55 High Street

Architectural Description: 

Bracketed eaves and double trim corner boards suggest construction date during Smith ownership in 1871. The earlier home (Dilloway house) was on the site and moved to the rear of the property in Feb. 1880 onto Maple Ave. and is now #54.

Historical Narrative: 

Samuel Needham & Nathan Townsend sold a 1 acre 55 sq. rod lot to Mary Dillaway for $45 on Apr. 30, 1821. Mary Dillaway must have built a home on the lot during her six years of ownership as when she sells to Joseph Faulkner, wife Lydia on Dec. 5, 1827 for $300 it includes buildings. Joseph Faulkner was a machinist and business partner with John Smith in Frye Village, building weaving machinery for the textile industry. Falkner died suddenly on Aug. 5, 1831 at age 48. The Faulkner home was in Frye Village on south end portion of Wood Park. His widow Lydia held the property another 14 years then selling to David S. Roberts on Apr. 17, 1845. David paid $306.60 for the lot.

David Sands Roberts was born in Framingham, MA, was a machinist. He married Sarah Elizabeth Frye on Feb. 5, 1834 in Andover. Sarah, born June 25, 1816, dau. of Zachariah & Sarah “Sally” Frye. They had three children; Jonathan Herbert bp. May 30, 1841 and twins, Lydia Eliza and Sarah Elizabeth bp. July 7, 1844 at Christ Church. Roberts owned for 23 years.
1850 Valuation – David S. Roberts – Dwelling house, barn and 2 acres $1700
1860 Valuation - David S. Roberts – Dwelling house, barn and 2 acres $1350

Arthur N. Bean, wife Abbie purchased the property on May 28, 1868 for $1000. Arthur then sold to Charlotte C. Smith, wife of James H. Smith, a blacksmith, on Oct. 3, 1868. John Barry, wife Margaret – purchased on Sept. 17, 1869 for $1200. John Barry was born in Ireland in 1830 and wife Margaret in 1832. John was a laborer. The 1870 Valuation – John Barry; House on High St. $800, barn $100, 2 acres land $600 = $1500 also farm stock $45.

John L. Smith, wife Mary E. then purchased the property on May 1, 1871, rec. 4/27/1872, for $2200. John L. Smith was born in Scotland Jan. 7, 1837, son of John N. & Mary (Low) Smith. They came to America in 1844 when John was seven. John attended the public schools and then Phillips Academy as Punchard Free School had not yet been established. John first worked as a printer under Warren F. Draper, later working for Riverside Press in Cambridge. He partnered with George H. Morrill in the printing ink business in Andover. John married Mary Elizabeth Barker on Oct. 8, 1859. Mary was b. on May 27, 1841 in Claremont, NH. They had four sons; David B. b. 1860, John Ellworth b. 1862, George W. b. 1868 and Charles F. b. 1869.

John enlisted in the Army during the Civil War serving five years and mustered out as a Lieutenant. During his active duty he wrote hundreds of letters home to his wife Mary. I one letter to his son Davy, he included “some burned fragments from the American flag which he had clipped away while repairing the colors. He asked his son to keep the clippings in a safe place because they were “Part of the flag I’m fighting for.”

When John returned he went to work in the grocery store of Horace P. Beard in 1865 located at 8-10 Essex St. Mr. Beard died unexpectedly in July 1871 and John Smith and Arthur Manning would purchase the business.
August 25, 1871 – AA “Mr. John L. Smith & Albert S. Manning, of the late firm of H. P. Beard & Co. and Mr. Isaac S. Carruth, for many years a clerk in the store, have formed a co-partnership and will continue the business under the form of Smith, Manning & Co. They are efficient and worthy young men, and will no doubt fully sustain the popularity of the store, and merit the extensive patronage it has so long received.”

The following year the men purchased also the building. John was an active member in the community. He served one year in the State Legislature, was the Chief of the Fire Department, and an advocate of the Andover Water System. He was a Trustee of the Andover Savings Bank, member of St. Mathew’s Lodge and past Master, member of the Odd Fellows Lodge, the William Bartlett GAR Post 99 and the Loyal Legion. The GAR Post 99 met in a hall above the Smith & Manning store.

Dec. 19, 1879 AA - John L. Smith's fine new residence on High Street, built by Abbott & Jenkins is nearly complete and he expects to occupy is about the first of February.

Feb. 27, 1880- AA - John L. Smith has moved into his new residence on High Street, and the house vacated has been removed by George Wilson of Methuen, to Maple Avenue where it is to be fitted up and occupied by Louis G. Hardy. Ezra Farnum puts in the cellar for the house on Maple Ave and also the cellar for the barn at Mr. Smith's new house."

