Name: Enid Justin (1894-1990)
Historical Note: Enid Justin, known affectionately in the area as "Miss Enid," was born April 18, 1894 in Nocona, Montague County, Texas, one of 7 children of Herman Joseph Justin and Anna (Allen) Justin. Herman Justin was a bootmaker, and at age 13 Enid had left school - after having been unjustly suspended for dancing on a Sunday at her brother's birthday party - to work at the factory. She learned boot making and the business from the ground up, and at age 14, Enid designed her first pair of boots. In 1915, Enid married Julius Stelzer. They briefly moved to Oklahoma, but homesickness drove Enid to convince Julius to return to Nocona, where in 1916 they had a daughter, Anna Jo, who passed away in 1918. In that same year, Enid's father passed away, and control of his boot company passed to his children. In 1925, her brother decided to move the company to Fort Worth, Texas. Enid opposed the move, believing that her father would have wanted the company to stay in Nocona, so she took over a now empty early factory of her father's and started Nocona Boot Company - using employees formerly employed in her father's firm. Through Miss Enid's hard work, the firm was a success, and prospered. At the beginning, to help meet expenses and make accounts balance, she turned her home into a rooming house, cooked for boarders, sewed and ironed for people, sold coal and washing machines. At the same time, in the factory, she worked night and day as shipping clerk, stenographer, and whatever job needed doing, as well as being the company's first traveling salesperson. In 1934, Enid and Julius divorced. Miss Enid continued to work hard with the business, designing and ensuring top quality in the boots they produced. In 1935 Paramount Pictures featured Miss Enid and the firm in a series on "Unusual Occupations", boosting sales. In 1940, she married Harry Whitman, and they divorced in 1945. In 1947, the company moved to a new 30,000 sq ft facility on U.S. Route 82. By the 1950s, her typical day began at 5:00 am when she arose and ate. She then went to the post office to pick up mail, read it, and answered most of it by 8:00 am. She was at the plant meeting dealers, suppliers, and employees until well into the evening. Under Enid's management, the company became one of the top five boot-makers in the country, and expanded in the late 1970s and early 1980s, with factories in Vernon and Gainesville, Texas. In 1981, Enid merged the company with her brothers' Justin Industries. In the 1980s, Enid devoted her energies to civic causes, donating to underwrite Little League programs, and the expansion of Nocona City Park. During her career, Miss Enid was honored by social groups, business organizations, governmental bodies, and historical societies. For her pioneering contribution to Western heritage, she was made a member of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City and honored by the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas. Enid Justin died on October 14, 1990 in Nocona, the town she loved.
Records or Manuscript Collections Created by Enid Justin