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