What happens when the children are grown and leave home
and mom and dad are left with a large house with empty rooms?
Some may move into an apartment or a smaller home or perhaps
convert part of the house into an apartment.
However, in the early years of this century, there was another
solution. When the last child left home, everyone moved out
temporarily and the carpenters moved in and divided the house into
two dwellings. Such was the case of these two houses at 521 and 525
Center Street. They were divided sometime between the years 1905
The original house belonged to T.R. and Emma Shinn. He
was president of the Home Company and his sons, Carl and Ellswort,
worked for him. When Ellsworth married Louise Carter, he moved
into her family home, which is located next to the theater (the
Carter-Shinn House). Carl married Marcia McClellan, daughter of
Dr. and Mrs. W.M. McClellan, who lived in the home at 608 Center
Street. When work was completed, Carl and Marcia moved into the 525 address and his parents lived at the 521 address.
Similar, but not identical, both frame houses, have a third story turret, second story bays, and verandas.
T.R. Shinn came to town in 1886 and opened a dry goods store in the building at the corner of Church and Main, where Roberts Hushpuppies store was located. His business prospered and he took in a business partner, his son-in-law, John M. Stockwell, who married his daughter Myrtle.
Meanwhile, the firm of Brown and Beach, located on the corner of Orange and Main, was another flourishing dry goods store. The two consolidated and moved into the first three floors of the recently built Myers block on the southeaster corner of Main and Center Streets. The store was called the Home Company and opened in the spring of 1910.
Shinn was not the original builder of his Center Street home. Recorder’s office records show a property transaction from Curtis L. and Belinda Avery to Robert Rowland for $250 in 1853. The land passed through four other owners before Elizabeth Schrock bought it in 1860 for $190.
The fact that she sold it five years later for $1200 to C.C. and Sarah Wick would seem to indicate that Schrocks built the house. An 1876 map shows the property to be owned by C.C. Wick and a house is outlined on the lot.
Calvin C. Wick was born in Youngstown in 1813, two years before the village of Ashland was laid out. His father was the Rev. William Wick, who was ordained in the Presbyterian church in 1800 and was the first minister to spread the gospel in the Western Reserve in Ohio.
The young Wick came here in 1858 and engaged in various business ventures before becoming a judge. His first wife died, leaving him with two children. He then married Sarah Baird, a widow with four children. They had a son, Joseph, who was instrumental in organizing the Ashland Homecoming in 1897.
One of her daughters, Anna, married William H. Gates in the parlor of the Wick home in 1875. They built a home across the street, which is now razed when the Trinity Lutheran Church was built. Gates became the editor of the Ashland Press and later the postmaster.
One of their sons, Howard, married Eva Shinn in her family’s parlor in 1903. Since this was the same home where Mrs. Gates had lived, the newspaper account said that the room had special significance fore Mr. and Mrs. William Gates, for they had been married in the same parlor 28 years earlier.
For a period of five years between 1884 and 1889, the house was the parsonage for the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mrs. Wick sold it for $2,900 and Shinn bought it from the church trustees in 1889 for $2500.
The heirs of T.R. Shinn sold his home in 1927 and the other Shinn home was also sold. Both were made into three apartments each and have been called “home” by a number of people who have lived there for over 45 years. Other remembers going to the home of the owners, Florence Iceman, for piano lessons.
The stately homes are currently owned by David Iceman and Terry & Kelley Baker.