies from 1866-1891 and at ATS he was the Bartlet Professor; teaching Homiletics and Pastoral Theology, Sacred Rhetoric 1896-1900. Rev. Churchill was also a Trustee of Abbot Academy. He “made the art of speaking an important part of Andover education.”
J. Wesley married on July 27, 1859 in Andover to Mary Jane Donald b. Oct. 5, 1844 dau. of William C. & Agnes Donald of Frye Village. Her father had a successful printing ink company. Wesley & Mary had two sons; Donald b. May 20, 1870 and Marlborough b. Aug. 11, 1878. Donald became a Physician and Marlborough a successful military career. Prior to living in this home the Churchill family lived at 143 main Street from 1870 - 1882.
Wesley died on Good Friday April 13, 1900 at his home and is interred in the Chapel Cemetery at Phillips Academy. Widow Mary died in 1934.
Professor J. Winthrop Platner, was a later resident in the house.
July 22, 1881 Andover Advertiser, AA - Friday A. M. Ellis, building mover of Malden, is engaged in removing the “Farrar house to Phillips Street.
Nov. 25, 1881 AA - Prof. J. W. Churchill’s new house on the “Hill” is going forward. Builders, Abbott & Jenkins.
Aug. 25, 1882 AA pg.3 col . "Professor Churchill's new residence is progressing rapidly & will probably be ready for occupancy in October."
August 15, 1884 AA p.3 col. 9 – From the upper story of the beautiful Queen Anne villa of Professor Churchill at Andover, Mass, there projects a portico which commands an unrivaled view of the stretch of country below. Here Professor writes many of his sermons, for he is a preacher as well as an elocutionist, and he has christened the place “Pisgah” on account of the wonderful prospect below.
July 19, 1901 - Andover Townsman AT - Churchill House about to be moved.
Aug. 23, 1901 AT pg. 1 – Moving Churchill house - In moving the Churchill house to its new site it is being taken across the Academy land near the Bancroft dormitory. It was rather interesting to watch the minute exactness by which the building with its projections was made to shave by the dormitory with only the displacement of a few shingles on an overhanging porch. Had it not been for the fact that the authorities desired to preserve a certain tree, all this calculation and circuitous moving would have been avoided.
Building marker 1996
Fuess, Claude. Andover: Symbol of New England, 1959
Carpenter, Charles C. Seminary Sites, Andover, 1907
Rowe, Henry K. History of Andover Theological Seminary, Boston: Thos. Todd, 1933.
|Historic District||Academy Hill NRH District|
|Historic Name||Churchill House - Andover Theological Seminary|
|Present Use||faculty residence|
|Original Use||faculty residence|
|Source||ERDS, ENRDL, AHS file, njs, style|
|Architectural Style||Queen Anne|
|Architect/Builder||Abbott & Jenkins, builders|
|Foundation||stone & granite|
|Wall/Trim||clapboards and shingles|
|Roof||asphalt - gable|
|Move Details||August 1901|
|Map and parcel||57-55|
|Recorded by||Stack/Mofford, James Batchelder|
|Organization||Andover Preservation Commission|
|Date entered||1975-77, 3/22/2015, 2/6/2022|