The Ipswich Historical Commission database shows the date of construction of 21 East St. as 1856-72 based on when it appeared in the town maps. The 1910 map shows the house as # 17 or #19, owned by Dr. Russell at that time. It’s in the 1884 map as well as the 1872 map, shown as G. Russell. It is not in the 1832 or 1856 maps. The houses at #6 and #9 East St. appear to also have been owned by the Russell family. The first owner of this house is tentatively identified as George Russell, 1823-1884. Occupation: Mason. His parents were Daniel Russell and Mary Lakeman. George Russell fell from a stage coach and died aged 60 years. View his grave and epitaph at the FindaGrave site.
Thomas Franklin Waters wrote about the lots with the four small houses along the south side of East Street before County Street.
- “John Annable sold the homestead of his father to Francis Wainwright, a house and two and three quarters acres, bounded by the highways on three sides, and on the south, the heirs of Richard Dutch, 1702 (16 : 36). The Dutch ownership comprised the land now owned by Dr. Russell, the heirs of Ignatius Dodge, James N. Webber and John W. Nourse. Wainwright owned the rest of the square, including the lot granted to Rev. John Norton.
- The corner lot on East and County Sts. was conveyed by Benjamin Dutch to George Robbins or “Roberds”, mariner. The deed recites that it was the mansion and homestead of his father, John Dutch, with one and a half acres. It was bounded by the Wainwright land and Thomas Dennis, Nov. 8, 1706 (18: 212).
- Robbins or Roberds sold a quarter acre to John Staniford, Jan. 18, 1713 (29: 156). Staniford, or his heirs, acquired more of the original lot.
- Jeremiah Staniford bequeathed it to sons Jeremiah and Ebenezer.
- The part owned by Jeremiah Staniford was sold by his administrators to Nathaniel Lord 3rd, a quarter acre, March 11, 1817 (213: 23) and was owned subsequently by Frederick Willcomb, George Russell and his heirs.”