The Shelbyville News
Saturday January 17, 1948
Page 3 column 4
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.
By Ave Lewis
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.
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
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
Contributed by Barb Huff
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