Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

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May 24, 2012

Andover Stories: Amos Blanchard, mover and shaker, Part II of his story

This is the second part of a two-part story about Amos Blanchard, whose home is now the home of the Andover Historical Society.

After Amos Blanchard was named a deacon of the South Parish Church in 1825, many people in Andover knew him as "Deacon Blanchard."

By 1825, Deacon and Mrs. Blanchard had two sons: Amos Jr., born March 7, 1807, and Edward, born Nov. 1, 1814. (Though Edward died at the age of 20, Amos,Jr. went on to become a well-respected minister in Lowell.) Both boys attended Phillips Academy at the age of 7 (the ages of early students ranged from 7 to early 30s!) and went on to Yale.

In 1826 the Andover Bank was established. Deacon Blanchard was elected to the Committee of Three (with his friends Mark Newman and Squire Farrar, both of the academy) to prepare bylaws and regulations, and in April he was named cashier, retaining that position to 1843. He served as its secretary from 1826-1839 and also acted as secretary of the Board of Directors for more than 10 years. In this capacity and in that as cashier, he was noted for his firm and carefully formed handwriting, of which 92 pages of minutes survive.

Continuing his association within the field of education, Deacon Blanchard served Abbot Academy as treasurer for nearly 20 years, resigning that office in 1847. At the time of this retirement, his fellow trustees passed a resolution saying that "Mr. Blanchard was one of the solid business men of the town, being one of the three trustees who personally took over the responsibility of the annual payment of the interest for a term of years.

The deacon was also one of the original incorporators of the Merrimack Fire Insurance company, and served on its Board of Directors as well (1828-1830).

At some point, Amos Blanchard even dabbled in a paper mill. His association with Judge Phillips most likely encouraged this, as the judge had begun that business following the trial and tribulations of his powder mill business. Abel Blanchard, the deacon's nephew, recalled that when he came to Andover in 1824, his uncle was carrying on the paper manufacturing business in an old mill situated near Abraham Marland's business (off Stevens Street). Abel worked for his Uncle Amos for about two years, and then Abel and Daniel Poor bought out his uncle, carrying on the business until Abel sold out to John Marland in 1835.

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