71 Main Street

Architectural Description: 

Federal period home built on the Essex Turnpike - Main Street,
House faced south with a rear entrance to the north

Period fence and Italianate porch roof later additions

Historical Narrative: 

The house that formerly stood on this site is said to have been built in 1810 by Major Abbot Walker. a joiner and carpenter. The parcel was on the west side of the Turnpike and southerly side of the lane leading to John Kneeland's house. (Chestnut St.)

Abbot Walker purchased this lot from John Lovejoy Abbot on May 6, 1809, for $280. This house is said to have been built in 1810 by Major Abbot Walker, a carpenter, joiner and house wright. Abbot Walker also paid the South Parish Ministerial Fund $50 on May 3, 1814, for a small parcel next to his garden.
Abbot Walker was born in 1770. He was the son of Benjamin & Abiel Walker. Abbot Walker married Lydia Ames on July 21, 1796. Lydia b. Aug. 22, 1767, was the daughter of Samuel & Elizabeth Ames of Andover. Vital records list two children, Benjamin b. Sept. 6, 1801, and Samuel b. July 12, 1803. Prior to this home Walker lived in the former house and farm of Davis Foster which he purchased in 1800. Major Walker died Aug. 2, 1831, age 64 and his wife Lydia on June 24, 1843, age 73. South Burial ground lists his age at 61. Two grandchildren are also buried in the Walker lot. Jere W. b. 1837 - d. May 16, 1911, and Samuel A. b. 1834 - d. April 28, 1838, both sons of Samuel & Louisa A. Walker. Abbot Walker’s epitaph reads “He was, but words are wanting / to say what. Ask what a man should be and he was that.” An unknown source notes in the historical society files; “He was a blasphemer and worked on Sundays. He had paralysis for twenty years. Justin Edwards bought the house in 1816 after the blasphemer’s death and lived there during his life.”
The Walkers were not listed as members of the South Church, but most likely attended meetings there as it was the only church in the South Parish at that time.

Abbot Walker sold the property for $2300 to Thomas C. Foster, Inn Keeper on Oct. 2, 1815, with buildings. Foster sold six months later to Elijah L. Herrick on Apr. 5, 1816 for $2000.
Rev. Justin Edwards purchased from Herrick on Dec. 1, 1816, recorded Aug. 1, 1820, for $2000 with one acre of land. Rev. Edwards also purchased the former Parsonage with 5½ acres of land from the Ministerial Fund on Apr. 1, 1816, for $2000. On July 17, 1816, he purchased an additional 7 acres 128 rod parcel for $595. Rev. Edwards was the minister of South Church from Dec. 1812 to Oct. 1827 and most likely lived in the old Parsonage from 1812 to 1816 as it was still owned by the Parish at that time.

Reverend Justin Edwards D.D. lived in this house with his wife Lydia Bigelow of Colchester, Conn. and family. Their marriage intentions were recorded on July 25, 1817. Lydia was the daughter of Asa Bigelow b. Nov. 2, 1789. Justin Edwards was born in Westhampton, MA on April 25, 1787, third child of Justin & Elizabeth (Clark) Edwards. He graduated from Williams College in 1810 as Valedictorian, was a student of the Andover Theological Seminary from March 1811-1812. Justin was ordained a minister Dec. 2, 1812 and became the pastor at South Church, Andover from Aug. 10, 1812 – October 1, 1827. Rev. Edwards was one of the founders of the American Tract Society Boston (with the printing-house in Andover), and the corresponding secretary and manger until 1825. Justin was then Corresponding Secretary of the American Temperance Society from 1829-1836. He became pastor of the Salem Street Church in Boston on Jan. 1, 1828 – Aug. 20, 1829. Edwards received an honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity from Yale in 1827. Rev. Edwards D.D. was elected President of the Andover Theological Seminary on Sept. 7, 1836, served until April 19, 1842. For seven years he traveled through 24 states as Secretary of the American & Foreign Sabbath Union. He was author of Sabbath Manual, Temperance Manual and several other publications. Rev. Justin Edwards died July 24, 1853 age 66 at Bath Alum Springs, Virginia and was interred at the Chapel Cemetery in Andover on Aug. 2, 1853. His wife Lydia died Feb. 4, 1868.