March 10, 1882 AA pg. 3 “The hall occupied by the GAR over Smith & Manning’s store on Essex St., is being enlarged and arranged to more comfortably accommodate the organization. The roof is to be raised eight feet, the cupola removed and a new stairway built. The main hall will be about 47 x 30’, 14 feet in height, with two ante-rooms, connected therewith. Hardy and Cole do the work. The expense will be about $1100. It is expected the room will be ready for occupancy by middle May.”

John’s wife Mary died on July 30, 1890. John later re-married on Sept. 6, 1893 to Ella Florence Merrill b. Mar. 19, 1853 in Andover. John died on Mar. 14, 1917. His wife Ella remained in the home until 1921 when she sold to Lillian A. Navin, wife of William H. on Oct. 27, 1921 for $10,000. The Smith’s were owners for 50 years.

William H. & Lillian A. Navin were renters at 4 Temple Place in 1920. William b. in 1873 in MA, was a weaver and textile overseer in a woolen mill. Lillian was born in 1880. With the Depression they opened their home to lodgers and the home later became a boarding house managed by Lillian. The 1940 Census lists 8 boarders and house girl Mary Ring. The endeavor however did not make ends meet and the bank foreclosed in the property June 30, 1944.

The property was sold to Oscar R. Hoehn on Aug. 1, 1946. The house served as an apartment house after that sale. In 1988 the building was converted in the 55 High Street Condominiums with none units in the home and rear addition.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Ancestry.com - Roberts, Smith, Navin families
Andover Directories
Andover Village maps 1872, 1882, 1906

55 High Street 38-103 – 0.55976 acres

Samuel Needham & Nathan Townsend – 1821
Mary Dillaway – Apr. 30, 1821 – b. 229 leaf 4 - $45
Joseph Faulkner, wife Lydia – Dec. 5, 1827 – b. 246 leaf 246 $300 w/blds
Joseph Faulkner estate, widow Lydia – Aug. 5, 1831
David S. Roberts – Apr. 17, 1845 – b. 353 leaf 211 - $306.60 land
Arthur N. Bean, wife Abbie M. – May 28, 1868 – b. 745 leaf 279 - $1000
Charlotte C. Smith, wife of James H. Smith, - Oct. 3, 1868 – b. 758 leaf 159 - $1000
John Barry, wife Margaret – Sept. 17, 1869 – b. 782 p. 198 - $1200 w/blds
John L. Smith, wife Mary E. – May 1, 1871 rec. 4/27/1872 – b. 14 p. 48 - $2200 – 1a 55 rods
John L. Smith estate, wid. Ella F., Charles H. Wright, Trustee – Mar. 14, 1917
Lillian A. Navin, wife of William H. – Oct. 27, 1921 – b. 449 p. 597 - $10,000
Lillian A. & William H. Navin – Sept. 27, 1926 – b. 526 p. 363 – mtg.
Lillian A. & William H. Navin – Nov, 13, 1934 – b. 583 p. 256 – mtg
Merrimack Coop Bank – June 30, 1944 – b. 665 p. 168 foreclosure
Oscar R. Hoehn – Aug. 1, 1946 – b. 687 p. 441
R. Thomas & Mary E. Maloney – Oct. 2, 1979 – b. 1394 p. 86
Richard M. Kaleida & Charles T. Myrick, RHK Investments – Aug. 2, 1983 – b. 1709 p. 84
Richard M. & Michele Kaleida – Nov. 22, 1985 – b. 2114 p. 11
Richard Cuneo, Wm. D. & Jane Manning, Stephen & Sandra Tassineri – Mar. 17, 1986 – b. 2151 p. 3
Carl Berger, Howard M. Berger, James Hyde – Dec. 1, 1986 – b. 2365 p. 348
55 High Street Condominiums – May 13, 1988 – b. 2727 p. 210 – master deed - Nine Units
J.C.H. Realty Trust, Carl Berger, James C. Hyde, Trustees
Mark A. Bordogna – May 27, 1988 – b. 2738 p. 261 – Unit #1

Inventory Data:

StreetHigh St
PlaceAndover Center District
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameJohn L Smith House
Present Useresidential- condos
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1879 - 1880
SourceERDS, NERDL, style,
Architect/BuilderAbbott & Jenkins builders
Foundationstone & granite
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresrear additions
Major Alterationsconversion to apartments 1930's, condos 1988, center roof dormer window altered as are the windows in the center bays on both floors
Move DetailsThe Dilloway house was moved to 54 Maple Ave in 1879.
Acreage0.55976 acres
Map and parcel38-103
Recorded byJames S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date enteredApril 14, 2018