About John's Shoe Hospital

John's Shoe Hospital started in downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas by a Polish immigrant named Pius (John) Walkowitz in the late 1800's in a building near the fountain that later became the Black Orchid.  It was a five and dime store that also repaired shoes.  In 1908 John's Shoe Hospital moved up the street to a new single story building at 829 Central Avenue.  Joseph (Joe) Walowitz took the business over from his dad and eventually Harle David Garner took over the business from Joe where it continued at the 829 Central Avenue location until June 2023.  David Garner worked at John's Shoe Hospital starting in high school where he learned the craft and continued working until he was 83 years old.  Six months later he passed away.  He and John's Shoe Hospital will always be remebered as a downtown fixture that locals, Arkansans and many customers from out of state would rely on to extend the life of their shoes purses and leather goods.