The Edwards had six children; Justin Asa b. Jan. 20, 1819, d. Mar. 10, 1909, in Brooklyn, NY, Jonathan b. July 17, 1820, d. July 16, 1894, grad. Phillips Academy, Yale 1840, Yale Sem. 1845-46, ATS 1847 ordained minister in 1848., Newton b. March 13, 1822, d. May 7, 1855, in Augusta, ME, Elizabeth b. Nov. 12, 1824, d. July 2, 1908, Lydia b. March 6, 1826 d. Oct. 29, 1891, and Ann Eliza b. Sept. 29, 1828, and married the Rev. Thomas N. Haskel. Daughters Elizabeth & Lydia Edwards sold two parcels of land to the west of the property to Edward Taylor in 1870. On

On April 27, 1872, son Rev. Jonathan Edwards sells the homestead property to George F. Swift, who lived at 53 Main Street. George Swift bought the house only for investment purposes. He was well known in town for his public involvement in beautifying the town with tree planting and improving the landscape. The following articles were published in the Andover Advertiser.
April 5, 1872, AA – George F. Swift has purchased the Dr. Edwards estate on Main Street. 1¼ acres, house and other buildings. April 12, 1872 AA – Geo. F. Swift is making important alterations and improvements on the Dr. Edwards House. Mr. W. Phillips Foster is to occupy it. (W. Phillips Foster died February 24, 1871 at the age of 41, could be a son)

Jan. 10, 1873, AA – Mr. M. C. Andrews has removed his family from New Haven, Conn. to this town and for present occupies the “Ballard place” on Main Street. He is in business in Boston. May 30, 1873, AA – Mr. M. C. Andrews has bought the Dr. Edwards place, one of the most beautiful estates in town. The house has been thoroughly renovated and modernized and will with its pleasant surroundings, presents an attractiveness and neatness excelled by few, if any in the vicinity.
Sept. 25, 1874, AA – Dr. Shepard has removed from Mr. Nathan Ellis’ to Mr. M. C. Andrews.

Menzies Christopher Andrews purchased the house on May 19, 1873. He was born in Hebron, ME in 1815 and became a member of South Church on Jan. 1, 1843, withdrew to Lawrence in July 1856. Known as M. C. or Christopher to his family, married Martha Griffin on October 15, 1840. She was the daughter of Joshua & Hannah Griffin b. April 13, 1815 in West Parish. Their children; Ellen Marie b. Dec. 11, 1842, Payson Kirk b. Aug. 31, 1845, d. 1894, Charlotte Martha b. July 18, 1848, in Lawrence died of scarlet fever on Dec. 7, 1849, Frederick A. b. 1849 d. Oct. 23, 1932, and William (Willie) b. 1857 d. 1857.

M. Christopher’s profession was master carriage maker and builder. He was employed by the Boston & Maine Railroad Co. to build train cars and supervised the construction of the cars for the Andover & Wilmington R.R. which opened June 6, 1836. M. C. Andrews was asked by Pres. Hobart Clark to send a man to inspect the seven mile new track to see if it was safe for travel. Andrews walked the distance himself to Wilmington Junction, “there found the engine and car waiting to make the first trip, and jumping aboard gave the signal to start. He was the first passenger to make the trip and always cherished the incident.”

He remained with the B&M R.R. until 1869 when he resigned to accept a similar position with the NY, New Haven & Hartford R.R. and remained for five years. M.C. then returned to Andover.
M. C. Andrews had several inventions used by the railroad including the swing spring bolster, keeping cars level on sharp curves, and the synchronous ventilator for passenger cars which could open all on one side at the same time by throwing a lever.

Son Frederick A. Andrews married Ella Olive Stocking in 1882 and shared the house with his parents 17 years. His mother Martha Andrews died in 1901 and his father M. C. on May 3, 1907, at age 91. They were married 61 years. Frederick lost his wife Ella three months later on Aug. 17, 1907. Ella was a member of the King’s Daughter’s Circle and was superintendent of the Guild relief work. Frederick continued to reside in the house but rented out a portion of the home to other residents.

In 1911 Dr. Charles Abbot, who lived across the street at 70 Main Street, became the first president of the newly formed Andover Historical Society. Rooms were rented from Andrews and the society remained at this location for nearly twenty years.
June 6, 1924, AT - pg. 3 Andover Historical Society Visit by a New Member – description of Andrew’s House, rooms and exhibit.
Frederick sold the property on April 18, 1928, to William J. Burns, owner of the Burns Clothing Store at 13 Main Street and several other real estate properties in town. Frederick Andrews then moved back to Lawrence, where he was born, and died on October 23, 1932. The Andrews family is interred at South Cemetery.

