The Mullicans
On October 17, 1950, Albert Kraul sold the 74 acres to Glenwood Earl Mullican and his wife Grace
Evelyn Lapp. Glen grew up in Pecatonica where his father, Fred Mullican, worked various jobs as a
day laborer. Grace was raised near Rock City, where her father was a farmer. She grew up about a
mile west of our home on a farm her grandfather,
Warren Dart, had owned as early as 1871. The
Mullican's farm was adjacent to land owned by Grace's parents, Walter and Annie (Dart) Lapp. The
Lapp’s land to the north now makes up part of the Espensheid Woods forest preserve, where the
Davis Mill was located.

Glen and Grace were married December 22, 1934 and lived in Pecatonica for several years. In the
1940 U.S. Census, Glen's occupation was listed as a livestock buyer. At the time, the Mullican's had
three young children: Ramona Ann, age 4; Roberta Lou, age 3; and Richard Lewis, age 1. They lived in
a rented house on Main Street in Pecatonica.

Roberta Mullican Schuster shared with us that Glen and Grace bought the farm mainly to be closer to
Grace's parents. The Mullican children finished the 1950-51 school year at Pecatonica while the
home underwent some remodeling and a wood furnace was installed. The next year, after the
Mullicans moved to the farm, Roberta began her sophomore year at Dakota High School.

During his time on the property, Glen farmed his in-laws' land, milked cows, raised pigs and sheep,
and bred beef cows. Glen retired in 1968, at the age of 61. That year they briefly listed the farm for
sale and began traveling in a car and an Airstream trailer.

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 area.
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.

Below:
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.
Left: VintageAerial.com is a great
resource for researching old country
homes.  This photo comes from a
1968 collection.