Ortis  C.  Huber

The  Shelbyville  Republican
Monday October 27, 1947
Page 2 column 4
           With his inevitable cigar in a black rubber holder, we found  Ortis C. (Dick) Huber, maintenance man for the DePrez Ice and Coal Company, at his home in an easy chair indulging in his favorite pastime - reading.  He spends most of his off duty hours reading, fiction mostly, and has between 200 and 300 books in his library.
           “Dick” isn’t sure why he’s called that but its been almost his official name since one of his bosses who couldn’t remember “Ortis” tagged him with it when he was a young man.  Then too, Richard was his father’s name and he supposes it was natural that the nickname be passed on to him.
           As to occupation, Mr. Huber thinks most people arrive at their life work through a sort of “trial and error” method and he’ll wager that people who have found work they like best have arrived at that stage by trying out any number of jobs.  And he could know, because he did quite a variety of things before going to the DePrez Company in 1931.  And the figure “2” seemed to be predominate in his work life.  He stayed at each of the jobs just about that length of time.
           When a young man Mr. Huber thought he wanted to be a school teacher (now he thinks that was probably because the pay those days was better in proportion to other jobs) so after graduating from the Fairland high school in 1910 - with the school’s first commissioned graduating class - he attended Marion Norman School and then taught at the old Hankins school in Brandywine township for one year.  But that was long enough to convince him that teaching wasn’t his bent.  He’s happiest when he’s doing “something with his hands.”  “I can get along with people,” he says, “and have had a number of men working under me but I’m better satisfied when actually doing something instead of overseeing.
           So after a year of teaching three R’s, he worked on a farm for a while and in 1912, after marrying  Miss Elnora Arnold  on January 29, 1911, he moved to Shelbyville and then came the “two-year cycle.”  His first work here was with the former Frame Canning Company on East Washington Street-for two years.  Then came a two-year period of selling farm implements for  Verne Shepple  and next he went with the Shelby Milk and Cream Company.  This company was operated by the late  A. E. Rehme  and was located on Fourth street, where Mr. Rehme later operated the Coca-Cola Plant.
            About this time he decided the auto sales business might be a good thing to try so he took a job with the late  H. C. Sorden who ran an agency on East Broadway.  Following his general trend toward machinery he then went into partnership in a machine shop with  Albert Degelow  with quarters where the Meloy Gift Shop now stands.  The next two years saw him in poor health and upon recuperating sufficiently he went to the Sunlit Garage in 1922 to work as head mechanic for  Al Herschfeld, who had built the garage in 1916.  He stayed there until 1927 and then for two years operated a garage in Fairland.  When things began getting bad for the auto repair business - as well as every other kind - in 1929 he came back here to work for the Shelby Canning Company until 1931.  The two-year “stretches” ended then. He’s been with the DePrez Company since that time.  Serving in about all capacities, mechanic, stoker and furnace man, engineer, plant manager and between 1941 and 1944 he was plant superintendent.  Now, his health isn’t too good and he only “works when he feels like it and when needed.”
            So now you find this quiet man who self-styles himself a “very ordinary citizen” - not realizing perhaps that there are more “ordinary citizens” in this world than any other kind - at his home at 224 East South street with a book in his hand and perhaps looking forward to an evening of cards with his wife and old friends.
           Mr. and Mrs. Huber have two sons and three daughters,  Roland, who resides near Fairland;  Mrs. Leo Shaw, of near Waldron, and  Richard,  Mrs. James Jones  and  Mrs. Chet Hamilton, all of Shelbyville.  They also have eight grandchildren of whom they’re pretty proud.
Contributed by Barb Huff

Notes from Virginia Flesher:
Ortis Calvin Huber  was born in Shelby County, Indiana, January 6, 1891., He registered for WWI in Shelby County and lived at 307 East Hendricks, Shelbyville.  His occupation was automobile mechanic.  He also registered for WWII; his address was 224 East South St, and he worked for Daniel DePrez Mfg then.  He died Shelbyville, October, 1982.  His parents,  Richard "Dick" Huber and  Martha, are buried at Lewis Creek.

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