Howard Auto Sales

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Howard Auto Sales Sign.jpg
Howard Auto Sales, 802 South Adams Street, is located on what is known as Lot six on Branson’s addition. As the owners of Lot six changed, a foundry was developed and became known as a pioneer industry in this part of Indiana (Marvelous Marion). The foundry then became a gas station, and finally the car dealership that Howard Auto Sales is today.

The Lot

The United States deeded Lot number six, located in Township twenty- four, to David Branson on October 5, 1826. David and his wife Hannah deeded Lot six to Thomas Branson on January 21, 1835. After five years, Thomas and his wife Ruth Branson deeded the land to Nathan Branson. Nathan then platted the outline for all the Lots in, what would become, the Branson addition in the town of Marion. Nathan and his wife Francis deeded half of Lot six to Martin Gingery on October 17, 1840. By February 23, 1843, Martin Gingery received all of the interest for Lot six. Martin’s wife Agness Gingery deeded half of her land on Lot six to Samuel and Joseph Hulley for five hundred dollars (Grant County Abstract).

The Hulley Foundry and Machine Works

Hulley's Foundry and Machine Works in 1892
Joseph Hulley and Samuel Hulley developed a Foundry on Lot six. The Hulley Foundry and Machine Works at Adams and Eighth Street in Marion was the pioneer industry of its kind in this part of Indiana (Son). The Foundry consisted of two large brick building with the first being a two-story building 42 by 60 feet. The wareroom was a frame structure 30 by 100 feet. The work done in the Foundry consisted of all types of repairs, and the manufacturing of plows and sorghum mills (History Grant). The Foundry was named S & J Hulley, Samuel and Joseph, for about a quarter of a century (Son).

Samuel Hulley and Family

Samuel Hulley was born in Lancaster, England on September 2, 1819. He and his three brothers were brought to America as small children by their parents. The Hulley family first lived in Pennsylvania, and later moved to Moorefield, Indiana. In 1840 Samuel Hulley moved to Richmond and learned the trade of mechanist. Samuel married a Miss Hannah Goddard on October 1, 1843 (Biographical Memoirs). Eager for gold, Samuel moved to California in 1850 but stayed only a short time before moving back to Indiana. In 1857 Samuel moved to Marion and made extensive investments in the line of real estate by buying property on South Adams Street. Samuel was elected councilman for the city of Marion in 1876. To help get elected, Samuel was an advocate of making a “Water Works” in Marion, and got one running by 1877. The water works was Marion’s water system, which was one of the cleanest water sources around (Marvelous Marion). Samuel and his nephew Joseph owned S & J Hulley Foundry for a quarter of a century until 1893 when Samuel sold his share of the North part of Lot six to Joseph for eight thousand dollars (Grant County Abstract).

Over a six-year period Joseph bought all the buildings and tools on the Lot, and completed his payments on November 16, 1899. Both Joseph and Samuel were members of the Church of England. Joseph Hulley brought an alligator from Florida and kept it at Marion’s Water Works and Matter Park for twenty-eight years. Joseph married on September 12, 1871 to a Miss Harriet Mowrer. They had two daughters, Ida and Katherine, who both graduated from Marion High School (Son). Joseph Hulley owned the Foundry until his death on April 24, 1909 (Fifty Years). Joseph was seventy-three years old and died around twelve o’clock Saturday night after suffering from an illness for over two years that reduced his strength and vitality (Aged Foundry Man). Joseph was highly respected throughout his community (Death Claims). After Joseph’s death the land and property on Lot six was given to his wife Harriet Hulley (Grant County Abstract).

Hull and Hudlow Auto Dealership

Howard Auto Sales.jpg
On February 10, 1923, Harriet Hulley leased all of the buildings on Lot six, except for the frame dwelling house where she lived, to Luther Hess. Luther Hess paid Harriet one hundred dollars a month and agreed to take care of all the small maintenance problems in the Foundry buildings. After Luther Hess died, Harriet leased Lot six to Samuel Esler on April 16, 1926. Samuel Esler paid fifteen hundred dollars a year, and received all the Foundry buildings and the Dwelling house. On March 2, 1927 Harriet leased Lot six to George Hull and Leno Hudlow. The men changed the Foundry to a car dealership called Hull and Hudlow. The land was used as a display room, sales room, and auto service garage. Hull and Hudlow had to pay for water, electric, and interior repairs along with one hundred and fifty dollars a month until May 17, 1923 when Harriet Hulley passes away (Grant County Abstract).

Harriet Hulley died suddenly from a heart attack at the age of seventy-seven. She was very active in civic affairs and was widely known and respected. Harriet out lived her husband Joseph Hulley by twenty years. Mrs. Hulley was a member of the Presbyterian Church. She was also a member of the hospital board and a member of the Wednesday Reading Club, one of Marion’s first literary organizations (Mrs. J. Hulley). Each of Harriet’s daughters, Ida and Katherine, received $3671.60 even though Harriet did not leave a will and last testament (Grant County Abstract).

A New Building for Howard Auto Sales

Howard Auto Sales in 1969
Harriet’s daughters leased the north half of Lot six to Shell Petroleum Corporation on December 1, 1935. The gas station had to pay one hundred eighty dollars a year until 1940. On November 30, 1943, the Hulley daughters sold all of Lot six for six thousand dollars to J. Dalton Howard and his wife Hazel Howard. This is where Howard Auto Sale’s name originated. In 1948 the Howard’s spent twenty thousand dollars to build the car dealership you see today. The Howard’s actually built the Howard dealership around the old brick building, and in the attic you can actually see the brick wall from the old building. Later in 1948 36, 200 dollars was spent to build the service center on the back of the Howard dealership. Finally in 1955 the Howard’s bought half of Lot seven, which is now used as the used car lot (Grant County Abstract). After Howard Dalton died on March 6, 1975, Sam Orville and Don Powell bought Howard Auto Sales. Sam and Don owned the dealership until 1991 when the Burnett family bought it and still own it today.


Lot six in Township twenty-four has developed over the years from a Foundry to a car dealership. This Lot held a business that was considered a pioneer industry in this area of Indiana (Marvelous Marion). Lot six on 802 South Adams Street has an amazing history.

Works Cited

  • “Aged Foundry Man Has Passed Away.” The Marion Chronicle 26 April 1909, p4.
  • “Biographical Memoirs of Grant County, Indiana.” The Bowen Publishing Company: Chicago, 1901.
  • “Death Claims Joseph Hulley.” Marion Daily Leader 26 April 1909, p1-2.
  • Ed. Rolland Lewis Whit Son. “Continental History of Grant county Indiana.” Vol. II. The Lewis Publishing Company: Chicago, 1914.
  • “Fifty Years In Activity In Community.” Marion News-Tribune 26 April 1919, p8.
  • Grant County Abstract Company, Inc.
  • “History Grant County Indiana.” Chicago: Grant & Fuller. 1886, (2: 546). “Marvelous Marion.” Marion Illustrated. Marion, IN. 1892.
  • “Mrs. J. Hulley Dies Suddenly.” Marion Leader Tribune 18 May 1932, p1.


Kari A. Burnett submitted this paper on May 19, 2005 for Mr. Munn's AP U.S. History class at Marion High School.