52 Morton Street

Architectural Description: 

Most likely all of the structures built at the same time by same contractor/builder. Most houses have been altered in some way by an addition. Good example of original type housing. Modified Cape style one and one half story house, ell additions with bay window.
West facing orientation away from street.

Historical Narrative: 

Morton St., east of Main St. was first known as Pike Street or Pike Lane, then Green St. on 1872 maps. Pike and East Pike St. appear on earlier deeds. Morton St. originally began at School St. and ended at Main Street. Morton St. was extended to include Pike in the late 1890’s. Pike also was nick-named "Ram Cat Alley" by local old-timers. The Pike Soap Company was located near the intersection of Bartlet St. and later further east on the south side of the road. It was formerly believed some of the houses on the east end of Morton St. were built by Willard Pike for his employees. Recent research disproves this claim. Most of the modest homes were built for Irish emigrants between 1854 – 1860.

George H. French was a merchant in Andover when he purchased 10 acres 9 rods of land from Phillips Academy on Mar. 8, 1854. The parcel’s south border on Pike Street extended down into what is now the “Playstead”. French subdivided the property into house lots along the street. Each lot sold contained a caveat that the new owner had to build a fence along the property line and maintain their half. George French sold a one acre lot to Benj. F. Thompson on Aug. 1, 1855 for $200. The deed included a fence to be built on the western boundary and also “reserves the right in common with said Thompson to take water from the well on the said land for the use of the occupants of his house near-by.”

Benjamin F. Thompson was a Master Carpenter, b. Mar. 24, 1823 in Lee, NH. Ben married on Nov. 27, 1851 in Lowell, MA to Euphrasia G. Cory b. 1830 in Derby, VT. Both are listed as residents of Andover. They are listed in the 1855, 1860 and 1865 census in Andover. It is most likely that Thompson built the home on this site. Benjamin then sold the property to John Murphy with buildings on Aug. 6, 1855 for $650. The deed contained the same provisions for Murphy to build the fence and well water rights. John Stack would quit claim the water rights in a deed Nov. 22, 1859. (b 611 leaf 155)

John J. & Julia (Donovan) Murphy were both from Ireland and married there. John was b. 1813 a Day Laborer, and Julia b. 1815 dau. of Daniel Donovan. They had a son Dennis J. b. abt. 1843 in Ireland before immigrating to Andover. John & Julia had three more children here; Thomas F.b. Jan. 9, 1850, Catherine bpt. Sept. 18, 1853 and John F. b. Jan. 31, 1856. The 1870 census lists Thomas age 17 working in a wool mill, Catherine 16, a weaver, and John 14 at school. In 1880 John Sr. 67 and Julia 65 have two grandchildren in the care John Murphy Jr. age 6 and Isabe1 Murphy age 2.
On May 8, 1896 John Murphy deeds the house to John William Murphy with a life tenancy but on Oct. 20, 1896 the deed is returned to John. Julie died on Feb. 4, 1898 at age 82 in the Danvers Asylum Hospital. He obituary states the she “was said to be the oldest Catholic resident at that time. She was survived by husband John, three sons and a daughter Mrs. Catherine Kathen of Boston. Julia was interred a St. Augustine’s Cemetery.
John Murphy would sell the property to David C. Eastwood on Feb. 1, 1900. David Crabtree Eastwood was born Oct. 6, 1852 in Ashton-Under Lyme, Manchester, England, son of Levi & Sarah (Crabtree) Eastwood. David married Julia Agnes Eastwood b. July 1855 in St. Helena, Africa, dau. of Reuben & Mary Eastwood. They immigrated in 1886. David was a Spinner at Marland Mills, in Andover. David & Julia had five children four survived: David C. Jr. b. 1879 and Clara b. Nov. 1881 in England, Anna M. b. Oct. 1886, Fredrick Arthur b. Jan. 25, 1889. Eastwood held the property for 24 years but rented the house out prior to WWI. In 1918 David is listed as manager of 330 North Main St. and Julia is running a variety store. They had moved to Lawrence. MA. Julia died on Nov. 8, 1921 in Lawrence.
Edith S. Keirstead & Mary G. Keirstead purchased the property in April 2, 1924


Essex County Registry of deeds, Salem
Essex, Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence
Andover Maps. 1855, 1872, 1888, 1906
Andover Resident Directories
Andover Valuation Schedules, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1900
Andover Vital Statistics
Andover Townsman Obituaries.
Ancestry.com. Family Genealogies, US & State Census records,

B. T. Thompson - 1855
John Murphy, wife Julia - Aug. 6, 1855 - b. 517 leaf 247
John William Murphy - May 8, 1896 - b. 147 p. 30
John Murphy - Oct. 20, 1896 - b. 153 p. 308
David C. Eastwood - Feb. 1, 1900 - b. 175 p. 191
Edith S. Keirstead & Mary G. Keirstead - April 2, 1924 - b. 498 p. 268
Edith S. (Keirstead) Wesson & Mary G. (Keirstead) Bragg -
Charles S. & Sarah R. Keirstead - Dec. 3, 1932 - b. 568 p. 463
Edward C. & Mary W. Ellis - June 5, 1943 - b. 658 p. 342
Edward C. Ellis estate, Helen A. Watkinson, Extr - 2013
Robert H. & Helen A. Watkinson - Feb. 26, 2013 - b. 13360 p. 307
Leif & Paula L. Eriksen - Aug. 30, 2013 - b. 13619 p. 313

Inventory Data:

StreetR Main St
PlaceAndover Center
Historic DistrictAndover Historic Building Survey
Historic NameJohn & Julia Murphy House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1855
SourceERDS, ENRDL, AHS file, njs, style
Architectural StyleOther
Architect/BuilderBenjamin F. Thompson/builder
Foundationstone & granite
Roofasphalt - gable
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresgarage/barn
Major AlterationsSouth wing and barn
Acreage0.589 acre
Map and parcel40-77
Recorded bySean Croft, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Historical Society - Andover Preservation Commission
Date entered6/11/91,4/15/2015, 7/24/2021