THE SHELBY DEMOCRAT
February 20, 1879
VOL. 1; No. 37
from the article, SMILING SHELBYVILLE!
Is one of the self-made men of the day. He was born in the year 1836, in
Bischofsheim, near Strausburg, State of Baden, Germany. His mother died in
the old country when he was but a mere child. In 1849, the father with his
children, seven in all, started for the United States. After a long and tedious voyage they landed in New York, and started from there to
Shelbyville. In those days you did not go through without change of cars, on
the contrary, it was all changes. From New York to Cincinnati, they made about a dozen changes and from the latter city to Shelbyville they had to
drive through in a wagon. At that time the cholera was raging to a considerable extent, and while in Cincinnati, the father contracted the
disease. They started on the journey, however, and by the time they reached
Ripley county, he was so sick that they were compelled to stop in a small village near the county seat, where he died and was buried.
The children finally arrived in this city and made their home with their brother,
John Stephan, who ran the brewery, now owned by the latter's son. Mr. Stephan
worked in the brewery for some time, but not liking the peculiarities of that business, severed his connection with the same and went to Louisville
where he learned the shoemaker's trade. He remained there two years and then
came back to this city, and worked for Ambrose Hurley and a man named
Bullock for quite a while when he went to Indianapolis. He remained in that
city until 1854-5 when he came back to this city. He was then in the employ
of Henry Fastlaben until the year 1858, when he started a shop for himself
in the old Bonner building where Dick Flaitz's butcher shop now stands.
In 1860 he purchased the property on East Washington street, and moved to his present location.
Mr. Stephan by strict economy managed to save a little now and then, and in 1868 erected the substantial and commodious brick building
he now occupies. He has been, and still is, a very energetic and hard worker, and by his untiring industry has succeeded in accumulating a goodly
share of this world's goods. By his gentlemanly demeanor, fair and honorable representation of his goods, and selling at living prices, he succeeded in
building up a large and profitable trade which has steadily increased from year to year.
The secret of his great success is the fact of his always representing goods to be just what they were, and never charging
exorbitantly high prices. He carries a large and generally assorted stock of men's boots and shoes, and women and children's shoes and slippers.
While he aims to offer only a good and serviceable article and will tell you as near as possible the service that is in it, his own work he will warrant to
prove just as recommended for he knows all about it. Give him a call and be convinced.
His place of business is on East Washington street, three doors east of the old Baptist church.
Next biography in the "Smiling Shelbyville" newspaper article, Andrew J. Higgins.
Contributed by Jeanne Surber