The Shelbyville Democrat
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.
Saturday October 18, 1947
Page 6 column 3
A PERSONALITY WORTH MENTIONING
By Ave Lewis
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
and I depot. It was in a building owned by Higgins Brothers
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
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
Nellie Ensminger, who reside here; Mrs. Grace Applegate,
of near Fountaintown; Mrs. Lenora Cowin, of near Milton;
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