History of her "office"
The Hansard house was built around 1880 on Mullinax Road in southern Forsyth County. At that time, the area was almost exclusively rural and Mullinax Rd. was nothing more than a single lane dirt trace. The house was initially a log structure (later covered with clapboard), and is filled with hand hewn boards, as at the time of its building there was not yet a nearby sawmill! Atlanta resident John Eustace Denmark and his wife Leila were intent on having a little place in the country in the late 1950s. They purchased the property on which the Hansard house sits in 1959. Mr. Denmark built a fishing pond on the property, where he would take and friends and relatives up for picnics and time fishing on the lake.
By the mid-1980s the Denmarks – who had been residing in Sandy Springs for several decades – decided to make the move to Forsyth County. They built a new house on Mullinax Road, modeled very much after the home that they had in Sandy Springs; and they also took an interest in restoring the old Hansard property next door to their new home, which had been used predominantly to house caretakers on-site. Mr. Denmark and his grandson spent the summer of 1985 fixing the house up for Dr. Denmark – who at this time was 87 years old – so that she could use the house as a medical office, “to practice for a few more months.”
Those “few months” that Dr. Denmark mentioned turned into 16 more years, as Dr. Denmark continued to practice in the Hansard office up until 2001 - when she retired from pediatrics at age 103, as the oldest doctor in the US, likely the oldest on earth. Dr. Denmark continued to live on the property after her husband died in 1990, staying in the house that they had built in 1985 - up until her advancing years forced her to move to live with her daughter in Athens, Georgia at age 106. Dr. Denmark continued to make regular trips with her daughter to her Mullinax Rd. home and office, until well past the age of 110. She passed away at age 114, at the time as the fourth oldest person on earth.
Dr. Denmark would say that having this house on the property was an absolute blessing to her - in terms of keeping her practice going and allowing her to continue to see her “little angels,” the patients. She always wanted to do medicine “her way” - managing all tasks herself without appointments. As such, the Hansard house’s proximity to her residence was a perfect fit for her style of doctoring - an interpersonal approach in terms of dealing directly with mother and child, and spending most of her time teaching people how to live right, eat right, and prevent medical issues – versus trying to fix things after-the-fact.