Growth

The Justin Boots family has gone from stitching footwear to stitching wounds

A family known for stitching boots is now turning its attention to stitching wounds.

A week after announcing a massive, $300 million expansion of its Fort Worth hospital, Texas Health officials on Thursday disclosed that $10 million of the construction cost will be covered by a donation from the Jane and John Justin Foundation. The family is famous for its Justin Boots, which date to 1879.

The expansion includes construction of a nine-story patient tower and modernization of surgical services at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth. The new structure will be called the Jane & John Justin Patient Surgical Tower.

"Having such a prominent and well-respected name as Justin on our patient surgical tower further validates our commitment to Fort Worth and the communities we serve,” said Barclay Berdan, Texas Health chief executive.

There have been seven sets of triplets and 23 sets of twins born at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth in 2018. Nick and Taylor Newberry delivered the most recent set of triplets.

The hospital expansion is expected to begin this year and be completed by 2021. It will result in an additional 144 patient beds, 15 surgical suites and a new pre-operative and post-operative services area to the existing Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth, which is at 1301 Pennsylvania Ave. just southwest of downtown.

Foundation president J.T. Dickenson said the donation is fitting not only because of the Justin family's commitment to philanthropy in Fort Worth, but also because of legendary boot maker John Justin's belief in the late 1970s that a better boot-stitching system was needed to improve his product.

“It meant updating and replacing machinery in the factories and also training employees in the new system,” Dickenson said in an email. "But John was an innovator and saw that it had the potential to improve productivity and quality — and ultimately grow the company here in Fort Worth and other parts of Texas. In the end, he was right. It helped Justin boots become world famous."

This report includes information from the Star-Telegram archives.

Gordon Dickson: 817-390-7796; @gdickson
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