Ben  Hendrickson

The  Shelbyville  Democrat
Saturday October 18, 1947
Page 6 column 3
By Ave Lewis

          Ben Hendrickson, who is 82 years of age, says when a stitching machine he has for repairing shoes in his little shop in Marietta “plays out,” he’ll quit the job too. He purchased the machine from the late John Schoelch, who had a shoe store on the Public Square, some 20 years ago and it was thought to have seen its better days then.
          Mr. Hendrickson has been at the business of repairing shoes most of his life, with a few various other jobs thrown in.  His father, the late Joseph Hendrickson, was a shoe cobbler so it was natural that he learn the business from the ground up.  He was born in Tipton county but the family moved to Shelby county when he was a small child.  His parents moved to Greensburg when he was 14 years of age but he stayed in this community and was pretty much on his own from that time on.
          In 1884 he married Ellen Hamilton and from Shelby county they moved to Shelbyville in 1913.  It was then that Mr. Hendrickson started in the repair business for himself.  His first shop was on Jefferson Avenue, across from the old  J. M. and I depot.  It was in a building owned by  Higgins Brothers  and he paid $4.00 a month for rent.  From that location he moved into the building now occupied by  Morris VanWay’s  radio shop and from there he moved into a room in the building, which now houses the  King  grocery.  The building was new then and Mr. Hendrickson was its first business tenant.
          Keeping busy is pretty much Mr. Hendrickson’s hobby but he says his main hobby in past years was music.  He can play almost any instrument “by ear” and remembers a lot of fun he used to have when he played with a band composed of residents of the St. Paul community.  Vivid in his memory is the time he played for  William Jennings Bryan  when he made an appearance in Greensburg.  He also recalls standing under the balcony of the Shelby Hotel to hear Bryan make a political speech here.
          Seven years ago Mr. and Mrs. Hendrickson moved to a home near Marietta and then in 1943 they purchased the cottage where they now reside at the east edge of Marietta.  His repair shop is a tiny building at the rear of the home and you’ll find it filled with paraphernalia necessary to the business, and also a lot of neatly repaired shoes waiting for their owners to claim them.
          Mr. and Mrs. Hendrickson became the parents of eight children, but only six are living.  A son died in infancy and  Clyde who was best known here as  “Pete”, and who for a long time operated a wrecker service, died four years ago.  The other children are  Mrs. Orpha Hammond  and  Mrs. Nellie Ensminger,  who reside here;  Mrs. Grace Applegate,  of near Fountaintown;  Mrs. Lenora Cowin,  of near Milton;  Mrs. Genevieve Turner,  of south of Marietta, and a son,  Cleo,  from whom the family hasn’t heard for many years.
          While Mr. Hendrickson insists “there’s nothing much of interest in my life,” listening to him gives one a feeling of the years rolling back and time slowing up a bit.  Things didn’t go at “such a pace” back in his youth and now that he’s seen a lot of years go by, he’s content to stay pretty close to home with short rides about the Marietta neighborhood with Mrs. Hendrickson as his choice of recreation.
Contributed by Barb Huff

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