39 School Street - French / Jenkins House

Historical Narrative: 

39 School Street – French / Jenkins House

Daniel Wardwell owned two lots of land on the east side of School St at the corner of a Lane (Locke St.) which he sold to Peter French Jr. on June 4, 1828 for $75 each. At this time French also bought John Brown's new house next door (#41) from Samuel Valpey and Merrill Pettingill. French then sold it to Deborah Pearson. Peter French built his home on this parcel of land shortly after.

The 1830 Moses Dorman map of Andover includes two houses on School Street near the corner of Locke Street. The 1852 & 1855 maps list P. French at #39 School Street. The 1850 Andover Valuation report gives Peter French in the Centre District with ½ acre of land, dwelling house and shed valued at $1050. In 1860 the shed is now listed as a barn and the total assessment in $1200.

Peter French Jr. was the son of Peter and Elizabeth (Jaquith) French, the oldest of eight children; Peter Jr. b. Jan. 4, 1793, Elizabeth b. Sept. 1, 1796, (married Geo. W. Knights Apr. 1, 1817), George b. April 11, 1803 d. Aug. 4, 1837 age 34, Joseph Jaquith b. Sept. 6, 1808 d. Jan. 23, 1841 age 32, Henry b. Oct. 29, 1810 d. May 14, 1824 age 13½, Sarah D. b. July 1812 (married Horatio Gleason May 15, 1834) d. July 16, 1840, Charles b. Feb. 26, 1815,
and Hyram Woodruff b. May 29, 1821.

Peter French Jr. married Hannah Mooar November 11, 1819. Hannah died May 7, 1821 at age 23 after the birth of twins on May 1, 1821 who both died at birth. Peter remarried a second time to Persis Parker on October 16, 1822. No children are listed in the Andover Vital records. Peter died September 19, 1864. On Sept. 13, 1865 Peter French estate sells the property to E. Kendall Jenkins for $2100. Wife Persis P. French died on Dec. 9, 1869. The French family is interred at South Parish Church cemetery.

Edward Kendall Jenkins was the son of Capt. Benjamin Jenkins Jr. and his second wife Elizabeth (Betsy) Berry. He grew up at the family homestead at 362 Salem Street at the corner of Jenkins Road. Kendall married Nancy Jenkins daughter of Ebenezer and Sally Jenkins in 1866. They had two children daughter Alice Cary b. June 11, 1867 - died May 27, 1963 and son Edward Stewart b. Feb. 8, 1870 d. July 22, 1894 age 24. Kendall’s wife Nancy died July 22, 1925 and he a few months later on October 8, 1925.

E. Kendall Jenkins property in 1870 – valuation ½ acre $600. – dwelling house $1800. – barn and shed $350 – farm stock $150. Jenkins also owns 7½ acres at Wood Hill $250. By 1900 the house is valued at $2300, Barn & shed $500, ½ acre $2000 and also an additional ¾ acre at #39 for $1500. This was purchased from Esther H. Beyers on Dec. 1, 1896 and was to the rear of the Hayward property. The Jenkins family had also acquired two other properties, the Clement/Hayward house next door at #41 School Street purchased by wife Nancy Jenkins at public auction on Aug. 29, 1896 for $5400 from the estate of Polly S. Hayward – Valuation in 1900 house $2500, barn $600, ½ acre $1200 and a ¼ acre lot with house at #43 Whittier Street total value $1250.

The following biography was written by E. Kendall as a preface to his 1913 article “MAIN STREET 60 YEARS AGO – 1853” and later revised and amended in 1946 by his daughter Alice C. Jenkins.

E. Kendall Jenkins - Born October 14, 1831 – October 8, 1925 age 93
Buried at South Church Cemetery

"I was born October 14, 1831, lived in the old homestead of Capt. Benjamin Jenkins at “Four Corners” ‘till the Civil War broke out then enlisted April 30, 1861, sworn into service July 5, 1861, stationed at Fort Warren, Boston Harbor, and for three years served as a Private, Corporal and Quartermaster Sergeant, fought under General Grant in the Wilderness, was twice slightly wounded and was mustered out July 8, 1864.

