He is seen at left with Walter Allen (1831-1891), a brick mason. The source of the photo, the Andover Historical Society, doesn't say which man is which, but does provide this information: "They were mustered together in September 1862 into Company G of the Massachusetts 44th Regiment, along with twelve other Andover men... They left Boston on October 2, 1862, escorted to the steamboat with a parade down Boylston Street... They served their nine-month enlistment with this regiment in North Carolina. They were both re-mustered in August 1864 as replacements in the Massachusetts 11th Infantry. With this regiment, they were at Petersburg in the fall of 1864, and in the pursuit of Lee’s Army in April 1865. They were near Appomattox the day of the surrender. Discharged in July 1865, they had this photo taken in New York on their way home."
I'm much more interested, however, in the 31-year-old woman who took Mr. Holt's place at the library. She was Miss Edna Adelaide Brown (1875-1944) of Providence, Rhode Island, "a lady of thorough education and wide experience in organizing and conducting public libraries," according to Andover's 1906 Annual Report. Her own long tenure lasted for more than three decades. Each year through 1939 the Annual Report published her account of doings at the library. She wrote at length and, as the author of at least a dozen children's books, with an accomplished pen. Taken together, her words provide a novelistic picture of the town as it grew. That's especially true when her missives are considered with other yearly accounts filed by the town's police, its tree warden, the almshouse overseers, etcetera. I'll be offering a sampling here in the coming days.
To be continued.