Andover Biography - Steven T. Byington

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The Boston Globe Tue Mar 12 1946 Page18.jpg

Steven T. Byington (1869-1957) was an intellectual who lived in the Ballardvale section of Andover for many years who was most noted for his accomplishment of translating the Bible into modern English. Throughout the translation process he taught himself the languages contained in the Bible and mastered many others throughout his life [1]. Translating the Biblical text was a lifelong project that took him 60 years to complete. Byington worked as a proofreader for Ginn and Co. textbook company and would work on his translation during his commute on the train into Boston. Though Byington completed his translation in 1943, The Bible in Living English[2] was not published until 1972, years after his passing [3].

Byington was a longtime member of the Union Congregational Church who wrote his own record of the congregation’s history in The Story of the Union Congregational Church: 1854-1954[4]. He frequently wrote to The Boston Daily Globe with corrections and opinions on various matters which were often published in the paper’s “What People Talk About” column [5]. He was so well known by Globe readers that his obituary was featured on the front page[6] and letters commemorating him were included in the paper[7]. During his life he kept up the hobby of mountain climbing well into old age, ascending Mt. Mansfield in Vermont at age 85 [8].

Philosophical Anarchism

Earlier in life, Byington also rose to prominence as part of the “philosophical anarchist” [9] movement, translating influential German works and contributing to many periodicals and pamphlets on the nature of anarchy and the subject of social reform. Many of Byington’s contributions can be found listed in Longa’s (2010) annotated guide Anarchist Periodicals in English Published in the United States (1833-1955) [10].

Notable Translations:
The Ego and His Own by Max Stirner (Translated 1907)
Anarchism by Paul Eltzbacher (Translated 1908)

Selected Articles:
“Nationalism Dependent upon Anarchy” - Liberty, Vol. IX, No. 31 (April 21, 1894), Page 3.
“Precedents for Anarchistic Society” - Liberty, Vol. IX, No. 52 (May 5, 1894), Page 3-4.
“What Is Anarchism?” Liberty, Vol. XIII, No. 11. (May, 1899) Page 2.
“Marriage and Kindred Contracts” - Liberty, Vol. XIV, No. 3 (December 1900), Pages 2-3.
“Why I Want Property” - The Firebrand, Vol. II, No. 50. (January 17th, 1897) Page 3. --- Cont’d in The Firebrand, Vol. II, No. 51. (January 24th, 1897) Page 2.
“What Anarchism Ought to Mean” - Discontent, Vol. III, No. 18. (December 5, 1900). Page 2.


  1. "Independence of Mind." The Andover Townsman, Vol. 17, No. 2. October 17, 1957.
  2. The Bible in Living English. 1972. The Bible in Living English
  3. ”Dalton column: The Bard of Ballard Vale.” The Andover Townsman. July 17th, 2008.
  4. The Story of the Union Congregational Church: 1854-1954. Ballard Vale United. (Archived on Internet Archive Wayback Machine).
  5. "Who Is Steven Byington?" The Andover Townsman. March 14, 1946. Page 6-7.
  6. "Steven T, Byington Dies; Ballard Vale Sage Was 88" The Boston Daily Globe. October 14, 1957. Page 1.
  7. "What People Talk About" The Boston Daily Globe. October 14, 1957. Page 14.
  8. ”Steven T. Byington.” Ballard Vale United. (Archived on Internet Archive Wayback Machine).
  9. ”Biographical Note on Mr. Byington.” American Speech, Vol. 19, No. 2 (Apr., 1944), pp. 157-158.
  10. Longa, Ernesto A. Anarchist Periodicals in English Published in the United States (1833-1955). 2010.

See Also

  • "85-Year-Old Ballardvale Man Has Mountain Climbing as a Hobby", Lawrence Eagle Tribune, September 25, 1954.
  • "Byington, 88, "Bard of Ballardvale," Dies," Andover Townsman or Eagle Tribune, October 14, 1957.
  • "The Sage of Ballard Vale," Christian Century, January 15, 1958.
  • "The Bard and his Unofficial Biographer," Andover Townsman, July 21, 2008, p. 9.
  • "Lawsuit Concerns One of Andover's Most Interesting, Yet Forgotten, People," Andover Townsman, July 26, 2012, p. 17.
  • "Keeping pace with the Sage of Ballardvale," Andover Townsman, August 22, 2013, p. 13.

--Shannon (talk) 17:47, 18 April 2024 (EDT)
--Eleanor 10:39, March 9, 2012 (EST)
--Leslie 14:23, August 2, 2012 (EDT)
--Eleanor (talk) 14:08, 9 April 2015 (EDT)

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