49 Salem Street

Architectural Description: 

Style: Federal
Center entrance five bay house, fan light over front entrance.

Historical Narrative: 

Themes: Architectural, Community development
This Federal style house contains 15 rooms and has five bedrooms.

This property was owned by Jonathan Griffin, a laborer born in Andover on Feb. 16, 1795, oldest child of Jonathan & Zeruiah (Vicker) Griffin. His family owned the home on Central St. at the corner of Brook St. His father died at age 41 on July 13, 1813 and his estate went to his widow and eight children. No deed has yet been found as to when and who Jonathan purchased the property from. We do know that he sold to Abraham J. Gould, the Andover printer for $400 on July 16, 1831 with buildings. Abraham was his brother-in-law, as his first wife was Zeruiah Griffin b. Feb. 6, 1797, Jonathan’s sister. She sadly died on May 23, 1823 and Abraham remarried to Mary B. Brown on July 8, 1824. Abraham lived at 238 South Main St. so this would have been income property or perhaps housing for printers working for Flagg & Gould print shop.

Nathaniel A. Prentiss purchased the house at 53 Salem St. on October 20, 1837 and we believe resided there. Nathaniel then purchased this house next door at #49 Salem St. on Nov. 18. 1842 for $900 from Abraham J. Gould. The Prentiss family owned both properties until 1854.

Nathaniel Appleton Prentiss was born Sept. 2, 1787 in Boston, son of Appleton & Silence (Conant) Prentiss. Nathaniel was in the Navy and “went to sea at the age of 15, served as a sailing master in the US Navy during the war of 1812. He was later stationed at the Portsmouth Navy Yard, assigned with overseeing the razing of the frigate "Independence", when he fell down the hatchway and was severely wounded. He was placed on the retired list, with a pension.” (Find-A-Grave history)
Nathaniel married on June 10, 1822 to Elizabeth Cobb Paine b. Aug. 9, 1796 dau. of Robert Treat Paine & Elizabeth Baker. They had four children: Mary Ann Paine b. 1824 NH, Charles Norris b. 1826 d. 6/30/1834, Elizabeth Paine b. Sept. 1828–d. 6/7/1834 and Nathaniel A. Jr. b. 1833–d. 3/8/1834. Wife Elizabeth C. died on June 7, 1834.
Nathaniel remarried on April 16, 1836 in Charlestown, MA to Mrs. Abigail Welch Payson b. Mar. 22, 1800 in Charlestown, dau. of Samuel & Grace Payson. They had two sons born in Andover; Samuel Payson b. 6/3/1838 and Nathaniel A. b. Aug. 20, 1840.

The 1850 Andover Valuation for Nathaniel A. Prentiss; Dwelling House, barn, and 1¾ acres $2500, Salem St. House, barn and adjoining 1 acre $1800. 14 acre pasture $350, Farm Stock $19 Income $400. (deed lines also include the property at #49 Salem St. in Prentiss ownership as does the 1852 map of Andover.) Nathaniel Sr. died on April 20, 1852 in Andover age 64 and is interred in Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett, MA. His estate went to his widow Abigail, their daughter Mary A. Claggett and two sons, both minors at the time.

This property was sold at auction on October 22, 1855 for $1650 to William H. Foster of Andover.
The Andover Advertiser Oct. 6, 1855 -Adverts. Dwelling House at Auction – A dwelling house 30 x 36 feet, 2 stories high, and a barn and shed 46 x 16 feet, and about one acre of land under and adjoining the same, pleasantly situated about on fourth of a mile south easterly of the Theological Institution Phillips Academy. Sale to be on the premises. Conditions made known at the sale; Edward Payson Guardian by Samuel Merrill, Attorney, Thos. C. Foster Auctioneer.
[Lot change 11 rods 2lks. (182.82’) x road, to land of Prentiss, SW 16 rods (264’)to Asa Abbott , NW 8 rods 15lks. (141.9’) to stake, NE 16 rods (264’) to 1st bound.]