The property was sold by William J. Burns to the United States Government on March 26, 1931 for the site of a new post office building. December 17, 1931 AT - Work started on Thursday on the demolition dwelling that now stands on the site of the new Andover Post Office. The building is being stripped and will be razed in preparation of foundation for the new government building on Main Street.
Jan. 8, 1932 p1 AT - "Tear Down Wall on Post Office Site - The front wall of the old historical house on the site of the new post office, which has been standing for more than a week while the rest of the building was demolished, reminding passers-by of a scene in wartime France, was finally pulled down Wednesday night between 10 and midnight. The work was held up until this time because contractors wished to destroy the wall when traffic was light and the danger from falling bricks was minimized by the absence of cars and persons in the vicinity.
While the wall was being torn down by wrecking experts who used simply a strong steel cable attached to a small automobile Acting Sergeant Leonard Saunders and Motorcycle Officer William Shaw were on duty on Main street near Chestnut stopping automobiles and keeping people away. About seven persons, including one woman, were at the spot to watch the demolishing work.
When the bricks are trucked away, the foundation will be ripped out, the knoll leveled off to the street, and work will begin laying the foundation of the new building. Three trees will be uprooted before the building is erected. The first has already been cut down."
This property in 1888 was listed as 52 Main Street but by the twentieth century as #71. The Post Office was opened in 1932 and remained at this location until January 1989 when it relocated to Stevens Street. The building remained vacant for about four years before being purchased by Nicholas Aznoian on January 21, 1994. The PO building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was renovated on the interior but the exterior facade was preserved. The first new tenant was the First Essex Bank of Lawrence, later purchased by Sovereign Bank.


Andover Theological Seminary General Catalogue 1808-1908
Historical Manual of South Church Andover – 1859
Sketches of Andover 1880
Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
John Lovejoy Abbot
Abbot Walker - May 6, 1809 - b. 209 leaf 8 - $280 lot
Abbot Walker from Ministerial Fund - May 3, 1814 - b. 209 lf. 8-9 - $50 small lot next to garden
Thomas C. Foster - Oct. 2, 1815 - b. 209 lf 9 - $2300 w/blds
Elijah L. Herrick - Apr. 5, 1816 - b. 209 lf 290 - $2000
Rev. Justin Edwards - Aug. 1, 1820 - b. 224 lf 93-94 - $2000 w/bds 1a.
Rev. Justin Edwards - Apr. 1, 1816 - b. 224 lf. 93 - $2000 5½ a Parsonage
Rev. Justin Edwards - July 17, 1816 - b. 224 lf 93 - $595 – 7a 128 rods
Rev. Justin Edwards estate - d. July 23, 1853 - age 66
Lydia B. Edwards, wid. heir - July 23, 1853
Lydia B. Edwards estate - d. Feb. 4, 1868 - age 78
Edwards heirs - Dec. 9, 1868 - b. 3 p. 288-291- probate petition
Elizabeth & Lydia Edwards - Feb. 14, 1870 - b. 3 p. 288
Rev. Jonathan Edwards - April 27, 1872 - b. 14 p. 125
George F. Swift - April 27, 1872 - b. 14 p. 127
Menzies Christopher Andrews - May 19, 1873 - b. 21 p. 425 d. May 3, 1907
Ellen M. Minor & Frederick A. Andrews - Sept. 12, 1907 - b. 629 p. 21 probate will
William J. Burns - April 18, 1928 - b. 539 p. 141
U. S. Government Postal Service - March 26, 1931 - b. 557 p. 162
71 Main Street Realty Trust - Dec. 22, 1992 - b. 3628 p. 351

Inventory Data:

StreetMain St
PlaceAndover Center
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameEdwards/Andrews House
Present UseBank site
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1810
Foundationstone & granite
Roofwood cedar shingle / hip
Outbuildings / Secondary StructuresBarn and sheds
Major Alterationsdemolished in 1931 for U. S. Post Office building
Demolition Details1931
Map and parcel55-129
Recorded byJames S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered4/2014