52 Chestnut Street

Historical Narrative: 

Themes: architectural, community development

This land was once owned by John H. Soeherens, a local barber, who lived around the corner at 44 Whittier Street. Soeherens sold a lot of land at the corner of Punchard Ave. and Chestnut St. comprising 20,000 sq. feet. to Jacob Warren Berry in 1883. Whittier St. was formerly known as Punchard Ave which began on Main Street and continued along the south side of the "Park" then to Elm St. This end was renamed Whittier about 1900.
AT Apr. 24 1891- Hardy & Cole are to build a large piazza on the J. W. Berry’s house on Chestnut street

J. Warren Berry was a partner with the T. A. Holt & Co. grocery store, located in the basement of the Baptist Church, fronting on Central St. J. Warren became president of the company when T.A. Hold died. Warren was connected with the business for 40 years.

J. Warren was born on January 29, 1844 in the North Parish of Andover, (now North Andover) son of Daniel & Susanna Berry. Warren enlisted in the Civil War at 18, served with Co. K. 8th Mass. Regiment. He married Anna Josephine Clement on Jan 28, 1866 at South Church. Anna was born Dec. 1846, daughter of Moses & Caroline Clement. Warren & Anna had three children, two survived; Anna Frances "Fannie" b. July 1868 and Fred Putnam b. Nov. 29, 1869.

Daughter "Fannie" married on Dec. 26, 1900 to Arthur Whitmore Smith, a professor of Physics and Electrical engineering at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA., later teaching in Ann Arbor, Mich. They had one daughter Cynthia Berry Smith.

Son Fred Berry married Lucy Adele Marston b. Mar. 12, 1870, and they had two sons; Carl Marston b. 1899 and Robert W. b. 1902.

Anna Berry died in July 1905 and J. Warren would later marry Nellie E Flanders b. 1865. J. Warren died on May 11, 1913. They are interred at Spring Grove Cemetery. Nellie died on Jan 30, 1933 and is interred in the Flanders family lot. Jacob Warren Berry's estate, was administered by Arthur W. Smith & Nellie E. Berry as the Executors.

The property was sold to Evangeline "Eva" Proctor, wife of John H. Proctor on July 28, 1920. John Proctor was the President of the New England Plywood Company in 1920 directory. They made wooden reels and spools. The property was divided when Arthur N. Comeau and wife Elizabeth purchased the a lot west of the house of 8280 square feet on Aug. 15, 1927. The deed mentions a plan drawn by John Franklin for Arthur N. Comeau in 1927. The deed also included a restriction... "but one building as a dwelling with a garage shall be placed on the lot, said restrictions to be binding for 25 years".... The 1906 Map of Andover Center shows the carriage house / barn was part of the property at 52 Chestnut St. and was sited to the extreme NW corner of the property. Arthur Comeau and his son Arthur were both carpenters, and moved the carriage house to the center of the new lot and converted the building into the home at 50 Chestnut St.

The Proctors continued ownership of the Berry home at #52 but with the depression John & Eva moved to Keene, NH as John's work was the general manager of the Ashuelot Reel Co. in 1936. The home was rented out during this period;
1932 - Louis B. Torrey - clerk in Boston, his widowed mother Ada E. Torrey 0 wife of George F.) and Rosa B. Torey.
1935 - The home is vacant
1937 - Roger M. & Katherine M. Peabody - Roger is Superintendent of Watson - Park Co. at Lowell Junction
1939 - Oswald J. & Helen Durkin - bowling alleys in Lawrence in 1941, may have worked in Andover for James Ross
1941 - Melville J. & Leola M. Blackwood - Chemist in Lawrence
1943 - Everett & Dorothy D. Wheeler - Emp. at G.E. in Lynn, MA

The Proctors defaulted on a mortgage and the Andover Savings Bank foreclosed on the property on Mar. 2, 1942.
The house was purchased by James & Mary C. Ross on May 25, 1942. James Ross Jr. was born in Arbroath, Scotland in 1892, son of James & Annie (Culbert) Ross. James Jr. immigrated to the USA in 1905. His parents had come before him. James Ross was co-owner and manager of the Andover Recreation Center on Park Street. "In 1916 Roy E. Hardy & James Ross formed a partnership and purchased a small one-story building on Essex Street, Andover. This building contained four bowling alleys." They later relocated to 32-36 Park Street expanding to 12 lanes and a billiard and pool tables. They also owned two bowling alleys in Lawrence, and by 1946 had operating 72 alleys, 13 billiard tables, for 10 pin, Candle pin and Duck pin bowling. The Andover lanes were candle pin bowling.

James Married on Apr. 27, 1918 in Manchester, NH to Mary Clark McGregor b. 1895 in Dundee, Scotland, daughter of John & Margaret (Clark) McGregor. Mary arrived in America in 1910. Both became Naturalized citizens in 1918. They had one daughter Christina M. b. 1920. James & Mary owned the Gidding's house at 27 Chestnut St., (now part of parking lot for CVS), prior to purchasing the Berry House. James Ross died Nov. 17, 1949 and Mary C. and daughter remained in the home another seven year before selling to John A. Polgreen, wife Charlotte on Apr. 8, 1956.

John A. Polgreen placed the deed in both names on Mar. 29, 1967. Polgreen then sold to Paul A. & Doris Reitchel on Jan. 11, 1973.
Reitchel Family owned the home for nearly 20 years then selling to Jeffrey A. & Deborah A. Webber on Aug. 28, 1992.
Catherine A. Kennedy is now the owner of record on Sept. 28, 2001.


Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Directories
Federal Census, 1920, 1930, 1940
See plan #8142 - Pauline Porter - (9/26/1978)
Andover, What IT Was, What IT IS - 1946
Ancestry.com - Berry Family, Proctor Family, Federal Census

John H. Soeherens - land - 20,000 sq. feet
Jacob Warren Berry - Sept. 29, 1883 - b. 74 p. 484
J. Warren Berry estate, Arthur W. Smith & Nellie E. Berry, Extrs -
Evangeline Proctor, husband. John H. - July 28, 1920 - b. 428 p. 487
Evangeline & John H. Proctor - Apr. 11, 1939 - b. 614 p. 197 - mtg.
Andover Savings Bank - Mar. 2, 1942 - b. 649 p. 355
James & Mary C. Ross - May 25, 1942 - b. 651 p. 31
James Ross estate, died Nov. 17, 1949, Mary C. Ross heir
John A. Polgreen, wife Charlotte - Apr. 8, 1956 - b. 831 p. 78
Shirley M. Sharpe - Mar. 29, 1967 - b. 1078 p. 488 deed transfer
John A. & Charlotte C. Polgreen - Mar. 29, 1967 - b. 1078 p. 489
Paul A. & Doris Reitchel - Jan. 11, 1973 - b. 1210 p. 414
Reitchel Family Trust, Paul & Doris Reitchel, Trs. - Mar. 18, 1977 - b. 1304 p. 472
Jeffrey A. & Deborah A. Webber - Aug. 28, 1992 - b. 3533 p. 271
Catherine A. Kennedy - Sept. 28, 2001 - b. 6389 p. 65

Inventory Data:

StreetChestnut St
PlaceAndover Center
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameJ. Warren Berry House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1895 - 1896
Architectural StyleQueen Anne
Roofasphalt - hip
Outbuildings / Secondary StructuresCarriage house - barn
Major AlterationsFront porch roof line altered, curved canopy removed
Acreage0.5714 acre
Map and parcel39-114
Recorded byJames S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date enteredJune 9, 2015