J. M. Howard established his small boot making business on the west side of Plenty Road in 1912. Near the corner of Bell Street and Plenty Road he would have found good trade there from the Gowerville Hotel only a few doors down. The area was flourishing in the 1920s with the new tram line, Allchin's general store and drapery store as well as Inglis's ironmongery.
In 1935 D. T. McLoughlin replaced Howard as the bootmaker.
Sands and McDougall’s Melbourne and Suburban Directory 1864- 1974. [Microfiche]. (1974). Melbourne, Australia: Sands & McDougall.