For more than forty years no name has been more familiar in Shelby county than that of
DePrez. The founder of the family was a business man of great activity, and left a large family of sons, who in
various lines have extended and perpetuated the popularity of the name. At every turn in the city's
history, in every movement for its uplift and development, one or more of the DePrezs have been
conspicuous. Public spirited and resourceful, they have always stood ready to help with time and
money in whatever promised to push the town forward to renewed growth and increased prosperity.
John and Mary (Carwine) DePrez were Germans, who came over some years before the
Civil war and located at Cincinnati. At a later period they removed to Shelbyville and engaged in
the hotel business, with various side lines. Eleven children were born to them, eight sons and three
daughters, and of these five are still living.
Jacob DePrez, one of the younger children, was born during the residence of his parents in
Cincinnati, March 24, 1855. His education was obtained after their removal to Shelbyville, and
was confined to attendance in the public schools. Mr. DePrez entered business at an early age, as
an employe of a bakery concern, where he remained five years. His next move was to the dry
goods extablishment of August W. Swartz, where he clerked two years, and then served the
same length of time at the store of Henry Fastlaben. About 1875, he accepted a position with
Norman H. Strong in the hardware business, and after a service of five years realized the
ambition of his life by going into business on his own account. In 1880, in partnership with Henry
Doble, he established the hardward store which has since grown into the largest of the kind in
Shelbyville. In a few years after starting, he purchased the interest of his partner, and since then
has been the sole proprietor. His business is conducted in a building containing three large floors
and a basement. His business is conducted in a building containing three large floors and a base-
ment, with a four-story warehouse in the rear. It is the largest department hardward store in the
city, and keeps a large stock of everything appropriate to its line, such as hardware, china, stoves,
glass, plumbing outfits, gas fixtures, and steam fitting material. Mr. DePrez employs ten clerks,
and his business is conducted on a progressive scale, being up-to-date in every particular.
has prospered, and long since held the rank of one of the solid citizens of Shelbyville.
has always been interested in the city's growth, and helped to organize the first building and loan
association, which he served as treasurer for three years. After a prosperous career, without a
financial cloud to mar its reputation as a safe and sound institution, it paid out and closed business
some years ago. Mr. DePrez has been a member of the Masonic Order for many years, including
the Scottish Rite, Shrine, and Commandery. He lives in a handsome home at 46 North Harrison
street, attends the Christian Science church and votes the Democratic ticket.
October 9, 1887, Mr. DePrez married Jennie, daughter of the late Isom Wray.
child, Daniel Wray DePrez, attended Butler University at Indianapolis, and spent some time at
the Chicago University and was graduated at Culver Military Academy. For some time he has
been his father's business partner in the hardware store.
Chadwick's History of Shelby County, Indiana, by Edward H. Chadwick, B.A., assisted by well
known local talent, B.F. Bowen & Co, Publishers: Indianapolis, IN, 1909, pages 524-525.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming.