Home History Q&A Splendid homes tied to early bankers in Harrison area
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Splendid homes tied to early bankers in Harrison area

Published on May 18, 2012 by in History Q&A
Question: Last week’s column answered a request for information on old homes in Boone County. We continue this week with two other selected properties.
W. J. MyersAnswer: In early 1900, W. J. Myers came to Boone County by way of Kentucky and Trot, Tennessee. He was a director in the Bank of Troy, Tennessee, and became a stockholder in the Peoples Bank of Harrison, shortly after his move to the community.
As a newcomer, Myers quickly recognized the opportunities here and entered into many endeavors to help build the county. In 1905, he owned about ten thousand acres of fine timber land in the state, several business buildings and one of the splendid private homes in Harrison.
The Peoples Bank 1905 financial statement reported the following:
Assets
Loans $38,475.72
Real Estate 6,115.13
Due from Bank 5,758.81
Fixtures, safes & etc. 1,947.72
State & county claims 264.99
Cash 5,599.46
__________
Total $58,162.13
Liabilities
Capital Stock $15,000.00
Undivided Profits 1,278.27
Deposits 41, 883.86
__________
Total $58,162.13
So it seems the bank in 1905 was in good financial shape with men such as John A. Bunch, J. E. Franklin, E. S. Alexander, and C. E. Wilson in charge. W. J. Myers later gained notoriety as bringing Henry Starr‘s bank robbery career to an end, when Starr tried to rob the Peoples Bank and was shot by Myers.
The W. J. Meyers Home The W. J. Meyers home has changed some through the years, but this wonderful old home still stands today on the Capps Road. An ornate rock wall surrounds the front of the property, which continues to be occupied by members of the Meyers family.
Even though the Myers home has changed some through the years, this wonderful old home still stands today on the Capps Road. An ornate rock wall surrounds the front of the property, which continues to be occupied by members of the Myers family.
John A. BunchAccording to a very old Harrison City Directory, the John A. Bunch residence stood at 323 North Willow. This elaborate home was definitely a showplace and would be an eye catcher if it were still standing today. From the picture accompanying this column, you can see outstanding architecture with gingerbread trim, large porches and the steeply pitched roof lines.
Bunch, along with several other businessmen, formed a holding company that carefully selected tracts of mineral land in six of the most promising and best producing camps of Boone, Searcy and Newton counties. Among some of the better properties owned by this company was the “Zinc Basin,” which was located in the famous Rush Creek mining district of Marion County.
The John A. Bunch Home The John A. Bunch residence stood at 323 North Willow. This elaborate home was definitely a showplace and would be an eye catcher if it were still standing today.
These two enterprising businessmen, W. J. Myers and John A. Bunch, helped build Boone County, and their homes were proof of their hard work and accumulated wealth. Information for this article came from past issues of the Boone County Historian, when Jim Miller served as editor. His grandmother, Nath Miller, Had saved the May 1905 special edition of the Harrison Times, and Jim shared this information in several issues of the Historian.
Back issues of publications are always available at the Heritage Museum, located on the corner of South Cherry Street and Central Avenue. The museum is open only on Thursdays from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. from December 1 until March 1.
This column appears Fridays in the Harrison Daily Times. Mail questions to Boone County Heritage Museum, P. O. Box 1094, Harrison, AR 72601. Marilyn Smith can be contacted at bchm@windstream.net
 
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