History of the Egbert-Mullins-Koos House
The Egbert-Mullins-Koos House was built between 1859 and 1860 by Simon Ullman, a Franklin merchant. In the first decade, the property changed hands, but indications are that the Ullman family continued to make the resident their home. In 1869, Lydia S. Ullman sold the property to Eliza Egbert and her husband, Dr. A. G. Egbert. Dr. Egbert was an early Venango County oil producer. Upon completing the purchase of the home, the Egberts added the front porch, as well as the section in the back of the home.
In 1896, Dr. Egbert passed away, leaving his widow alone in the home until 1899, when she sold it to William J. Mullins. Before Mr. Mullins moved his family into the home, he had extensive renovations done.
Mr. Mullins first came to Venango County to work as a chemist in the Eclipse Refinery. Here he found love. William married the former Elizabeth Bostwick. The couple had three daughters who were raised in the home. Upon the death of his father, Mr. Mullins was able to retire and devote his time to his family, the Episcopal Church, and his hobby - photography.
The youngest Mullins daughter, Elizabeth, married Edward Koos in 1923. Their wedding reception was held her in the home. The following year, November 1924, their only child, a daughter, was born. Caroline, Kitty, was only a year old when her father died unexpectedly.
Elizabeth moved back into her childhood home with her daughter after her husbands death. Mrs. Koos never remarried, instead she chose to live contentedly with her mother and daughter off Band Stand Park the rest of her life.
In 1958 Mrs. Elizabeth Mullins passed away, followed in 1959 by Mrs. Elizabeth Koos. This left Kitty alone in the home.
In her day, Kitty was considered to be an "idiot-savant," though it was very likely she fell somewhere on the Autistic Spectrum. She was unable to manage her daily needs, but she could remember most everything she read. Kitty lived off the proceeds from trusts.
Because of these developmental delay, Kitty never married. She lived alone in the house until her passing in 2009. In her will Kitty left her one half interest in the home to the Venango County Historical Society. The other half reverted back to her mother's will, which was divided among four other non-profit entities. Money obtained from Miss Koos' estate was offered to those four groups as a buy-out to fulfill her wishes to use the house as a museum and VCHS's headquarters.
Once the other non-profits accepted our offer, VCHS began the restoration of the home. The challenge has been an enormous one as we strive to keep the integrity of the historic property, to emphasize the work and interests of the Mullins' family, and to be true to or mission.
The upkeep of the Egbert-Mullins-Koos House is never ending, but we embrace it with all the joys of caring for an Historic House.