Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


October 25, 2012

Dalton column: John Cole

John N. Cole was the father of the Andover Townsman. He was present at its birth, and he soon owned was sole owner of the paper and was its publisher, editor, and editorial writer.

On the Townsman’s “silver anniversary,” as he called it in 1912, Cole was still the boss and writing the editorials, as he would continue until his death 10 years later. One hundred years ago, on October 25, 1912, Cole wrote about the Townsman’s birth.

“Twenty five years ago, a weak struggling infant in the shape of a five column, eight-page newspaper was born and labeled the ‘Andover Townsman,’ and thus suggesting in its very name a closer communion among the citizens of Andover, it began a struggle to serve the best interests of Andover.”

Cole was active in state and local politics, and he was elected to the Great and General Court from 1903 to 1908, serving as speaker of the house in 1905. He stayed involved in state politics until his death.

He was one of the dominant voices at Andover’s town meetings, and in his editorials he would occasionally chastise a person who opposed his views but he did so in a thoughtful, if not entirely polite, manner. And he always gave his opponents the opportunity to write letters to the editor. Lest I leave a wrong impression, Cole was a brilliant, fair, hardworking man, who was among the most important people of his era in Andover.

His imprint on the town’s center is still exists. He built the ARCO (Andover Real Estate Company) building in 1907 and owned the Press Building on the corner of Main and Chestnut streets, which housed all three of his businesses: the Andover Townsman, the Andover Press, and the Andover Bookstore.

As for the Andover Townsman on its 25th anniversary, it resembled the first Townsman, which was so capably described by Susan McKelliget on these pages three weeks ago (her article can be found online at

Text Only | Photo Reprints

    U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES/Courtesy photo Dr. Howard Koh will step down as U.S. assistant secretary for health after five years to rejoin Harvard School of Public Health this fall in a new position in its Department of Health Policy and Management.

    Koh to rejoin Harvard School of Public Health Posted 12 days ago 1 Photo
  • 48 locals to pedal in Pan-Mass Challenge Posted 12 days ago

    Courtesy photo Hannah Currie is spending 10 days this summer becoming immersed in the music industry at GRAMMY Camp in Los Angeles.

    Currie hits note at LA's GRAMMY Camp Posted 12 days ago 1 Photo
  • South Church names new senior pastor Posted 19 days ago

    COURTESY PHOTO Andover residents Patrick James, left, Adam Geaslen, Ryan Byrd and Dan Bryant claimed first place at the 35th annual Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence Golf Tournament at Indian Ridge Country Club in town.

    Local foursome aces Boys & Girls Club tourney Posted 19 days ago 2 Photos

    COURTESY PHOTO The Marble sisters --Anna, 8, left, and Isabel, 11 -- post-donatin to Locks of Love.

    Sisters pair up to donate pony tails to Locks of Love Posted 19 days ago 4 Photos
  • AT HOST1

    DESI SMITH/Staff photo Former Andover residents Dana Cohen and his wife, Ginny, back, left, have regularly hosted foreign exchange students since 1989. Farrah Moussa, back right, from Egypt, and Paula Valverde, front right, from Spain, are the latest students to spend a year with the Cohens, who now live in Gloucester.

    Former Andover couple welcomes exchange students for quarter-century Posted 19 days ago 4 Photos
  • Thursday, July 3, 2014
  • LENO1

    FILE PHOTO Jay Leno, who honed his comedy skills growing up in Andover, will receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor this fall during a performance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.

    In good comedy company Posted 26 days ago 2 Photos

    ACT 3.jpg Susan Stott, third from left, accepts the Opening Doors to Affordable Housing in Andover Award from Andover Community Trust directors, from left, Don Schroeder, treasurer; John Pearson, president; and Joan Johnson, clerk.

    Affordable housing advocates honored Posted 26 days ago 2 Photos

    Salim Tabit

    Townspeople in the News Posted 26 days ago 1 Photo

Pictures of the Week