Heads Nation's Oldest Splint Firm

By Marguerite Sand, Times-Union Women's Editor

Warsaw's Amrette Hoopes is a charming woman of many talents, abounding energy. She is the successful president of the local DePuy Manufacturing Co., leader in civic affairs, runs an 11-room home smoothly, travels extensively and enjoys numerous hobbies.

Her interest in and consideration for others are perhaps her greatest attributes. Mrs. Hoopes admits she knew nothing of the business when she assumed active management of the DePuy firm in 1950. She learned it from the ground up with help from old and loyal employees. Under her guidance sales have set new all-time highs each succeeding year.

When talking with Mrs. Hoopes one realizes she is not president in name only. She knows her products and demands the best. Plant management, production, sales and personnel problems are met with intelligence and fairness.

DePuy, now in its 61st year, is the nation's oldest manufacturer of splints, fracture equipment and related products. It began with manufacture of a few simple, wire-type splints, today makes hundreds of devices, ranging from aluminum splints to prosthetic appliances. Distribution is accomplished by the firm's own direct sales force and a large dealer organization. DePuy ships its products to virtually every civilized country this side of the Iron Curtain via an export department.

Mrs. Hoopes receives expert assistance from her husband, Harry, for 30 years an executive for American Telephone and Telegraph. He is DePuy's vice president. Her brother, James Webb, is an assistant. Vice president is Earl Longfellow in his 50th year with the firm. Walter Martin is treasurer, Keaton Landis, sales manager.

Employee morale is high. It is said that once an person goes to work for DePuy's, he stays. Personnel records bear this out. Twenty years is the average. Many have been there longer, some as long as 40 and 50 years. Mrs. Hoopes knows them all. to her they are members of the "family."

Manufacturing is done in a large machine shop and sewing room. Hundreds of splints, braces, fracture frames are turned out in the machine shop. Special slings and trusses are made in the sewing room.

A new building fronting South Columbia street houses attractive offices, stock and shipping departments.

Storage facilities are also maintained in Oakland, Calif., and Montreal, Canada. From these vantage points products are shipped all over the nation and beyond its borders. Sales representatives are also to be found in South America.

Normally heading work of such a concern would be enough responsibility for one person. Not true in Mrs. Hoopes' case. She continuously boosts the Red Cross blood program, serving as co-chairman of recruitment. She is interested in the work of the Lakeland Humane society, assisted in drive for funds for its new shelter house; is active in the Presbyterian church, and Order of Easter Star. She retains her membership in the Southern Club of Pittsburgh, Pa., and the Daughters of the American Revolution at Shelbyville, Tenn., her home before coming to Warsaw.

A native of Bacu, Va., Mrs. Hoopes lived the greater part of her life in Shelbyville, where her father, Floy F. Webb, still resides. Her brother and sister-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. James Webb and three children, live west of Warsaw. Son, Jim, sophomore at Warsaw high school, plays football; Sally is 14, Terry, 10.

Mr. and Mrs. Hoopes live at Windbrae (windy hill) on the east side of Pike lake, site of Mineral Springs, resort of an earlier era. Early American in design, the house stands alone on seven acres.

(several paragraphs describe details of the house)

Surprisingly enough Mrs. Hoopes and her husband spend most of their time when at home in the breakfast room and solarium which overlooks the lake. She loves to cook and has rare collection of cookbooks. Gardening is a favorite pastime. She looks forward to spring when the grounds will be landscaped and she can work out of doors. She has taken many prizes with her flower arrangements.

Last spring Mr. and Mrs. Hoopes toured continental Europe. They were abroad three months. during that time they traveled by rented auto in almost every country outside Russian influence --Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy. Especially memorable was their trip along the French Riviera from Marseilles to Naples. They stopped at Sarento and the Isle of Capri. In London they witnessed the Royal Tournament. They sailed on the Liberte of the French Line and returned on Queen Elizabeth.

Mrs. Hoopes thoroughly enjoys life. Lives it with zest.


Warsaw Times-Union Saturday, February 4, 1956

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