The Center Street Historic District was expanded in 1994. Through the efforts of former Center Street residents Greg Plank, Frank Wilson, Judy Conrad, two century-old churches and seven homes oat the north end of the street have been added. To qualify each structure had to be researched concerning architectural style and the significant contributions that the builders of these homes made to the community. This was submitted first to the state historical society office, who, in turn, recommended it to the Department of Interior for acceptance.
One home included in the expansion was 408 Center Street, which was built for Alvin Newton (A.N.) Myers. He joined two of his brothers who had already established homes on the street. F.R., who is 1896 built the home, sometimes called the castle but razed to build the Good Shepherd villas; and P.A., whose first house was located where the Ashland County Historical Society’s office building stands. Another brother George Denton (G.D.), built a large brick house on the corner of West Walnut and Grant streets.
There were also four sisters in the Myers family. Celina married Peter Countryman, Savilla wed J.E. Spreng, Miranda became Mrs. F.R. Marks, and Effie was the wife of E.H. Fuhrman.
A.N. paid $500 for part of the side yard of his neighbor to the south, Dr. J.P. Cowan. He then acquired part of the side yard of his neighbor to the north, Dr. George W. Hill, for $550. The Cowan house is now the museum of the Ashland County Historical Society and the Elks Lodge was built after they razed the George Hill home.
In 1899, when the property was acquired, his family included his wife, the former Zoie B. Parker, whom he married 12 years earlier, and their only child, hazel, born in 1890. Possibly a “live-in domestic” also lived there.
A.N. attended the Vermillion Academy and took a business course at Ohio Northern University. He and his brother G.D. established the Union Hardware and Supply Co. After he joined his older brothers as assistant to P.A., superintendent of the Myers Co., he still maintained financial interest in the hardware business.
Will Duff, in his 1930 “History of North Central Ohio,” wrote that A.N. was an expert in the financial field. He systematized departmental activities and established financial policies which led to the incorporation of the business in 1921.
He was a member of the Methodist Church, where he was a trustee for 35 years and chairman of finance, as well as a charter member of the men’s adult Bible class.
The Myers family lived in the home for nearly 40 years. Dr. Louis E. Pete, Ashland’s Music Man, resided here between 1931 and 1941 before it was sold to the Shilling brothers, who established their medical practice on the first floor and had the second and third floors converted into apartments. M.A. and M.D. remained here for nearly 35 years. A third brother, Raymond L., moved his practice elsewhere after a few years. For a while in the 1970s, Phillip Bentley, ophthalmologist, had an office here.
Meanwhile, the apartments were occupied by more than 59 couples or individuals over the years.
About 1977, after the Shilling brothers retired to sunnier climates, Dr. Lewis Kang set up his office here. In the 1990’s the Ashland County Historical Society purchased the A.N. Myers home and in 2007 had the home razed after much controversy with residents of Center Street. A lawsuit was filed to try to prevent them from tearing down the historic structure, but the historical society won in court.