John Day DePrez is a member of a family that has played a notable
part in the history of Shelby County, Indiana. He was himself born at
Shelbyville, October 1, 1872. His own activities have been rather diversified,
but for fully a quarter of a century he has been occupied with the routine and
responsibility of managing and directing Shelby County's old and honored
newspaper, the Shelbyville Daily Democrat.
Democrat was established in 1844, as a weekly four-page paper. The daily
issue was established in 1880, at which time each issue comprised a four-page,
five-column paper. Today the average size is ten pages of eight columns each.
The Shelbyville Daily Democrat has a circulation of 4,500 copies,
distributed allover Shelby and surrounding counties. The business is a well
organized and equipped publishing house and fully twenty people are employed in
the daily production of the paper. The president of the publishing company is
Wray E. Fleming, the vice president is Pleas E. Greenlee, and
Mr. DePrez is
secretary, treasurer and manager.
Mr. DePrez is of French
Huguenot ancestry. The family endured the persecution accorded to members of the
Protestant faith and sought refuge across the Rhine in the Alsace-Lorraine
district. Mr. DePrez's grandfather, John DePrez, was born in Alsace-Lorraine.
One of the family had come to America as early as 1800 and settled in Ohio.
DePrez came to America about 1820 and settled in Cincinnati, Ohio, moving to
Shelby County, Indiana, in 1848. His son, John C. DePrez, was born at
Cincinnati, Ohio. He became prominent as a furniture manufacturer, he and two
associates establishing the first factary for the making of furniture at
Shelbyville. John C. DePrez married Zora L. Miller, and they had a family of
four children. John C. DePrez was for a number of years a member of the
Shelbyville School Board.
His son, John D. DePrez,
attended the Shelbyville schools, also Hanover College, and eight years of his
early manhood were spent in the duties of assistant cashier of the Shelby Bank.
In 1904 he assisted in organizing the Democrat Publishing Company, which
acquired the Shelbyville Daily Democrat, and the affairs of that
newspaper have constituted his chief business responsibility.
Mr. DePrez married
Emma Senour, of Shelbyville. They are members of the First Presbyterian Church.
He is a Rotarian, is affiliated with Shelbyville Lodge No. 28, A. F. and A. M.,
Shelbyville Chapter No. 3, Royal Arch Masons, Shelbyville Council No.3, R. and
S. M., Baldwin Commandery No.2, Knights Templar, and Murat Temple of the Mystic
Shrine at Indianapolis. He is a past chancellor of the Knights of Pythias, a
member of the B. P. O. Elks, Improved Order of Red Men, Loyal Order of Moose and
the Tribe of Ben Hur. Like his father, he has served on the school board and has
been a member of the state Democratic executive committee. During the World war
he was chairman of several committees and handled much of the publicity work in
connection with the Liberty Bond drives. He was awarded two medals by the
Treasury Department for his effective service.
Indiana: One Hundred and Fifty Years of American Development,
Volume 3, Charles Roll, A.M., The Lewis Publishing Company, 1931
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming.