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It all started in Newark, New Jersey, a town near the New York City port of Ellis Island, where the vast majority of European immigrants entered the United States. One of those immigrants was William J. Dudley, a master craftsman who had been schooled in the classic tradition of English shoe making. Filled with hopes of American opportunity, he established the William J. Dudley Shoe Company in his Newark home. For a while, Dudley was the company's only associate. He manufactured the shoes, and then he sold them. But as word of the quality and value of his shoes spread, Dudley soon found himself unable to meet the demand single-handedly. He needed help, and Ellis Island provided it in the form of skilled shoemakers from his native England and points throughout Europe. It was a new company, but its reputation as a maker of quality shoes was already growing. Over a hundred years later the retail stores began offering a more diverse mixture of accessories and apparel. And beginning in 1998, the brand signed licensing agreements for collections of belts, hosiery, shoe care products, leather outerwear and small leather goods. Johnston & Murphy continued to look for new ways to appeal to successful, affluent professional men in the marketplace. In 1996, Johnston & Murphy began opening stores in busy airports, train stations and on prominent streets to better reach professional men on the go. In 1998, Johnston & Murphy opened a flagship store on the corner of Madison and 54th Street in New York City to prominently showcase all facets of the brand. Today, Johnston & Murphy is still based upon the values that started the, then, small company; delivering the best possible product to the most discerning of clientele.