About Justin JUSTIN BOOTS
In 1879, a young
H.J. Justin left Lafayette, Indiana for a
new life in Spanish Fort, Texas. Starting as a boot repairman, H.J. was a quick
study and soon began his own boot company in his home. The first Justin Boot
customers were cowboys who passed through Spanish Fort on their way up the
When a railroad was built in Nocona, Texas in 1889, H.J. moved his family and business there to capitalize on the enhanced marketing opportunities. Annie Justin, H.J.'s wife, developed a "Fit Kit" in the early 1890's, which included a tape measure and an instructions chart for taking one's measurements for a pair of custom fit boots. Cowboys carried the fit kits with them on their journeys, becoming Justin's first traveling sales force. In 1908 John and Earl came to work for their father, and the company was renamed H.J. Justin and Sons. In 1910, the company doubled its production utilizing new technology, and Justin boots were sold to 26 states, Canada, Mexico, and Cuba for $11 a pair.
John and Earl took over the business after their father's death in 1918. In 1925, the brothers moved the company's headquarters to Fort Worth to capitalize on the city's growth. Anticipating a decline in the popularity of cowboy boots, men's dress shoes were added to help the company compete against other shoe manufacturers such as Florsheim and Jarman. Venturing out to find entrepreneurial opportunities of his own, John Justin, Jr. left his job at the Justin Boot Factory with his father and uncles to start his own belt business. Commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Merchant Marines, John Jr. asked his mother to manage his belt business during his absence. Hesitant, she agreed to do it until a suitable replacement could be found. As it turned out, none was and she remained in charge until John Jr. returned from the war in 1945.
In 1950, John Justin, Jr. buys out his uncles Anis and Earl Justin to become the company's largest stockholder. He is officially named Vice President and General Manager of H.J. Justin & Sons, Inc. As the new head of his family business, John Justin, Jr. makes the decision to stop making shoes and return the manufacturing focus to the traditional cowboy boot. Inspired by the need for a dress code in the Rodeo Cowboys Association (now the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) the Justin Roper was developed from a re-design of the existing Justin Wellington boot. Officially running for Mayor against Thomas McCann, John Justin, Jr. is elected Mayor of Fort Worth in 1961. H.J. Justin & Sons strikes a deal with Acme Brick Corporation creating a new company, Justin Industries. The linking of Acme Brick and Justin brought together two enterprises dating back to the pioneer past. The Justin Boot Company celebrated 100 years of growth and prosperity by stepping back into time, holding its 1979 National Sales Meeting on the original site of H.J. Justin's first boot shop in Spanish Fort, Texas. Limited edition signature boots sparked a re-newed enthusiasm throughout the company.The introduction of the Justin Sportsmedicine program during the National Finals Rodeo in 1980 reinforces the Justin Boot Company's commitment to the professional rodeo athlete by providing comprehensive medical services never before available to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Urban Cowboy, with John Travolta, hits movie theaters; instantly driving the popularity of Western Wear and boots into mainstream fashion. Nocona Boot Company is formally merged into Justin Industries in 1981 when John Justin, Jr. buys controlling interest in the Nocona Boot Company from his aunt, Enid Justin. Ropers make it back into the Justin Boot production line. The difference this time in Technicolor: red, green, white and navy. The colorful new Ropers are a hit with men, women and children. In 1984 Justin Boots adds the Chippewa Shoe Company (established in 1905) to its family of brands. Chippewa offers rugged, specialty outdoor footwear to the diverse line of products available. And in 1990 after years of fierce, head-to-head competition, Justin Boots purchases rival boot company Tony Lama.
Hall of Fame Pitcher Nolan Ryan delivers the keynote remarks at the Southwestern Exposition Livestock Show 1996 for the unveiling of a larger than life bronze statue of longtime Chairman of the Board, John Justin, Jr. The statue depicts Mr. Justin on his favorite horse, Baby Blue. The statue welcomes visitors to the the facilities of the equestrian center in the Will Rogers Complex in historic Fort Worth, Texas.
Justin Boot Company introduces its high-tech line of workboots. While our company has grown significantly, some things haven't changed at all. We still inspect each piece of leather before it is used to build a pair of boots. Each pair is still built one at a time and inspected by hand before they ever leave our shop. Our commitment to handcrafted quality still endures to this day, it's that simple.
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