Jacob G. Deprez

            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.  He has prospered, and long since held the rank of one of the solid citizens of Shelbyville.  Mr. DePrez 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.  Their only 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.

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