Burning Mystery: Murder of Henry J. Hults 1963

Murder Victim

Henry J. Hults
62-year-old Farmer
Custodial Home Owner
Cause of Death: Burns
Motive: Unknown

Murder Scene and Date

Hults Home
Oxford Junction, Iowa
Jones County
March 22, 1963



By Nancy Bowers
Written February 2010

from the Monticello Express

At 6:30 a.m. Friday, March 22, 1963, 62-year-old Henry J. Hults was found critically injured in the back yard of his farm house near Oxford Junction, where he lived alone. There were several blackened patches on the grass around him.

When he died later that morning, Jones County Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. C.R. Smith declared the cause of death was extensive burns.

The fatality was investigated by Jones County Sheriff Lewis M. Dreibelbis, Deputy Sheriff Ralph Albaugh, and Agent Bob Gregson from the State Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The circumstances surrounding the case were never resolved, but considered suspicious.

☛ The Life of Henry Hults ☚

photo by papajeff

photo by papajeff

Henry J. Hults was born September 18, 1900, in Anamosa, Iowa, to Mary Dirks and German immigrant Fred Hults. He had three sisters — Minnie C. Hults, Tena Hults Wroblewski, and Augusta Hults Bieber.

In his younger years, Henry Hults was a carpenter. Later, he and his wife Mary farmed in the Anamosa area.

In 1959, they began operating a custodial home in Onslow. They divorced soon afterwards, and Henry moved to the house where he died near Oxford Junction.

Henry Hults was survived by his three children June Hults Peterson, Betty Hults Hora, and William Hults, as well as seven grandchildren.

Funeral services for Henry Hults were held by Rev. LaVerne Beener March 24, 1963 at Goettsch Funeral home in Anamosa, and he was buried in Riverside Cemetery in Anamosa.

Please note: Use of information in this article should credit Nancy Bowers as the author and Iowa Unsolved Murders: Historic Cases as the source.



  • ☛ “Henry Hults Dies of Burns Friday Morning in Oxford Jct. Mystery: Funeral Services Held Last Sunday,” Anamosa Journal, March 25, 1963, p. 1.
  • ☛ “Investigation of Death of Hults Still Underway,” Monticello Express, March 28, 1963.
  • ☛ Iowa Department of Public Safety Division of Criminal Investigation Cold Case Unit.
  • ☛ “Onslow,” Monticello Express, April 7, 1959.
  • ☛ “Onslow, Monticello Express, October 1, 1959.
  • ☛ “Oxford Junction Area Farm Moves Reported,” Cedar Rapids Gazette, March 11, 1960.
  • ☛ U.S. Census.

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