Neil and Johanna Kaper moved to DeMotte in 1934 in search of better times. Neil hauled livestock to Chicago for a couple of years, and in 1936 he bought a small business which sold used lumber and livestock feed. Neil later moved the business from Dutch Corners, three miles west of DeMotte, to a downtown location next to his own home.
The livestock feed business was sold to Bud Belstra in 1954, and is a thriving business yet today. Meanwhile, Neil concentrated on the lumber business by bringing in new materials to supplement the used lumber. The last load of used lumber came into the yard at Kaper's in 1964. In 1963, Neil sold the lumber business to sons Bob and Bill. Over the next 30 years, the company's direction became more focused on the professional contractor trade, and the company grew. Disaster struck on January 13, 1984 when fire destroyed the offices, store, and display rooms. Bob and Bill rebuilt the facility and continued to expand Kaper's business with residential and commercial contractors, creating what has become one of the largest building material suppliers in northwest Indiana today.