John K. Voehringer, Jr.

1897­ – 1967
President, Mojud Hosiery Co.

John Kasper Voehringer, Jr., President of the Mock, Judson, Voehringer Company, Inc., (renamed Mojud Hosiery Co. in 1944) manufacturers of Mojud hosiery, and president of the manufacturing facilities in Greensboro, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 27, 1897. His father, John K. Voehringer, left a small farm near Geislingen in the Swäbische Alps, Germany in 1890 and came to Philadelphia where he opened and operated a small grocery store.

When he reached age fourteen, John, Jr. started to provide his own support as a helper in the shipping room of the German­American Hosiery Mills, now known as the Apex Mills, at a salary of $4.50 per week. In order to further his education, he attended night school at Northeast High School and afterward was a student at Temple University and in the Wharton School of Finance of the University of Pennsylvania, where he specialized in commercial law and accounting. After the year with German­American Hosiery Mills, he entered the employ of the Henry Lehmuth Company and continued for seven years to age 22. He started as an office boy and worked his way up to bookkeeper and assistant to the secretary­treasurer. His first executive position was as secretary-treasurer for the Oscar Nebel Company, silk hosiery manufacturers of Philadelphia, which was sold to the Gotham Silk Hosiery Company in 1925. (1, 2)

John K. Voehringer, Jr. – 1941

Mr. Voehringer then purchased the plant and equipment of the Henry Lehmuth Mill and formed an association with Bernard Mock and Nathaniel Judson, jobbers of hosiery. The new company was named Mock, Judson, Voehringer Company, Inc. (MJV) and that business merged with that of the Endurance Knitting Mills, (located on Wyoming Ave., Philadelphia) under the name Northwood Hosiery Mills.

In 1926, they sold the plant and on December 1, 1926, established MJV of North Carolina, with Voehringer as president. He supervised the construction of the plant, which opened for business April 15, 1927, with nine employees using 20,000 square feet. As the business expanded, the facilities were increased in 1928, 1930 and 1936. By 1941 the plant used a space 652 x 100 feet, with 153 full­fashioned hosiery machines and employed 1350 people in the manufacture of “Mojud” hosiery, women’s full­fashioned silk hosiery. These stockings were marketed in thousands of stores throughout the United States and hundreds of stores in other countries. Distribution centers were located in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The Greensboro plant was composed of the most modern equipment available which enabled Mojud to rank in the top five among nationally marketed hosiery. (1)

Voehringer developed his business model along definite lines. He believed in paying as much wages as possible, in improving working conditions and in keeping his people employed even if the manufacturer had to sell the product at a loss. He believed in training his own help. He founded a subsidiary company, Alabama Hosiery Mills, Decatur, Alabama and employed 600 people there. There is a hosiery finishing plant in Long Island City, New York. He is president of Southern Webbing Company, Greensboro, manufacturers of elastic straps for overalls. (1)

Athletics played a part in company history. Voehringer supported Mojud athletic teams beginning in 1929. In 1932, the Mock­Judson­Voehringer Athletic Association was organized to systematically conduct an athletic program. In 1933, tennis courts were established and in 1935, an athletic field was opened to the public. (1) Voehringer married Alice F. Boyd, of Philadelphia. One son, John Lester, graduated from Haverford School, Haverford, Pennsylvania. (He was a veteran of WW II, who was killed in action in October, 1943.) Mrs.

Voehringer was active in the work of the First Presbyterian Church of Greensboro. (1, 2) Voehringer was active in civic service. He was an active member of the Guilford County Association for the Blind, the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina, and the Boy Scouts of America. He was a thirty­second degree Mason and Shriner. He belonged to the Sedgefield Country Club, the Greensboro Country Club, and the Seaview Country Club of Absecon, New Jersey. He was a director of the Chamber of Commerce, the Southern Hosiery Manufacturers Association and a member of the National Association of Hosiery Manufacturers. (1)

John died August 2, 1967 in Greensboro. (2)

 

Sources:

  1. Henderson, Archibald, North Carolina: the Old North State and the New, Volume 5, The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1941.
  2. George Voehringer, Personal communication, 2012.