Hattie  Hendrickson

The  Shelbyville  News
Saturday January 17, 1948
Page 3 column 4
By Ave Lewis
            How many of you women can say that you never get tired of washing dishes? Mrs. Hattie Hendrickson swears she never has and never expects to.  And for a long, long time she’s been helping with the task, not only at home but in her capacity as buyer and manager of the china and glassware department at the J.G. DePrez Store.
        But maybe it’s because china, glassware and other beautiful things for a home are Mrs. Hendrickson’s hobby.  Dishes to her aren’t just something to use at a table, then hurry to get washed and back in the cabinet. They’re something to be treated lovingly and that’s the treatment they get when she cleans and arranges them for display in her department.
            The title "Mrs. Hendrickson" doesn’t fit this tall, friendly woman very well.  She’s "Hattie" to everyone and if there were statistics available they probably would reveal that she knows more people in Shelby county than any other woman around.  People who don’t know her surname are apt to tell their friends contemplating a gift purchase "Just look for Hattie, she’ll show you."  She says that many of her Christmas cards are addressed simply "Miss Hattie, DePrez Store."
            Hattie started working at the DePrez Store in December, 1920, as an extra check during the Christmas rush.  Her efficiency and interest in the department and her pleasant way of meeting the public, wasn’t overlooked by the late J.G. DePrez, founder of the store, and before the Christmas season was over she had been asked to remain on the job.  At that time the late  Mrs. Ruth Bennett  and  August DePrez  were buyers for the department.  Hattie was made a buyer in January, 1921, after Mrs. Bennett became ill and left the establishment.  She says that many of the same salesmen have been calling for many years and that one,  Charles Price,  who represents the Fostoria Glass Company, was visiting the store before she began her job.
            The china department today is much larger than in the early days and has been enlarged twice to accommodate a constantly growing business.  Mrs. Hendrickson notes that each year women are becoming increasingly interested in beautiful things for their homes.  Time was, she says, when housewives weren’t so particular whether their dishes "matched" or not.  But now they want their kitchen china to be as beautiful as that used on more formal occasions and all their kitchenware to be attractive as well as useful.  This in part, she thinks, is due to the Home Economics Club work which stresses beauty and harmony as well as efficiency in household appointments.
            Hattie keeps records of gifts for brides and brides-to-be so there will be no duplications at showers, etc., and it’s the brides of today who make her realize that she’s been working for more than two decades,  "I sold to the mothers and now I’m selling to the daughters,"  she says.  Too, since the DePrez store each week is a "meeting place" for many people, she misses familiar faces as they drop from the scene.  When death takes its toll in a family it’s like losing a good friend to her.  Even though her only contact with the group is through visiting in the store.
            She beams with pride when some line in her department is praised and she’s happy now that, for the first time since the war years, her stock is more nearly complete. Although many articles, still are more or less rationed and hard to get.
            Mrs. Hendrickson is one of a family of 12 children and they all were born in the large brick house at 266 West Broadway where her father, the late  Frank Rehme, took her mother as a bride.  It was one of the first houses on West Broadway and she remembers that she and her brothers and sisters could see the levee from their house as they played.  The Rehme homestead was sold after the death of Mrs. Rehme seven years ago and Hattie and her brother-in-law and sister,  Mr. and Mrs. Maynard Zinser,  reside at 315 West Jackson street—immediately back of their old home.
            Hattie is a member of the St. Joseph Catholic Church and formerly was active in its organizations and in the American Legion auxiliary.  But her outside interests now center in her family.  She has two daughters,  Mrs. Lawrence Bornhorst,  who lives here and  Mrs. Richard Malloy,  whose home is in Columbus.  Each of the two daughters has two children so it’s easy to guess that the likes and dislikes of the little folks is one of her favorite subjects.
            But she sums up her "story" by saying,  "My hobby is beautiful things and my ambition is to continue serving the public for the rest of my life."
Contributed by Barb Huff

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