Ms S 313: Bessie P. Goldsmith Papers
Chiefly lectures and articles on Andover history, c.
1920-1965. Includes family papers and historical reminiscences by
John Houghton Flint, b.c. 1880, and 1880, and others. (5 inches)
This collection was generated by
Bessie Punchard Goldsmith, 1882-1974, town historian of this
century. In the tradition of Charlotte Helen Abbott and Sarah Loring
Bailey, she wrote a local history column for the Andover Townsmen.
Some of her sketches were printed in Fair and Warmer, the
publication of the a coal merchant. Articles from both sources were
reprinted in a book The Townswoman’s Andover (1964).
She was the daughter of William
Gleason Goldsmith and Joan Bailey Holt. On her father’s side she
descended from Richard Goldsmith who arrived in America in 1634 and
on her mother’s from Nicholas Holt who settled in Andover in 1635.
Her father was for many years principal of the Punchard Free School.
Her collection, which has almost no
personal material, has been divided into six parts. First are
fourteen lectures and articles on Andover history. Next are copies
of Fair and Warmer, published between 1926 and 1929. Third
are scrapbooks of clippings on Andover people and events. Fourth are
letters from her informants on historical matters. The most
important of these was John Houghton Flint, , who through
his mother Hannah Abbott Harding Flint, was a descendant of Jonathan
(3) Abbott. Flint wrote her from his retirement in Raleigh, North
Carolina when he was in his eighties and nineties. He was fill of
stories of Andover in his youth: of “Slicky” Barnard, “Dandelion”
Smith, the Beard boys who were murdered by their mother in 1879, and
eccentric members of his own family. He seems to have total recall
of Andover buildings as well as families. Hs mother and sister also
wrote, about Abbott’s and their houses. The fifth section is a of
personal documents: a program from her graduation from the Boston
Young Women’s Christian Association, School of Domestic Science and
Christian Work; her personal accounts from 1903 to 1919; two letters
on her literary work and some World War II official documents. She
taught domestic science in town from at least 1902 to 1907 and her
papers here should be supplemented by Ms S 560, Andover Cooking
School/Andover Sewing School. There are also a few documents of her
father William Gleason Goldsmith: bills from the death of a child,
bills from teaching, subscription certificate for Memorial Hall
Library and his appointments as postmaster in 1886 and 1893. There
are also some school and World War Ii items for Clarence Goldsmith
and Leonard Saunders.
by Mary F. Morgan, December 1982.
The Andover Historical Society...
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