William Henry Foster was born May 25, 1824 in Andover, son of Daniel & Berthia (Hayward) Foster. William married on Oct. 27, 1846 to Rhoda Jane Luscomb b. 1848 in West Parish Andover, daughter of Richard & Rhoda Luscomb. William lists his occupation as Printer at the time of marriage. In the 1860 census Foster is boarding Charles G. Warren 23, Printer b. NH and James Cutler Jr. 19, printer's apprentice. The 1860 Valuation; Wm. H Foster, Dwelling house, barn & 1 acre = $1450. In the 1870 and 1880 census William is listed as a Librarian.
"The Public Library of the City of Boston, A History", by Horace Greeley Wadin notes the following; "William H. Foster, after 30 years' service, died at his home in Andover, Nov. 2, 1888. He had devoted much time to the careful revision and proof-reading of the catalogues of the Lower Hall and Branch Libraries, thereby by promoting accuracy of form and statement in these important publications." William H. Foster died intestate and his estate went to his wife Rhoda.
William H. and Rhoda had four children; George C. b. 1849, Ella H. b. 1851, William R. b. 1853 and Carrie H. b. 1859. William R. died young, and the remaining children took care of their mother, all continued living in the home. Rhoda Foster died on Dec. 8, 1911. The three children inherit the property.
George Foster died on Oct. 10, 1921 and Ella H. Foster died March 24, 1929. All are interred at South Parish Cemetery, Andover, MA. The Foster family owned the property for 81 years.

Carrie M. Foster sold to J. Emery Trott, wife Emma on Jan. 16, 1936. Emery Trott was born Sept. 27, 1902 in Manchester, HN, son of Emery E. & Mabel (Johnstone) Trott. Emery married Emma Dickerman. The Trotts owned for 12 years then selling to Anette L. Curran on June 15, 1944. Annette was the wife of Maurice Curran Jr. and held the property for 10 years.
Curran sold to Samuel S. & Ann G. Rogers on May 11, 1954. Rogers held for 21 years then selling to Theodore J. & Katherine D. Ongaro on Oct. 10, 1975.
Ongaros lived here for 18 years before selling to Peter C. & Wendy B. Cowie on July 1, 1993. The deed was placed in Wendy's name in Sept. 1993. The Cowie family owned for 23 years selling on March 4, 2016 to Jeryl A. Williams, wife of Ned Williams.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Maps 1852, 1872, 1906
Ancestry.com Prentiss, Foster families
49 Salem Street;
Jonathan Griffin -
Abraham J. Gould – July 16, 1831 rec. 11/17/1835 – b. 287 leaf 9 - $400, 1a w/blds.
Nathaniel A. Prentiss – Nov. 18. 1842, rec. 12/17/1842 b. 334 leaf 266, $900 1a w/blds. #49
Nathaniel Prentiss estate, wid. Abigail – July 13, 1854 rec. 9/22- b. 501 leaf 21 q.c.Claggett $700
Edward Payson, of NY, guardian of Samuel P. & Nathaniel A. Prentiss, minors #49
William H. Foster, wife Rhoda - Oct. 22, 1855 - b. 522 leaf 264-5 at auction $1450.
William H. Foster estate - died Nov. 2, 1888 - intestate - Probate
Rhoda J. Foster, widow, heir - 1888 - 1911
Rhoda J. Foster estate, heirs; George C., Ella H. & Carrie M. Foster - 1911
George C. Foster estate, heirs; Ella H. & Carrie M. Foster - Oct. 10, 1921
Ella H. Foster estate, heir; Carrie M. Foster - Mar. 24, 1929
Carrie M. Foster - 1911 - 1936 - by inheritance
J. Emery Trott, wife Emma - Jan 16, 1936 - b. 596 p. 579
Annette L. Curran - June 15, 1944 - b. 665 p. 262
Samuel S. & Ann G. Rogers - May 11, 1954 - b. 791 p. 243
Theodore J. & Katherine D. Ongaro - Oct. 10, 1975 - b. 1269 p. 506
Peter C. & Wendy Cowie - July 1, 1993 - b. 3772 p. 114
Wendy Cowie - Sept. 27, 1993 - b. 3843 p. 326
Jeryl A. Williams, Mar. 4, 2016 - b. 14552 p. 178

Inventory Data:

StreetSalem St
PlacePhillips District
Historic DistrictAndover Historic Building Survey
Historic NameWilliam H. Foster House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Dateca. 1798
Architectural StyleFederal
Foundationstone & granite
Roofasphalt - gable
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresstable at rear
Major Alterationsdoorway replaced Remodeled (1930's)
Move Detailsno
Acreage1 acre; approx. frontage: 180'
Map and parcel58-8
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975 - 1977, 3/6/2015, 12/12/2021