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Jarman, W. Maxey (10 May 1904–09 September 1980), corporate executive and philanthropist, was born Walton Maxey Jarman in Nashville, Tennessee, the son of James Franklin Jarman, part-owner of a shoe company, and Eugenia Maxey. In his youth Jarman liked working with cars and radios and attended a local public high school specializing in engineering and other technical subjects. He also had a hand in starting WSM, Nashville’s first radio station. He enrolled at Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an electrical engineering major, but quit during his junior year in 1924 to join his father in starting a new shoe factory. The firm, known at first as Jarman Shoe Company, began with capital of $130,000. It reached $1,000,000 in sales and turned a profit the first year and established the pattern of doubling sales and profits every six years. Jarman married Sarah McFerrin Anderson of Gallatin, Tennessee, in 1928. She had studied math at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and was an accomplished diver, noted for her jumps from cliffs into the Cumberland River. The couple raised three children....

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Johnson, George Francis (14 October 1857–28 November 1948), shoe manufacturer and philanthropist, was born in Milford, Massachusetts, the son of Francis A. Johnson, seaman and shoe worker, and Sarah Jane Aldrich. Johnson’s childhood was spent in a series of New England villages as his father moved about in search of better work. He left school at age thirteen to go to work in a boot factory....