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Ben Williamson Supply Company stood as the second largest hardware store between Pittsburgh and Louisville. It started as a small two-story building on Front Street in Catlettsburg in 1886. They provided a variety of tools, and as the business grew, it moved to a larger building in 1907. The owners were able to hire a traveling salesman to increase their market to the area surrounding the Big Sandy River, which included Ashland. They moved the business to Ashland 1912 before building their larger supply store and warehouse in 1921.


  • The original store in Catlettsburg

Ben Williamson Supply Company began in 1886 in Catlettsburg in a two-story building on Front Street. It provided the area with blacksmith tools, logging equipment, hardware, chain, cross cut saws, and ox shoes. The business assisted in the increase of trade up and down the Catlettsburg area and provided access to goods that were not as readily available. Due to the increased business, it moved to a brand new two-story location in Catlettsburg and hired a traveling salesman. 

The traveling salesman increased the ability to trade further out from Catlettsburg and into the Ashland area, bringing in more customers and more significant sales. By 1912, after Ashland became a dominant industry town, the company moved to their new location downtown. They bought Henderson Hardware, remodeled it, and started selling until they were able to afford a new building again. 

 In 1921, they constructed the new building on the corner of 16th Street and Greenup Avenue. Their profits increased to the point that they were able to hire sixty employees, fourteen of which were traveling salesmen. They covered three acres of land in downtown Ashland after the purchase of warehouses to increase their supply. It was the second largest hardware store between Pittsburgh and Louisville at its peak.

Hanners, Arnold. Ashland a Long Time Ago. Ashland, Kentucky. Arnold Hanners, 1987.