In the spring of 1884, Alfred A. Mullin staked out the town of Mullinville. He was a twenty-five year old man from Chicago. He built a store which was the first place of business in Mullinville. It also served as the post office and meeting place for Sunday School. On April 13, 1887, Mullinville was incorporated as a third-class city. Later that year, the first Santa Fe passenger train pulled into town. The Mullinville Grade School was built in 1911-12, followed by the Mullinville Rural High School in 1919. The Mullinville Volunteer Fire Department was established by a city ordinance on July 31, 1924. The first pieces of fire fighting equipment were two hand-drawn hose wagons. A fire truck was later added. Washington Park was opened in June of 1939. City water and sewer utilities were established in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Street curbs and guttering were added in 1966.
Fromme-Birney Round Barn
In 1912, Henry W. Fromme, a German immigrant, hired William Campbell, a local carpenter, to build a round barn to house 28 draft horses and a Percheron stallion imported from France. The cost was estimated at $8,000, which was higher than other barns at that time. Soon after construction, horses were replaced with tractors for farm power. The barn was then used for hay storage.
In the 1980’s, Phyllis Birney received the barn and one acre of land from her husband Lawrence as a 15th wedding anniversary gift. In 1987, the barn was listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural significance. The barn was restored in 1995.
The barn is sixteen-sided and stands 50 feet tall and 70 feet in diameter. It is covered with a double pitched, domical roof. This is topped with a sixteen-sided cupola and a 6 ½ foot weathervane.
The Round Barn is located 3 ½ miles south and 1 ¾ miles west of Mullinville.