In November 1864 married Miss Nancy Jenkins, daughter of Ebenezer Jenkins and in the spring of 1866 bought of Peter French our present home, 39 School Street.

In March 1866 I was chosen Town Clerk, Treasurer, and Collector of Taxes and served in that capacity every year for twelve years and was then appointed Deputy Sheriff by Sheriff H. G. Herrick in 1866. I resigned these four offices in 1878 to become Treasurer of Essex County. This office I held for twenty-seven years. During this time I was also a Justice of the Peace seven years, Clerk of the South Parish thirty years and Trustee of Memorial Hall Library for forty years. Since 1903 I have lived quietly at home, giving time to care of my trees and garden.

I was Director and later President of the First National Bank of Salem many years and am at present (1913) a Director of the Salem Safe Deposit and Trust Company."

E. Kendall Jenkins was one of the founding members of the local chapter of the Bartlett Lodge of the G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic), and served for many years as their Captain. The meeting hall was on the top floor of the building at 10 Essex Street.

Esther H. Byers sells to Edward Kendall Jenkins on Dec. 1, 1896 (b. 151 p. 393) a lot of land 8735 sq. feet to the rear of the Hayward estate (#41 School Street), being a portion of the property Byers purchased from the Means heirs.

A plot plan #4073 dated September 7, 1960 at the registry of deeds shows a subdivision of the property with the rear of the lot divided off for a new parcel on Locke Street. The plan shows the outline of the house and attached ell, porches and barn. The front of the house also suggests two bay windows on the front facade on either side of a front porch. Bay windows became popular in Andover in the 1870’s and 1880’s and several homes in town added them including Moody Russell’s brick block in March 1873 and John Flint’s home in Elm Square in June 1883. Jenkins may have followed the style trend of the period replacing the original windows on the facade with bay windows. The multi-pane picture windows in place in 2011 are a Lincoln Giles rehab of the home in 1960-61. The original front porch was probably removed at this time also.

The house underwent extensive reconstruction in 2012. The entire back wing was replaced by new construction on the same footprint and the house was gutted down to the studs for new electrical, heating in insulation. The front facade was restored to its original appearance. The renovations and landscaping were completed by the summer of 2013.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Vital Records
Andover Historical Society files

Owners of the property;
Daniel Wardwell 3rd
Peter French – June 4, 1828 – b. 248 leaf 283 - $75 – 1/3 acre
Peter French – June 4, 1828 – b. 248 leaf 284 - $75 – 1/3 acre corner lot
Edward Kendall Jenkins - Sept. 13, 1865, rec. Oct. 3, - b. 690 leaf 224 - $2100
E. Kendall & Nancy Jenkins
William S. Jenkins, exec. - Dec. 1, 1896 - b. 151 p. 393 from Byers
Alice C. Jenkins, heir - Oct. 8, 1925 - Will probate doc. #153190
C. Lincoln & E. Janice Giles - Jun. 9, 1960 - b. 916 p. 220
Vincent & Patricia Hockmeyer - Oct. 16, 1961 - b. 946 p. 87
Alvin Hochberg & Eldred Field May 15, 1969 - b. 1130 p. 491
David W. & Karen M. Hepworth - Nov. 13, 1970 - b. 1163 p. 14
Shelley & Douglas Ranalli - Aug. 31, 2000 - b. 5850 p. 249

Inventory Data:

StreetSchool St
PlaceAndover Center
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic Name French / Jenkins House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Datecirca 1830
Architectural StyleFederal
Foundationstone & granite
Outbuildings / Secondary StructuresBarn/garage
Major Alterations2012 - 2013 - House completely renovated inside and out Rear ell rebuilt, new windows, one chimney removed in south parlor
Map and parcel55-118
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-1977, 4/2014