"Enid, who was born on
April 18, 1894, began work at the age of twelve inserting order
forms in catalogs. At the age of fifteen, after a disagreement with
local officials concerning the propriety of dancing, Enid
dropped out of school and was employed stitching boot tops in
her father's shop. Enid later
regretted leaving school and always advised children to stay in
school and use their education to succeed in life." ( University of
North Texas Archives )
She told me a different story about the dancing
episode. She attended a school sponsored dance. At this time the
boys and girls were not allowed to dance together. The girls could
only dance with other girls. She was not one to be ordered
around and was not afraid of the Devil himself.
She chose a boy and proceeded to have a dance. The
Superintendent immediately halted the fun and sent her home. He told
her to stop by his office on Monday before classes started. On
Monday she reported to the Superintendent's office and was told she
would be required to apologize for her inappropriate behavior. Not
surprisingly, she refused to do so. After a few attempts to wring an
apology, the Superintendent told her she was expelled until she
changed her mind and apologized. She went home, and never came back.
She told me that she never regretted her actions for a minute but
that she realized it was a bad example and never repeated that story
to young people and always encouraged them to finish school. This
storey was related to me by Miss Enid herself some time around 1970.
When she started her own company after her
brothers moved to Fort Worth, with
her husband Julius, and a few employees from the Justin operation
who did not move to Fort Worth. Julius served as president. Enid
worked as shipping clerk, bill collector, stenographer, and
salesperson for the company.
She also found it necessary during the first few years to earn extra
money preparing lunches for oil field workers, operating a boarding
house, sewing and ironing for residents, peddling coal, and selling
washing machines. She also revived a girlhood service - baby
I never knew anyone who ate one of her lunches. I
bet they were good because she did not take half measures. ( That is
a contemporary way of saying something for which we use a more
colorful phrase today. )
I did know one of the children she baby sat. He
remembered her as his favorite baby sitter. She must have been
a very good baby sitter because I have it on very good authority
that this kid was a spoiled brat.
She was very proud of the title "The Lady Boot
Maker" but there was another title in which she delighted. ( Even if
it was self proclaimed.) She styled herself "The Cracker Jack" lady.
She loved children and she loved Halloween. She really outdid
everyone on Halloween. When I was "Trick or Treating", when everyone
else was giving bubblegum and 5 for a penny candy (Remember Clove
chewing gum?) , she was giving full sized, five cent candy bars. I
remember that there was a line of cars a block long waiting to get
to her front door. The only thing better that Miss Enid's house was
the trip to my "grand mother's" house and to three aunts houses.
they always had the real stuff, homemade candy and popcorn balls the
size of softballs.
after my trick or treat days she switched from the full sized candy
bars to full sized boxes of Cracker Jack. The lines of cars and kids
continued down the street and the white lights shining on that huge
pink house lit up the whole street. When I took my daughter to the
Cracker Jack lady's house, I remember thing it was sad that she did
not have aunts to make popcorn balls for Halloween treats.
She insisted on being called "Miss Enid Justin".
She was very proud of what she had accomplished and wanted to be
sure that everyone knew that she had done it herself without the
help of a worthless husband. She made no bones about the fact
that she had very little use for men and even less for husbands. She
told me several times that every husband she had was only interested
in getting control of her company or learning the Justin way of
When I was about 25, I had been at the F&M bank
full time for about three years. One thing I learned about Miss Enid
was that she was serious about minimizing business expenses, for the
Boot Company and for every company with she did business. Each month
the Boot Companies bank statements would fill a bushel basket and
weigh about 25 pounds. She had never allowed the bank too mail these
statements. She insisted on picking them up in person after the
first of the month. I just assumed this was either paranoia or
eccentricity. She told me later it was because she did not
want the bank to spend the money on postage.
When I discovered this habit, I gathered them up
for her and carried them to her car for her every month. After about
six months of this, one day as I was closing the back door to her
car after placing the large 11x15 inch envelopes on the rear seat of
the car, I closed the door and turned to find her standing between
me and the sidewalk with her hands on her hips and looking at me
over her glasses with a frown. I was trapped between her car, the
car to the left, and the traffic on Clay street behind me. I thought
"OH BOY. What have I done now?"
Before I could say a word, she told me "You do
not fool me for a minute young man! I know exactly what
you are up to!" The tone was exactly the tone your grandmother would
use on you. I was shocked speechless and did not reply. She said
"You are just buttering me up because I have so much money and
because my company is the largest in town!"
I said "Oh no Miss Enid. You are misjudging. I
would carry this load for any lady, or man, as old as you are even
if they were not a customer."
I do not need to describe the fire that flashed in
her eyes, but in an instant it was gone and she began laughing so
hard I was afraid she was going to vapor lock. After that day she
treated me like the prince of the kingdom. We had lots of very nice
personal visits after that.