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Florence Shoe Company


Shoals History is excited to partner with the Rebrand Florence Instagram project. Each company from Florence’s past that is rebranded through the Rebrand Florence project will have an associated post here on the Shoals History website. The first edition is the Florence Milling Company. Read more about what the Rebrand Florence project is doing. Some research and images are graciously  provided through a partnership with the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library‘s Local History department.

Follow along with Rebrand Florence on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.


About the Florence Shoe Company

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In 1888, noted engineer and builder, J.W. Nichols, was awarded the contract for erecting the Florence Shoe Factory. The company has a capital stock of thirty thousand dollars (equivalent to over $750,000 in today’s dollars), and built a first-class factory. John Jones and R.T. Simpson owned and worked the Florence Shoe factory for three years before selling it to long-time shoe industry expert, Jacob J. Snyder of Ohio.

J.J. Snyder and his three sons assumed control of the Florence Shoe Company in September of 1891 and immediately went to work manufacturing their shoe supply for the upcoming Spring Trade. With over 40 years of experience in the shoe manufacturing industry, Mr. Snyder was known throughout the Southern states and had no trouble brining his shoes to market and making his new purchase of the Florence Shoe Factory a success.

The Florence Shoe Company navigated their business very carefully creating a first-class factory that helped to build up Florence in many ways. The shoes that they turned out were very superior, and like everything else manufactured in Florence, was sought after by purchasers and consumers alike. Mr. Snyder most certainly had one of the top shoe factories in all of the South and ensured to keep it that way by owning several valuable patents relative to the shoe manufacturing process.