22 William Street

Architectural Description: 

Georgian Revival

Historical Narrative: 

William Street was originally named Warwick Street when Shawsheen Village was laid out. The name was changed by a vote at a special Town Meeting on November 13, 1922 in memory of William M. Wood Jr., son of William M. & Ellen (Ayer) Wood, who died in an automobile accident on Aug. 15, 1922.

This home was built as part of the Shawsheen Village development 1918 – 1924 by William M. Wood, President of the American Woolen Company. Wood hired about eight different architects to design the homes and structures for the village. Homes were sold or rented through the Homestead Association who had offices in the Post Office building on the corner of North Main & Poor Streets.

After the death of William M. Wood in Feb. 1926 most of the residential and commercial buildings were then sold. Some were held by the Wood family in the "Arden Trust" and others with the American Woolen Company, which had been deeded the property in December 1920. The A.W.Co. Board of Directors authorized its President, Lionel J. Noah, to deliver all deeds, as deemed necessary to the Textile Realty for sale on Dec. 29, 1931.

The Textile Realty then transferred ownership to the Andover Shawsheen Realty Company on June 30, 1932, holding the mortgage on the properties. T. Edwin Andrew, treasurer, was authorized to sell or rent the properties. With the Great Depression sales were sluggish and many homes were rented until the economy rebounded.

The first occupants of record to lease the home in 1926 were Charles & Gladys M. Hardy. Charles Hardy was assistant treasurer for the American Woolen Co. In 1928 Thomas A. & Jennie B. Grieve were the residents. Thomas was a manager at the A. W. Co. They had been renting #21 William St. across the street in 1926.

This house was sold to George C. & Ellen J. Best on Oct. 9, 1933. George Best was was a superintendent at the American Woolen Co. mills in Lawrence. George died on Aug. 19, 1945 and his wife Ellen inherited the estate. Best family owned for 14, years then sold to
Frederick G. & Dorothy R. Casper om June 17, 1947. Fred b. 1894 was a merchant. Dorothy b. 1905 inherits with the death of Fred on July 4, 1982. Dorothy later sells to Steven B. & Elizabeth L. Leed on June 26, 1991.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Maps, 1852, 1872, 1888, 1906, 1926
Andover Street Directories
See Map plan #704 - American Woolen Company - Sept. 1927
#879 - June 1932 - Textile Realty Company lot 33
Maps - #1379 - Mar. 1942 and #15767 - #15713

Henry P. Binney - Apr. 24, 1919 - b. 398 p. 52 - 9.86 acres
American Woolen Company - Dec. 30, 1920 - b. 435 p. 215
Textile Realty Company - Dec. 30, 1931 - b. 563 p. 351
Andover Shawsheen Realty Co. - June. 30, 1932 - b. 565 p. 87
George C. & Ellen J. Best - Oct. 9, 1933 - b. 572 p. 367
George C. & Ellen J. Best - Feb. 2, 1934 - b. 576 p. 36
George C. Best estate, Ellen J. Best, heir - George C. died 8/18/1945
Frederick G. & Dorothy R. Casper - June 17, 1947 - b.699 p. 205
Frederick G. Casper estate, Dorothy R. Casper heir; Fred d. 7/4/1982
Steven B. & Elizabeth L. Leed - June 26, 1991 - b. 3276 p. 183

Inventory Data:

StreetWilliam St
PlaceShawsheen Village - Frye Village
Historic DistrictShawsheen Village NRH District
Historic NameGeorge & Ellen Best House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1922 - 1923
Architectural StyleGeorgian Revival
Architect/BuilderClifford Allbright
Wall/Trimbrick veneer/wood
Roofgable - slate
Major AlterationsSide porches enclosed and enlarged to the rear
Acreage0.995 acre
Map and parcel52-106
Recorded byJames S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1980 - 6/24/2015