In 1888, at the height of the Industrial Revolution, Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania (pop. 2,000) was beginning to emerge as a footwear manufacturing hub. That same year Kepner Scott Shoe Co. was founded from the former shoe firm of Haeseler, Kepner and Co. by Alexander Scott and W.C. Kepner. By 1913 Orwigsburg was home to eleven shoe manufacturers collectively producing over 1.4 million pairs of children’s shoes annually.
Following Mr. Kepner’s death in 1913, Miss Elsie Hartman was elected Secretary/Treasurer of Kepner Scott Shoe Co. Elsie eventually purchased Kepner Scott and led the company through two world wars and the Great Depression. In 1961 our Grandfather, Milo H. Zimmerman, sold his interest in A.N. Wolf and Highland Shoe companies in search of a new venture. Milo’s love of children and forty plus years of footwear manufacturing experience was all that was needed for him and three of his sons to purchase Kepner Scott Shoe Co.
In the 1960’s the children’s shoe market was dominated by “stiff” uncomfortable “welted” shoes. Comfort and flexibility were being sacrificed for durability. Milo believed children needed soft, flexible and comfortable shoes. Milo and his son Clair embarked on a mission to design and craft healthier children’s shoes. Milo passed away at the age of 86 in 1982. His quest for healthier footwear eventually came to fruition and became our company’s mission. Milo’s son, Clair, assumed the leadership of Kepner Scott until his retirement in 2000. Since then Clair’s son and daughter, representing the 3rd generation of shoemakers, continue the tradition of manufacturing quality children’s shoes.