Charles J. Mullikin is a native of Champaign County, has been a farmer, merchant, real estate and insurance man, and all his activities have done him credit. He is one of the most influential Democrats of this section of Illinois, and is now serving his term as postmaster of Champaign. Mr. Mullikin was born in this county, April 4, 1867. He is a son of George C. and Nancy (Jones) Mullikin, the former a native of Indiana and the latter of Kentucky.
The branch of the Mullikin family to which the subject of our sketch belongs came from Scotland, first locating in this country in the early part of the sixteenth century, in the province of Maryland, as a part of the Lord Baltimore colony. James Mullikin, of whom the subject of this sketch is a direct descendant, was granted land in the province of Maryland for services rendered in bringing over emigrants to this country from Scotland; part of the land thus ceded was a fine tract in the forks of the Patuxent River near Baltimore. This tract was improved and became the original homestead of the family in 1668. The farm has never passed out of the family name and is now inhabited and owned by a Mullikin.
The Mullikins were owners of several plantations and numerous slaves throughout Maryland before the Civil War. The early generations were communicants of the Episcopal churches, but the later generations, however, were principally affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church. The early members of this family were tall, large formed, brawny men of fair and florid complexion, and as a family were possessed of superior intelligence and public spirit, most of them showing military tastes and many of them having held commissions in the Revolution and subsequent wars. The great-grandfather of our subject was born on the family homestead in Maryland, at the “Forks of the Patuxent,” during the year 1767. In the year 1811 he sold to other members of the family his interests in the homestead, and with his family and household goods, enclosed in wagons, removed with his slaves and stock to Fleming County, Kentucky, where he located. In 1812 he enlisted in the War of 1812, being a member of the celebrated Squirrel Hunter “Riflemen” Company from Kentucky. After the war he proceeded from New Orleans, with other companions, through the wilderness on foot to his home in Kentucky. The grandfather of Charles J. when a young man came from Maryland to Kentucky with his father, served his country in the War of 1812, being made captain, and later he moved to Johnson County, Indiana, where George C. Mullikin, the father of our subject, was born. In 1865 George C. Mullikin, following the inherited spirit of his grandfather, removed in a prairie schooner from Johnson County, Indiana, to Piatt County, Illinois. George C. Mullikin was a type of character such as not only his children but a large community always respect and remembers with grateful esteem. He spent one year in Piatt County, and in 1866 located on a farm in Scott Township of Champaign County. He was a practical, hard-working farmer. He had a rugged physique and constitution, and was as big in heart and sympathy as he was in body. He stood six feet tall and was large in proportion. His faithful wife left him in 1879, and at her death there were five young children. Seldom has a man met his responsibilities with such versatile resourcefulness, prompted by love, as George C. Mullikin did when his wife died, laboring in absolute poverty. As a tenant farmer he worked in the fields and kept the farm going as usual. At the same time he looked after all the duties of the household, caring for the young children, cooking for them, mending their clothes and performing all the housework which the older children could not do. Thus he kept his children together until they had reached self-supporting manhood and womanhood. It is not strange that his children came to regard him as more than a father, and with a veneration which will never depart from their memory. The death of this worthy citizen occurred March 19, 1914. The five children were: Joseph, a farmer in Champaign Township; Charles J., who was the second oldest; Mary, wife of T. H. Walker of Bondville, Champaign County; Austin of Illiopolis, Sangamon County, Illinois; and William, who died in infancy.
After all his children were old enough to look out for themselves George C. Mullikin married for his second wife Corrina J. Hunter, who survives him and now makes her home at Bondville, and is a woman of admirable character, who cared for her husband to the very last and who is respected and loved by her step-children and her grandchildren as if she were their real mother and grandmother.
Charles J. Mullikin grew up on the farm, and besides the duties he learned and assumed at home he attended the local public schools. When he was twenty-one years of age his father gave him a team and wagon and a couple of plows. With that equipment he rented a small tract of land and farmed it a year. He then sold his interest, and about that time he married a popular young school teacher of the neighborhood. The young couple removed to Bondville, bought a home there, and Mr. Mullikin found a position with the local grain elevator for a year. From Bondville he came to Champaign, and for a year was a locomotive fireman with the Illinois Central Railroad Company. Returning to Bondville, he accepted financial help from his father and bought a general merchandise store. He was one of the leading merchants of that village for six years, and during that time he served as town clerk, and on February 27, 1893, was appointed postmaster of Bondville, about the time President Cleveland began his second term. In 1895 Mr. Mullikin traded his store for a farm in Indiana. He never occupied the farm or managed it personally, but instead engaged in the real estate and insurance business at Champaign.
In the past twenty years Mr. Mullikin has become one of the leading real estate and insurance men of the city. He has handled a very extensive business in that time. In 1896 he was elected an alderman from the Third Ward and from August, 1896, until January, 1898, served as assistant postmaster of Champaign, filling the vacancy caused by the death of the assistant postmaster. In 1900 he was elected mayor, giving the city’s affairs a splendidly efficient and economical administration during his one term. He has also served as Democratic State Central Committeeman. In February, 1914, he was appointed postmaster of Champaign and is now giving all his time to the duties of that office.
On March 8, 1889, Mr. Mullikin married Elizabeth E. Lowman, who was born at Champaign, a daughter of Allison and Sarah J. (Lytle) Lawman. Both her parents were born in Pennsylvania and both are now deceased. Mr. Mullikin is affiliated with the Masonic order, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He and his wife are members of the Congregational Church.