George F. Johnson (George F. Johnson)

George F. Johnson

Industrialist. He was born in Milford, Massachusetts and moved to Binghamton, New York where he became a supervisor in a shoe factory. Later he became superintendent of that company’s new plant in Lestershire, New York which was said to be the largest factory of its kind in the entire world. He became co-owner of the business, which was renamed the Endicott-Johnson Co. Under his presidency, Endicott-Johnson was the first company in the shoe industry to introduce the 8 hour work day, 40 hour work week, and provide medical coverage which was known as the Square Deal. The 40 hour work week, started on November 1, 1916, became the American standard. In 1919, Endicott-Johnson was one of the first companies to introduce a profit sharing program for its employees. In Endicott, New York, Johnson himself developed nearly all of the residential neighborhoods, selling houses to the workers at a cost to himself of $1000 each. The company also created libraries, parks (containing swimming pools and carousels that anyone could ride for free), restaurants, medical facilities, and recreational facilities. All designed to provide high quality goods and services to the employees for free or at a low cost. Endicott-Johnson would become the largest manufacturer of footwear in the United States, employing 24,000 workers at its peak producing 175,000 pairs of shoes a day. During World War I, the Endicott-Johnson shoe factories supplied military boots for all United States soldiers. To honor Johnson, in 1916 the town of Lestershire was renamed Johnson City. In the early 1920s, Endicott-Johnson workers built two arches over the area’s main road, one at the entrance to Johnson City and the other in Endicott, as testimony to the worker-company harmonious relationship. (bio by: Paul R)  Family links:  Children:  George Willis Johnson (1880 – 1953)*  Lillian Johnson Sweet (1902 – 1988)* *Calculated relationship


  • October, 14, 1857
  • USA


  • November, 11, 1948
  • USA


  • Riverhurst Cemetery
  • USA

2107 profile views