Joseph Wasson, a bootmaker by trade and one of the founders of
Ashland’s first fire insurance company, headed a group of men who laid
out lots along Center Street in 1847. They called the new development
John McCluskey purchased a lot on the northwest corner of
Center and Washington Streets for $250. The property passed through
several owners before 1872 when it was purchased by Dr. Benjamin and
Dr. Myers, a cousin of P.A. and F.E. Myers of the F.E. Myers &
Bros. Co. in Ashland, had studied under two Wooster doctors and at
Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. He was in partnership with
his father-in-law, Dr. J.P. Cowan, who built the house that is now the Ashland County Historical Society’s museum. Myers also served four years in the Ohio state legislature and was mayor of Ashland as well as probate judge. He had the house built that stands on the lot today. Although the turret has been removed and porch enclosed, the building still resembles architectural features of the late Victorian period.
Mrs. Myers died in 1879 when she was only 25. Following the death of Dr. Myers about 1919, the home was inherited by the daughters, Rena Kagey and Emma C. Beer. Mrs. Beer and her husband, Charles lived in a home across the street.
C.D. Darrah and his wife, Jessie, bought the Myers home and lived there a short while. Darrah was president of the Reliable Match Co., which was located on Union Street.
After his death, the property was sold in 1925 to William (Billy) Vachon for $18,000. Vachon, a Canadian by birth, was a soap products salesman. While traveling on the Erie railroad, he met Hattie Baum, who was returning from the St. Louis Exposition. He came to visit her and decided to make Ashland his home. Hattie left her job as secretary to Mr. Camp of the Camp Rubber Co. and joined her new husband in the real estate business.
At the time of his death in 1953, when Vachon was 92 years of age, he owned numerous Main Street properties. His widow continued to operate the business. She died in the mid-1960’s. Her will stipulated that a $1,000 financial aid scholarship be set up at Ashland College (now Ashland University) for a county resident attending school there. She further specified that the student should have nothing to do with athletics and maintain a B average to keep the scholarship. She also gave her living room suite to the college. Half of the proceeds of the sale of the house was to go to Samaritan Hospital. A $5,000 perpetual trust was set up to care for the Vachon-Baum mausoleum the couple had constructed in 1941. It was to be polished inside and out at least once every seven years. Other bequests were made to cousins and other relatives and friends.
The home was sold to Karl F. and Joe E. Shearer in 1965. The
Shearers were moving their auction and realty company from their Second
Street location they had outgrown and to provide more parking space.
In 1979 Jack B. and Nelda R Starkey acquired the home for their
chiropractic center. The home was split in two units. The upstairs became
an apartment with two bathrooms, the master bath with vintage tile. The
master bedroom has a fireplace which originally had a Humphrey Radiant
gas burner. The same bedroom opens up into the turret. The walk up attic
has potential to be finished as a bonus room. The main floor was turned
into the chiropractic center with the original library with grand woodwork
serving as Dr. Starkey’s office. The original blueprints are available to
restore the main floor back and create a single family dwelling.
In 1992, the Benjamin Myers home was listed on the National
Register of Historic Places as part of the Center Street Historic District.