5-7 Chestnut Street

Architectural Description: 

Federal-Greek transition
Built as a two family home
Two-door entrances on front, block and filed window frames

Historical Narrative: 

Original owners: George Foster and David Gray
Themes: architecture, community development

1850 Real Estate Valuation - Sophronia Gray 1/2 dwelling house, 1/4 acre land $1120. Geroge Foster 1/2 dwelling house 5 1/4 acres land $1120.
1852 map cites George Foster. David Gray, shoe-maker, and his wife, Sophronia Abbot Gray, who wrote poetry. George Foster and David Gray both still tenants on 1872 map.

George Foster was an Express man, married first to Rebecca H. Abbott, daughter of Enoch & Nancy (Flint) Abbott. They had two children; R. Georgietta b. Apr. 21, 1836, who married Henry Quimby and George Whitefield Foster b. May 21, 1847. Their mother Rebecca died and George remarried Elvira Augusta Hussey b. July 7, 1830 daughter of Elijah & Rosina Hussey.
George W. became a lawyer, married in 1877 to Belle J. b. June 1854 and they had three children two survived, Mary H.. b. Dec. 1878 and Phillip W. b. July 1884. George lived in Andover for many years living at 121 SO. Main St. and then 42 High St. in 1910. He later moved to Wakefield living with his son Phillip.
This half of the property was inherited by Elvira after George died in 1888. On Elvira's death the Hussey family became heirs to her estate and the property remained with the family members until 1980.

David Gray Jr. was born in Andover on March 15, 1798. He was the son of David and Rebecca (Jenkins) Gray. He was a cobbler by trade and had his own shop next to the house. David married four times, his first wife being Emily Abbot, on April 28, 1825. Emily was born in 1805 and died on Sept. 1, 1833. They had three daughters; Emily b. Feb. 11, 1826, Rebecca b. Feb. 29, 1828 and Clarissa A. b. Aug. 26, 1833 - d. Sept. 14, 1833. Emily probably died of complications during the birth of their last daughter.

David joined the South Church by profession of faith on November 3, 1833 but withdrew membership on August 10, 1834 to form the new Evangelical Church in the North Parrish. David remarried on March 20, 1834 to Sarah Peters the daughter of Lt. Joseph & Mehitable Peters. Sarah was b. June 5, 1800 and died May 31, 1836. They had one son Henry Peters b. Feb. 7, 1836. Sarah had also been a member of South Church since November 7, 1830 but withdrew with her new husband.

David then married the widow Mrs. Maria Bailey on June 11, 1837. Maria’s maiden name was Merrill and was from Bradford b. 1815. Maria had married Myron Bailey of Andover int. May 26, 1835. No death is recorded in the Andover vital records for Myron or any children to the Baileys. David & Maria had a daughter Sarah b. Nov. 18, 1838 and a son Jesse b. May 15, 1840. Wife Maria died of consumption on Nov. 21, 1843.

David Gray now has five surviving children ranging in ages from 17 years to 3 ½ years of age. He married a fourth time to Sophroina Abbot b. on Feb. 18, 1803, the daughter of Enoch and Nancy Abbot. Sophronia was a well liked woman but she was extremely outspoken. She was also a member of the South Church joining on the same day as David’s second wife Sarah. Sophronia was an abolitionist and left South for Free Church on September 22, 1850. She did poetry and is probably responsible for the advertising prose in the Andover Advertiser, for husband David’s shoe repair business. The couple lived in the double house on Chestnut Street at #7 on the east side. They owned half the house and the barn and David’s cobblers shop occupied space just east of the house. David Gray died on August 20, 1870 and Sophronia died 28 years later on Dec. 6, 1898. David is interred at South Church Cemetery with all four wives.

The west side of the house was occupied by George W. Foster

The following poems appeared in the Andover Advertiser with David Gray promoting his business. His competitor Jacob Barnard jumped in with some friendly rebuttals of his own.

Feb. 4, 1865 AA – Notice –
David Gray, on Chestnut Street, Will tap the shoes worn on your feet,
In a style both strong and neat, That will your satisfaction meet.
And in these strange, peculiar times, Will do it well for ten half dimes. - (placed Jan 24, 1865)

Feb. 18, 1865 – Special Notice
David Gray, on Chestnut Street, Will tap the shoes worn on your feet,
In a style both strong and neat, That will your satisfaction meet.
And in these strange, peculiar times, Will do it well for ten half dimes.

To the question of late, which we so often meet,
Where is David Gray’s on Chestnut Street?
We would answer to all, who may need to inquire,
You will find next to Geo. Foster, Esq.

