Timeline of Franklin Academy

1799:   Jonathan Stevens provides land on the hill north of the meeting house and subscribers, seeing the success of Phillips Academy in the South Parish of Andover, invest in the Old Center of the North Parish.

1801:   The Trustees of the Free School in the North Parish of Andover incorporate, specifying that the school undertake “...instruction of Youth of both sexes, in reading, writing and Arithmetic." It was the first school in the Commonwealth to accept girls as well as boys.


 Students came to Franklin Academy from all around the county, the country, and the world! Note Daniel DeWall from South Africa. This is part of the student roster from 1802. The students ranged in age from 9 to 30. Some students, usually the younger ones, who did not come from the Andover area, would live with the Preceptor or board with local families.

Students came to Franklin Academy from all around the county, the country, and the world! Note Daniel DeWall from South Africa. This is part of the student roster from 1802. The students ranged in age from 9 to 30. Some students, usually the younger ones, who did not come from the Andover area, would live with the Preceptor or board with local families.


…I attend school every day to Mr. Putnam, read, write, study geography, speak pieces every Wednesday, write composition every three weeks; if we miss two questions or words in spelling we have to go to the preceptors house after school at night and say the lesson to him. I have not had an opportunity of going and hope I shall not…I like the school very well - there is about 34 scholars; I am in school about 8 ½ hours in a day 5 hours in the forenoon and 3 1/5 in the afternoon…
— Ebenezer Billings (Andover) June 10th, 1819

1803:   By an Act & Resolve of the Commonwealth, the Trustees successfully appeal to permanently change the name of the school to Franklin Academy, in honor of Benjamin Franklin.

 Franklin Academy on Academy Road, North Andover, Massachusetts

Franklin Academy on Academy Road, North Andover, Massachusetts

1825:   Preceptor Simeon Putnam enters into a feud with the Trustees. He leaves Franklin Academy and builds his own academy on the Parson Barnard property. It was hastily erected on the back of his carriage barn.


Dear Father,
…Mr. Putnam is subject to very bad headaches which make him very cross and angry; he scolds his wife and makes her cry, and makes the boys walk Spanish if they don’t get out of his way…
— Amos Lawrence (Andover) 1828

1827:   The Trustees sign an agreement with Putnam and Cyrus Pierce to lease Franklin Academy which they operate as a school for boys, and Putnam’s Academy becomes the “Female Department”.

 Putnam's Academy on the Parson Barnard Property (outlined in green)

Putnam's Academy on the Parson Barnard Property (outlined in green)


The school has been highly beneficial to the North parish...Its reputation is inferior to none, and has never been more flourishing than the present time.
— Andover chronicler Abiel Abbot, 1829

 Franklin Academy relocated on Osgood Street to store Hay. It remained on the site of the  Parson Barnard  property until it was badly damaged by a fire in 1905. 

Franklin Academy relocated on Osgood Street to store Hay. It remained on the site of the Parson Barnard property until it was badly damaged by a fire in 1905. 


“…[M]y transfer, when about eight and a half years old, [was] to the Franklin Academy in the north parish of Andover, kept by Master, or as he was called, Preceptor Putnam. He was, I suppose, a good teacher; certainly a sharp disciplinarian. It was altogether a rough place. Under a leaning roof of not large room were three beds, an in each not less than two, and sometimes I think three, boys of nine to twelve years old; and as washing was included in the board bill there was some premium or bonus of cake or extra bread and butter applied to reward those who wore their shirts longest!”
— Recollections of former student John Murry Forbes (1813 – 1898)

1852: The School is closed and is moved down the road to be used on the Bailey Farm to store hay. It remained on the site of the Parson Barnard property until it was badly damaged by a fire in 1905. Some of its parts (beams and a frieze) were salvaged and used in the erection of a new school on Park Street, The Franklin School. Today this building is used by the VFW Post 2104, and the present day Franklin School, built in 1958, is on Cypress Terrace off of Andover Street.

 New Franklin School on Park Street, built in 1905. Today this building is used by the VFW Post 2104.

New Franklin School on Park Street, built in 1905. Today this building is used by the VFW Post 2104.