Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


October 11, 2012

Townsman to turn 125 this Sunday


Other prominently featured businesses of the day included piano and furniture movers on Essex Street and a company called Rea & Abbott Provision Dealers on Main Street.

For entertainment, the front page heralded a “Fireman’s Muster” proceeding through the Elm Square, meandering through “up-town” streets and ending with a “12 o’clock dinner for those with tickets to the event.”

Additionally, columns were devoted to items of special literary interest, to original manuscripts, and to news of special interest to groups.

Unlike today’s Townsman, the inside pages were was devoted to national and international news — again the Townsman was of the main sources of information about what was going on in the world for folks in Andover.

The 75th anniversary edition of the Townsman, heralded as the “Jubilee” edition, fell on Oct. 25, 1962, and that paper described in a series of articles, what was happening in 1887 – from budget matters, to school activities to day-to-day events. The following is excerpted from that paper and, as you can see, although the hitching posts are long gone from the town center, some of matters before the town really don’t change too much.

Banks — A photo showed the Andover Bank as it appeared in 1865. It had six hitching posts in the front of the building. It is the same building which first housed the Andover Bank which was organized in 1826. In 1865 the bank had grown and occupied the area on the lower floor generally defined by the four windows and doorway at the lower right. That bank building is now TD Bank.

Churches — The Rev. B.F. Bronson was pastor of the Andover Baptist Church in 1887. “During this period, the church was busy raising money to purchase and install on organ, and to begin a musical program.” In January of 1887, the Rt. Rev. Phillips Brooks, D.D. consecrated the Parish of Christ Church edifice. Until 1877, all night services and work at the South Church had been carried on by candle or lamplight. In that year, three parishioners equipped the entire church with electricity. St. Augustine’s was 35 years old 125 years ago and thriving under the pastor-ship of Very Rev. Maurice J. Murphy, O.S.A. who was “recalled for two generations as the most popular priest ever to serve in the parish.” West Parish started in 1826 by a group of South Church parishioners was considered the oldest church edifice in the community.

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