March 4, 1865 AA– Notice
At Barnard’s Store on Main Street, Is where they do their cobbling neat,
They will no leather use but what is prime, Your boots they will tap for seven and a half dimes.
And some may ask why work is done, In other shop for less a sum,
To this we answer never did we use, Belting leather to tap boots and shoes – (placed Feb. 25, 1865)

Mar. 11, 1865 – A Card of Thanks
David Gray would express and also confess, by this simple card his grateful regard,
To the Main street Bard, for laboring so hard, to make the fact known, that in tapping of shoes, belt leather we use; for it can be shown, and most of the people are ready to own, there is nothing its equal that is on the feet worn.

Aug. 5, 1865, AA
David Gray Has on hand, At his Chestnut Street Stand,
A supply of “prime sole leather”, Which he is ready to use, In tapping of shoes.
To keep the feet dry in wet weather. His price as before,
Is five shillings and no more. When the times were peculiar and strange,
For Grant has caught Lee, And the slaves are set free,
In the times there’s a wonderful change. (Andover - July 1, 1865)

May 30, 1879 AA – Mrs. S. A. Gray has sold her shop on Chestnut Street to Rev. Dr. Gulliver, and he has removed it on to his premises. (Dr. Gulliver was the new professor of the Theological Seminary)

June 27, 1879 AA – Noticeable improvements have been made on Chestnut Street. Messrs Regan & Howard have built a nice face wall in front of the residences of Mr. Foster and Mrs. Gray, and the highway surveyor Baker has improved the sidewalks and sewerage on the street.


Andover Historical Society files
Assessor's records
Town of Andover, Real Estate Valuation, 1900
Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA

Sophronia Abbott -
George W. Foster - Aug. 16, 1845 - b. 358 lf. 125 Salem Deeds, award commissioners same b. 759 lf. 62
George W. Foster & R. Georgetta (Foster) Quimby
Elvira A. Foster - July 9, 1888 - b. 96 p. 460 Lawrence Deeds
Rosena A. Hobbs, Charles G. Hussey, Wyman D. Hussey, Ella F. Hussey, Clara E. Hussey & George W. Hussey, all heirs of Elvira A. Foster -
George W. Foster - Oct. 5, 1892 - b. 126 p. 417
Mary Hussey & Charles E. Hussey - Nov. 26, 1892 - b. 126 p. 419
George E. Hussey – Nov. 18, 1930 – b. 555 p. 268
Ethel C. Hussey - 1936
Ethel R. Hussey (AKA Ethel C. Hussey) estate probate #304459 Sept. 12, 1970 – b. 1160 p. 666
Natilie A. McCrone Orr by will of Ethel Hussey
Ethel McCrone Parrish estate probate #353299 died Mar. 2, 1980
John Willis Parish, husband Extr. Will
Sally A. Webster, trustee of Sarin Real Estate Trust
Sarin Real Estate Trust, Wm. J. Difrancesco Trustee – May 13, 1982 – b. 1594 p. 41
Thomas R. Dussault & Mary C. Pyatte – Feb. 28, 1990 – b. 3075 p. 115
5 Chestnut Street Realty Trust, Sheryl A. Doherty Tr. – Mar. 25, 1999 – b. 5377 p. 299
Sheryl Allen Doherty – Feb. 10, 2003 – b. 1714 p. 128

David Gray - b. March 15, 1798 - d. August 20, 1870
Sophrina (Abbott) Gray – Mrs. David Gray
Frank H. E. & Mary E. Kendall - May 26, 1888 - b. 95 p. 292-294 Bond life
Frank H. E. Kendall - Mar. 17, 1922 - b. 455 p. 83 quit claim
Mary E. Kendall - Mar. 17, 1922 - b. 455 p. 83
Edith C. Kendall - July 29, 1950 - b. 739 p. 75
John M. O’Boyle - June 6, 1973 - b. 1220 p. 48
Andover Savings Bank - June 11, 1974 - b. 1242 p. 672
Archibald H. Ferran - July 28, 1978 - b. 1316 p. 441
Bahia Trust, Deberah A. Moggio trst. - Mar. 1, 1978 - b. 1332 p. 632
Rachael M. O’Boyle - Sept. 2, 1980 - b. 1454 p. 235
Sally A. Webster - Oct. 15, 1980 - b. 1462 p. 321
Christopher Doherty - Mar. 30, 1984 - b. 1791 p. 300
Christopher & Sheryl A. Doherty - Apr. 5, 2013 - b. 13415 p. 250

Inventory Data:

StreetChestnut St
PlaceAndover Center
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameDavid Gray - George Foster Double House
Present Useresidence/duplex (1975-77)
Original Useresidence/duplex
Construction Date1830s
Architectural StyleFederal
Foundationstone & granite
Outbuildings / Secondary StructuresTwo small modern garages, attached sheds, barn (now apartments - 1975-77)
Major Alterations1884
Acreage#5 - 9,970 sq. ft.; #6 - 8,310 sq. ft.; #7 - 7,200 sq. ft.; approx. frontage #5 - 87'; #6 - 120'; #7 - 471'
Settingresidential/professional offices
Map and parcel55-106
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975-77, 5/2014