Some History About The 1909 Huselton
At the turn of the 20th century the oil boom in Butler and surrounding counties was on the verge of a bust, local business now looked to supplying the beginnings of the initial steel industry. It was a time of possibilities. One of the most successful merchants on the Main St. of Butler was B.C. Huselton, the owner of the B.C. Huselton Shoe Store. He understood the world about him was changing, becoming faster paced and more complicated. In order to prepare his son Edgar to take over the business B.C. sent the young lad to Mercersburg Academy for a solid education in modern business practice.
In 1906, twenty three year old Edgar C. Huselton came home. He returned to assume his place alongside his father in the family shoe business. But the shoe store was boring for Edgar and he would yield to other possibilities of the new century. Before the year was over, Edgar left the shoe store and became the first automobile dealer in Butler County, becoming an agent for the Reliance Automobile Company.
In 1909 Edgar became even further entranced by the possibilities of a new age. In a small carriage house on North Washington Street in Butler, Pa. Edgar began the construction of the first Huselton automobile. It was in the best sense an “assembled car”. He chose the highest quality mechanical components available at the time and built a fine high-grade automobile, comparable to the most renowned machines of the time. This first car was a gloriously big two seat race-a-bout, with a forty horsepower Wisconsin engine, which he used on weekends to race other autos from Butler to East Butler. This was a distance of about 3 miles (one way), Edgar being the most successful with his big car. Edgar Huselton’s intention was that this car was to be built with same care and quality as the famous “P” cars of that day: Pierce, Packard and Peerless.
From 1909 to 1915, Edgar and his five employees built eleven more cars, one “Butler” truck and a funeral hearse for a local funeral director. But it became apparent to him that the future of the automobile business lay with the large manufacturers capable of mass production.
Edgar did remain in the automobile business all his life, becoming the dealer for a number of makes including: Velie, Reo, Hudson, Cadillac, Pierce Arrow, GMC, and International. Edgar never sold his Big Sporty Two Seater. He used it as his personal transportation for years. Upon getting married and raising five children he extended and rebodied the car into the seven passenger tourer it is today. The big tourer passed from father to son to grandson.
In 1984, B. C. Huselton III (grandson) returned the car to its birthplace in Butler and donated the car to the city of Butler, with the specific instructions that the members of the Butler Old Stone House Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America would be responsible for the storage, maintenance and driving of this unique car.
Since 1984 the Butler Old Stone House Region has assumed this responsibility and has completely gone over the car making it mechanically roadworthy and restoring the exterior of the car. On the afternoon of September 19th, 2009 we will celebrated the 100th Anniversary of this car at the Butler Farm show grounds