"Here is an old letter that I found in my files.  It was written on March 4, 1950 to Mrs. Bessie Mulconery who was the Town of Andover Historian.  It was unsigned and handwritten."  

Submitted by William A. Greene Feb.23, 2005


Dear Mrs. Mulconery:

            Am very glad to know that Andover people are interested in the town’s early history.  I hope many things will be brought to light.

            The Corwin’s who came on Pingrey Hill either 1817 or 1818, the Boyd’s who cut the road from Elm Valley to Pingrey Hill and slept, it is said, under blankets in the woods while doing so. The Hardy’s who came in the person of William Hardy, an immigrant from England in the 1830’s and the Kingsbury’s from Boston area are my direct forebears.  The Boyd’s have the most descendants in my opinion living here now.

            I have a copy of an old letter published in the Andover News, which is said to have been written on March 17, 1825.  I think there must be an error and it should read 1820.  The three Kingsbury brothers, Amherst, Caleb and Lewis, with their brother-in-law, Asa Allen and his wife, Lydia came to Andover in 1820.  They stayed, it is said only fifteen years.  Lewis Kingsbury returned to Boston.  What became of the others I do not know?  I do know there were members of the family in Brockport, N.Y. and also in Peoria, Illinois.  

            Andover had no railroad; they so naturally young city people became depressed.  These four enterprising young men never to my knowledge raised any families in Andover.  One was the first Supervisor; another the School Commissioner and another the first Town Clerk.  When they came, there were only four houses n the village and only one frame (That of Asa Allen, I believe).

            He was the first merchant and one of the first three trustees for the newly organized school district.  The first church organized (on the site of our Bank) was the Congregational. Mrs. Asa Allen was one of the charter members.  Her younger sister, Mary Kingsbury made her a visit, met and married the English immigrant William Hardy.  They both became charter members of the Methodist Church which first met in the Congregational when the only seats were planks laid across chunks of wood.

            To them were born six children.  Three of them lived and died in Andover, viz, Hannah Hardy who married David P. Corwin and is my maternal grandmother.  Newland, who has descendants here in the families of Mrs. John Nobles, Avery Mead and Mrs. Lynn Trowbridge and Roswin who was the grandfather of the late Harold Hardy.

            William Kingsbury, Mrs. Allen’s aged father came to his daughter’s Mary’s and died here. On his deathbed he thought he was helping to bury the dead at Bunker Hill.  That made members of his family think he might have done so.  People are often greater doers than talkers so historical events are difficult to determine.  He left behind him his sword.  I hope he never was called upon to use it in those awful days.

            William and Roswin Hardy, his grandsons served in the Civil War, and William just lived to get home, having been confined as a prisoner in one of the terrible camps.  Roswin took part in many bloody battles of the Civil War but escaped almost unhurt.

            My grandmother, Hanna Hardy, made a long visit at the home of her uncle Lewis Kingsbury that she might attend school in Boston.  Lewis Kingsbury at that time was president of the Dedham National Bank. (Dedham is a suburb of Boston). Unfortunately, she died before she was forty, leaving five children.  Therefore a stop came to relations with the Kingsbury’s. When my mother grew up and was married she wrote to Uncle Lewis, an elderly person now, telling him whom she was.  He was delighted and carried on a correspondence with her until his death.  However he never seemed to tell much family history.  He did give the names of four daughters.

            My grandmother, Mrs. David Corwin has told her children that aunt, Mrs. Asa Allen, named Andover for Andover, Massachusetts.  Had she lived a few more years we would have known details. I understand that the Architect who made the plans for our school building made a trip to Andover, Mass. And copied the exteriors of just one of the lovely buildings there.  In the book, “Eastward” in our library, it speaks of the spiritual culture of that place.  Adoniram Judson, the first missionary to the Burmese, the man who translated the Holy Bible into Burmese was trained in part at Andover, Mass., no doubt in turn named for Andover, England.

            The Adams families were here prior to the Kingsbury’s, and they think our village was named for Andover, Vermont, their old family home. I do not see any reason for hard feelings.  We all will have to take a backseat for the Bakers, for it is said that the cluster of log houses were first called Bakers Town in honor of that family of early settlers.  There are Irish, German and Yankee Bakers here and they certainly are in the majority.  If we quarrel, they will laugh at us.