Melvin Hall (defendant) entered into a lease agreement with C. E. and Helen Whartenby. The lease granted Hall the exclusive right to supply all gasoline and oil products to a filling station on the Whartenbys’ property. The lease stated that it was binding on subsequent owners of the property. The lease was recorded in September 1941 and contained an acknowledgement stating that the parties swore to the lease before B. F. St. Clair. Gilbert Willard purchased the property in July 1950 without any notice of the lease. M. E. Hatcher (plaintiff) purchased the property from Willard in May 1952, at which time the filling station was closed. Hatcher saw unused station equipment on the property and was informed by Willard that Hall owned the equipment. Hatcher first learned about the lease two months after he purchased the property, when Hall sought to enforce the lease. Hatcher brought an action for a declaratory judgment, seeking a determination of rights under the lease. The trial court found that Hatcher had no notice of the lease and that the lease was not binding on the property. Hall appealed.