Established in 1873 as E.R. Hull, the company changed its name to E.R. Hull & Company in 1883 with the edition of S.E. Graves and J.C. McWatters. Graves retired from the company in 1885. In 1890 Wilbur Dutton joined the company and it became E.R. Hull & Dutton. In 1899 the company was bought by the May Department Store Company.