Mr. and Mrs. George McCool, who lived at this commodious
white house at 303 Center Street, at the corner of Maple Street,
represented the third generation of the family to live there. The
current owners are Roger and Phyllis Primm.
Mrs. McCool’s grandmother, Adaline Pancoast, built the
home in 1904, several years after her husband, Ohio, had died.
Although the house was new, the surroundings were familiar, for it
was on the land that the young people lived in another house, built
Like their neighbors, they kept a horse, which was called
Cloud, and a cow named Kate, in the barn in the back yard. Their
children were Duff, Anna, and Ray. When the new house was to be
built, the original one was move to Ohio Street where it still stands
today. Mary Brinton Tubbs writes in her memoirs, “Next was Pancoast’s house on the corner of Maple. It was white with a porch across the front and down the Maple Street side. Duff was in Berta’s crowd, Anna in Edna’s, and Ray was younger than I.”
Mrs. Pancoast’s roots were in Ashland County. Her grandfather, Patrick Murray, a veteran of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, helped to found the community of Orange, now known as Nankin. On her mother’s side, she was descended from Solomon Urie, an early Orange township resident, who in his first winter here killed 40 deer, eight large black bears, and a great number of wolves and other game. A biography Urie appears on page 189 of George Hill’s County History: Murray’s on page 198.
Ohio Pancoast was a prominent druggist here as was his father, Hezakiah, before him and his son Duff in later years. Ohio Pancoast was the first merchant to use gas jets to light his store windows. He made frequent trips to Chicago to select the finest wines, perfumes, and cigars, especially for his Christmas trade.
Returning from one such trip, he decided to spend the night in a Mansfield hotel since he wasn’t feeling well. When he failed to show up at breakfast, the proprietor sent small boy through the room’s transom. He found the man had died. Ohio had served in the Civil War, and carried a bullet which the doctor said had pierced his heart. The year was 1887; Pancoast was 49. Local undertakers Drayton and Sheets took a sleigh to Mansfield to bring the body back for burial.
Lottie Benninghon was Mrs. Pancoast’s faithful companion and housekeeper for 64 years. Mrs. Pancoast, who was born on Valentine’s Day, lived to be 98 and died in 1935. her daughter Anna had married Alexander C. Bogniard, and they established a home at 303 Claremont, the former site of the Christian Science Society building. In 1924, the Bogniards moved into the home her mother had built to help car for the women.
Bogniard was born in Venare, France in 1866. Following his father’s death, his mother, another brother, two sisters and their grandmother came to live with an uncle in Loudonville. A.C. (as he was known) came to Ashland to work first at the Farmers’ (Huntington) Bank and later at the First National Bank where he worked his way up to the presidency, a post he held 15 of the 64 years he was with the bank. He was active in the Presbyterian church where he served as Sunday School superintendent for 16, years.
Duff Pancoast married Kate Roller. Their daughter, Helen (Mrs. Forrest Hoot) now lived in Akron, Ray Pancoast married Albertine Keck, the daughter of an Ashland jeweler. Their daughter, Frances (Mrs. Frank Elliott) formerly lived on Samaritan Avenue.
The Bogniards had two children, Robert, a physician, who died in 1963, and Marie (Mrs. McCool). Robert’s wife, Dr. Jane Bogniard, lived on College Avenue. Mrs. McCool started her teaching career at Savannah where she taught Latin, French, Spanish, and cooking and sewing. The year was 1924, and the new school wasn’t quite completed, so classes were held in the old academy. It was here that she met George, who had been hired the Smith-Hughes Vocational Agriculture program. McCool, a graduate of Penn State, put special emphasis on agronomy and farm mechanics.
The two were married and later McCool left teaching for the business profession and they lived in various cities before returning to Ashland in 1946 with their daughter Carol (Mrs. Richard P. Johnson) to help to car for the father. Her mother Anna Bogniard, had died in 1943.
Mrs. McCool said that a representative of a leading oil company once approached them and said he was looking for a location for a filling station. “We never considered selling,” she said and hopes that the house will still be here in years to come.
When statistics say that a large percentage of our population relocates each year, it is reassuring to know that as much as things change, some things remain the same.