Greek Revival, pediment to street.
This house is “Greek Revival” in style and was constructed by William Bell prior to 1850. William Bell, wife Anne purchased the corner lot May 19, 1843 for $1030 fronting on Harding St. and the Andover – Wilmington Railroad (now High St). It contained 12 acres w/blds ("Dillaway Homestead")
William Bell is listed as a Manufacturer in the 1850 census. The 1850 Valuation Schedule lists Wm. Bell, Dwelling house and barn $1400, Dillaway House and shed $500. 10 acres $700 = $2600. Farm Stock $40. The 1855 State census list Bell as a farmer. William died on April 7, 1856 and was interred in Christ Church Cemetery. The estate went to his wife Ann and children. Son William Henry would purchase the property from his siblings in May 1859. The 1860 Valuation lists Wid. Ann Bell: Old house & 3 acres $820. William H. Bell: Dwelling house, barn, adjoining bld., 2 acres = $1510. William H. later sold to Thomas C. Shattuck for $1675 on April 10, 1861. Shattuck owned four years then sold to Nathan Frye, wife Amanda on Sept. 30, 1865 for $1500.
Nathan Frye was the son-in-law to Abraham Marland and president of the Marland Mills on Stevens Street. The Frye mansion is located on the west side of North Main Street. This house was most likely investment property for Frye who held it for 17 years before selling to James Muldowney in Feb. 1882.
James Muldowney and family lived here for ten years. James Muldowney was born 1840 in Ireland, married Elizabeth Donlon b. 1842 in Ireland. James & Elizabeth, with infant son James immigrated to America and arrived in NYC on May 9, 1863 on the “Monarch of the Sea”. James was a machinist and made their way to Lowell, MA then to Andover. James worked in the Marland Mill. They had seven children; James b. 1863 England, William J. b. 1864, Elizabeth b. 1867, Jane b. 1869, Bridget T. b. 1871 Katherine C. b. 1873 and John F. b 1877.
James purchased an additional 3 lots of about 3 acres from the Bell family in Sept. 1883 which included the house at 78 – 80 High St. High St. was built on the old railroad bed of the Andover-Wilmington RR that was extended to Haverhill 1838 – 1848. The railroad was relocated to the current Boston & Maine line in 1848 to service the new city of Lawrence. The western boarder of this property runs along the new railroad line. In 1890 James turned the property into trust and life tenancy for his wife Elizabeth. Their son James J. Muldowney became the trustee.
In 1892 Isabella W. May, a widow, purchased this property and held it for four years. Mrs. May sold in August 1896 to Olof Benson.
Olof & Johanna Benson immigrated to America from Sweden in October 1887 and had settled in Andover by 1888. It is said they were the first Swedish family in Andover. Olof had been the Coachman for John Dove and family on what is now the “Arden Estate” at 276 North Main Street. The Dove estate was sold on July 7, 1891 to William M. & Ellen (Ayer) Wood.
Olaf may have continued as coachman for the Wood family before he purchased this home and became a gardener and farmer. He is listed as a market farmer in 1904 which means he grew vegetables for sale to residents and local markets. Olof transferred the deed over to wife Johanna on August 15, 1903. The Bensons lived here for nearly 30 years before selling the property to Fred E. & Bessie Raitt on October 23, 1926. Raitt’s occupation was a mason. The deed states Johanna was from Concord, NH. This is consistent with the family information that the Bensons retired to Concord, NH to be near their son Charles and their grandchildren. They however missed Andover too much, returned and rented an apartment on Maple Ave. just a short walk from their former home. The home has had several owners through the years and the home has been converted into three apartments.
Essex Country Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
See Plan #7761 - Nov. 15, 1977 - Mullett
Lot #1 = 20 Harding St.
Lot #2 = 84 High St.
Bell, Muldownery and Benson family historys
Simon Wardwell estate, died Sept. 23, 1842 - Moses Foster - Probate
William Bell, wife Anne - May 19, 1843 - b. 337 leaf 262 - $1030 - 12a w/blds ,"Dillaway Homestead"
William Bell estate, - Apr. 7, 1856 - Bell heirs
William H. Bell & John Bell - July 1, 1859 - b. 593 leaf 1
William H. Bell - May 17, 1859 - b. 593 leaf 2
Thomas C. Shattuck - Apr. 10, 1861 - b. 631 leaf 20 - $1675
Nathan Frye -Sept. 30, 1865 b. 690 lf. 101 - lot 1
James Muldowney - Feb. 8, 1882 b. 67 pg. 305 - lot 1 - 20 Harding St.
James Muldowney - Sept. 24, 1883 - b. 73 p. 178-9 - Bell lots - (78 - 80 High St)
James J. Muldowney - Feb. 13, 1890 b. 105 pg. 112 - lots 1,2,3,4
Muldowney Trust - Feb. 13, 1890 b. 105 pg. 159 - lots 1,2,3,4
Isabella W. May - Feb. 29, 1892 b. 117 p. 330
Olof Benson - Aug. 19, 1896 b. 149 p. 504
John Lawson - Aug. 15, 1903 b. 206 p. 507
Johanna Benson - Aug. 15, 1903 b. 206 p. 508
Fred E. & Bessie E. Raitt - Oct. 23, 1926 b. 527 p. 374
Cornelius P. & Annie O’Brien Mar. 28, 1934 b. 577 p. 356
O’Brien estate, Marion C. McGilvray, Extrix - Sept. 9, 1953 Probate
Theodore & Florrie Gallant May 22, 1954 b. 792 p. 102
Wilfred & Janet Mullet - Nov. 8, 1960 b. 926 p. 221
Larry Mazonson - Feb. 3, 1986 - b. 2125 p. 72
Lawrence B. Uchin - Mar. 12, 1986 - b. 2147 p. 91
BayBank, Merrimack Valley - June 30, 1993 - b. 3790 p. 269
Marta M. Stiglin - Jul. 29, 1994 - b. 4096 p. 209
|Place||Andover Center District|
|Historic District||Andover Historic Building Survey|
|Historic Name||Bell - Muldowney - Benson House|
|Present Use||apartments, residence|
|Construction Date||1848 - 1850|
|Source||ECRDS, ENRDL, style-njs|
|Architectural Style||Greek Revival|
|Foundation||stone & granite|
|Outbuildings / Secondary Structures||garage|
|Map and parcel||20-1|
|Recorded by||Stack/Mofford; James Batchelder|
|Organization||Andover Preservation Commission|
|Date entered||1975-77, updated 12/2013, 10/20/2018|