Rev. Ithamar Pillsbury

Try to imagine arriving in Andover I 75 years ago. Every few miles you might find a crude log cabin, no roads, and a few Indians. One had to travel over 160 miles to find any sizable community (Chicago became a city the year after Andover was founded). To reach Andover in 1835 you either had to come by horses ( or oxen) and a wagon through the wild states of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, or come by boat down the Ohio River and up the Mississippi River to the Fort Armstrong area (now Rock Island) and then by team overland to Andover.

Andover was founded by a visionary English Presbyterian minister, the Rev. lthamar Pillsbury in 1835. The colony's founder envisioned it to be a seat of learning, religion, and commerce. He, like many other good men and ministers of the gospel at the time, thought one of the best means of planting the church in the West, and moulding the character of the tide emigration flowing into these wild and uncultivated regions, was by planting well-organized Christian colonies. Andover is Henry County's oldest community.