The Stavers
In August 1974, Charles and Betty Staver bought the Mullican's 74 acres. Like the Huffords and Mullicans before them, the Stavers had lived in a town
(Freeport) prior to moving to the country. The timing of when they arrived is unclear, but it seems the Stavers bought the property with the intention of
building a new house on it. In November 1973, the Stavers applied for a permit to build a new house on Farm School Road. In May 1974, the Stavers held an
auction at the property for various items that included small farm equipment used for hay baling and transporting livestock. We don't know why they were
able to do this prior to owning the property in August 1974, but the permit application and auction suggest they might have already been living in our house.

In June of 1977, Charles Staver placed an advertisement in the Freeport Journal-Standard for the sale of their new house. An over-the-road driver, Charles
was away from home frequently and his wife didn't like to be alone in the country. StephensonCounty real estate transactions show that the Staver's
purchased a house in Freeport in March of that same year. Their life in the country was over. The Staver's sold their newer house to our neighbor, Jim
Ingram, and the original house and acreage to
Harry Espenscheid.

From there, our home began about a 20-year period as a rental property. A 1977 plat map of Rock Run Township (below), as well as various rural directories
from the late-1970s and 1980s, do not even show the original house. At that point in its life, the house probably was in need of modernizing, which may
have been why the Stavers chose to build a new home. Charles was in his early-50s in 1973, and possibly at a point in life where the motivation for
remodeling, rewiring, re-roofing and re-everything wasn't there anymore.

Charles Staver died in 1983 and is buried in the Chapel Hill cemetery in Freeport. Betty was buried beside him after her death in 2007.
Above: When you're willing to sell your house and your horse, that
is the definition of checking out (June 1977 newspaper ad in the
Freeport Journal-Standard). Jim Ingram bought the house and
acreage in 1978. Since then, he has built two additions to the home.
Above: Excerpt from the 1977 Stephenson County plat book. The Staver's new house is shown on
the east side of the creek. The original house would disappear on plat maps and rural directories for
the next 15 years or so.
Left: Charles and Betty are buried at Chapel Hill cemetery in
Freeport (photo courtesy of Frederick Birely, via