Front Street 1890





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P.O. Box 118826
Carrollton, TX  75011-8826



Enid Justin born April 18, 1894


"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 setting. 

Enid's 'client'



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.

Cracker JackSometime 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 making boots.

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.




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