McFarland Family jacob high

McFarland Family Shoe Repair History

McFarland’s Shoe Repair has been located in Lakeland, FL since 1967, but our family history in shoe repair dates back much further. Jacob High (top) owned Jacob High Shoe Shop in Anderson, IN in the early 1900s. He was the first family member in the trade. Jacob trained his nephew, Lewis McFarland (second row, left) and Lewis founded McFarland’s Shoe Repair in 1918 in Hamilton, OH.

James R. McFarland I (second row center and featured on the November 1967 cover of The Master Shoe Rebuilder) moved the business to Florida in 1963, and to Lakeland in 1967. James R. McFarland II (Jim, pictured with his father in the bottom row), learned the trade from his father and took over the business in 1986.

Under Jim’s guidance, McFarland’s Shoe Repair has become internationally known for its craftsmanship. Jim has received more than 20 awards for excellent craftsmanship in the United States and Canada. In 2002, he won the Shoe Service Institute of America’s Grand Silver Cup – the top award for craftsmanship in the United States. Jim continues to set the standard for craftsmanship to this day as the head judge in the Silver Cup Contest.

Jim is currently training his nephew, Kyle Crouse (bottom right), who represents the fifth generation of the McFarland family in the shoe repair trade.

For more information about the history of shoe repair in the United States, check out the 100th anniversary video of the Shoe Service Institute of America.