The charming small two-story house at 96 County Road with elaborate Italianate trim was built in 1860 as the parsonage for the South Congregational Church, which was at the head of the South Green. (The church burned in 1977) . The Rev. Thomas Franklin Waters and his family lived in this home (see photo below).
Rev Thomas Franklin Waters was born in Salem in 1851, and died in Ipswich in 1919. On January 1, 1879 he was installed as pastor of the South Congregational Church; he resigned the pastorate in 1909. Mr Waters was the founder and president of the Ipswich Historical Society (now the Ipswich Museum) and wrote the two-volume set Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He died in Ipswich in 1919 and is buried nearby at the Old South Burial Ground.
A nearby house at 84 County Road was built in 1829 by the Rev. Daniel Fitz, who assumed the pastorate of the South Church upon the death of the Rev. Joseph Dana. (Rev. Dana had also owned his own home, and it shared the grounds of the Whipple house until it was removed in the 20th Century.) Rev. Fitz served as pastor of South Church until his death in 1867, but he sold his house at 84 County Road in 1836, and information about what other buildings may have served as the South Church parsonage previous to the construction of this one in 1860 is not available.