|The Mullican years provide the best pictorials of how the
property looked in the 1950s and 1960s. From John
Drury's This is Stephenson County (1955), we get an idea
of the layout of the farmstead. Drury completed similar
books covering various counties in the Midwest, in which
every rural farmstead was photographed from the air.
When my dad came home from an estate auction in the
early 1990s with one of these books for my home county
of Iroquois in Eastern Illinois, I was fascinated. All the old
houses and farmsteads that I remembered from
countless bus rides to school were preserved in time, just
before rural populations began steady declines.
The Stephenson County edition of Drury’s book series
shows the Mullican farm with a roundish-style chicken
house near the road, a large garden and trees that are no
longer here. The photo also shows the kitchen addition
that was probably added in the early 1900s.
In 1964, an aerial farm photography service
photographed the Mullican farmstead from two angles.
These photos provide several interesting details about
the house from a time before what we believe was a
gradual decline in its condition. The outside entrance to
the basement is visible, as is the northeast gutter
downspout which cut across the house and drained into
a cistern under the back porch. At some point later, the
outside basement entrance was closed up.
In 1974, the Mullican’s sold the farm to Charles and
Betty Staver. By that time, Glen and Grace were retired
and had left the area. Real estate transactions in the
Freeport Journal-Standard show that the Mullican’s
ended up owning the Lapp land and subsequently sold it.
Newspaper articles trace the Mullican retirement first to
Grand Marais, Minnesota, and then to the Lebanon,
Missouri area. They are both buried in a local Lebanon
cemetery. After Glen's death in 1988, Grace married Verl
Dorman. She died in 2006.
When Glen and Grace retired to Missouri, most of the
Mullican children had also left Stephenson County. Eldest
daughter Ramona had married John Riesinger and was
living in Ironwood, Michigan. Roberta attended the
University of Wisconsin at Platteville, where she met her
husband Doug Schuster. They were married in 1959 and
lived in the Rock City area until 1970, when they bought
a farm near Ringle, Wisconsin (Roberta still lived in the
Ringle area upon her passing in December 2015). Richard
Mullican later joined his parents in the Lebanon, Missouri
|Above: 1955 aerial photo from This is Stephenson County (John Drury, 1955)
|Above: This 1964 aerial photo, looking west, shows the kitchen addition on the south side
of the house. Some of the original wood siding can be seen inside the attic above the
kitchen, where it meets the original part of the house. At some point after this, the basement
entrance on the east side of the house was closed off. The sole basement entrance became
a less than critter-proof wood door under the south end of the kitchen. It wasn't until the
2004 addition when the basement could be accessed without having to leave the house.
The only tree still standing is the cedar tree where the driveway meets Farm School Road.
|Above: 1964 aerial photo, looking south.
|Above: Plat map from 1971. By this time, Glen and Grace had
inherited her father's land directly north of their house on Farm
School Road. Harry Espenscheid would eventually own all of
this. In the 1960s and 1970s, he accumulated about 1,500
acres of contiguous land in Rock Run Township. Most of his
land has since left the Espenscheid family, but his legacy lives
through the Espenscheid Woods forest preseve directly across
the road from our house.
Below: Glen and Grace Mullican are buried in the Mount Rose
cemetery in Lebanon, Missouri.
|Above: One of the Mullican children left their mark on the barn.
|Above Right: Glen Mullican managed a restaurant at the Pecatonica airport, as shown in this story from
the January 22, 1949 edition of the Freeport Journal-Standard.
Above Left: In the 1940 U.S. Census, Glen enumerated himself (click on image for a larger version). He and
his family are the first names on this census population schedule for the town of Pecatonica, Illinois.
Left: The "Hide-a-Way Horse Farm" was offered for sale in the Chicago Daily Herald on September 6, 1968.
It also appeared in the Roselle (IL) Register on the same day. Glen Mullican was ready for retirement, and at
the age of 61, he and Grace began traveling in a car and an Airstream trailer. The following year, daughter
Roberta, her husband Doug Shuster and their three children moved into the house and lived there until
April of 1970.
The Airstream trailer apparently took the Mullicans to Grand Marais, Minnesota for some time, as that
town was listed as their home in two newspaper articles in the early 1970s. The farm would be sold 6 years
after the Hide-A-Way Horse Farm was advertised for sale, to Freeport natives Charles and Betty Staver.
Glen and Grace announced their marriage in the December 29, 1934 edition of the Freeport
Journal-Standard. In the May 15, 1916 edition of the newspaper, Glen was reported as having a nasty case
of scarlet fever and diphtheria.