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Cowboy Saddle Makers
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We are including saddle maker information and photos that we have accumulated on this page.  We invite folks to contribute information, maker's marks, and photos either to our email or to our Facebook page. 

Can You ID this Saddle?

Saddle Makers and Companies

Folks wanting to identify their saddles...
These pictures were sent by people wishing to know the makers of their saddles.  Without a maker's mark it is difficult.  Perhaps some visitors will recognize them and let us know .

Tony Horton

Howdy from West Virginia! Have been trying to identify this old saddle.  After cleaning off years and years of filth, we are still unable to find a maker's mark. The only thing tooled on are tiny, singular flowers here and there around the border.  Thank you!! And am enjoying your website immensely! 
Candace Faw
Made in the 40s or 50s in Texas.  It is still in beautiful shape, and the leather is very soft and supple.  The underside is padded leather.  Peggy Wag
Can you help me identify my saddle that I recently purchased at an estate sale from an elderly lady that said her aunt rode upon it in her earlier days; pictures are below. If I measured correctly, the seat is 12".
Marie Brown zjanny2003@yahoo.com

Cross and Cheney SaddleCross & Cheaney
Chickasha, county seat of Grady County, Oklahoma, is situated at the county's center forty miles southwest of Oklahoma City, where several highway systems intersect. Chickasha, Indian Territory, denoted by the I.T. in the mark, was founded in 1892. Indian Territory became Oklahoma in 1907.
 This further information was provided by Jane Barfknecht who says, "my husband is a saddle maker Charles Barfknecht Saddlery-Highland Village, Texas & Muenster, Texas stamps)."
The Cheaney family in Gainesville, Texas have been saddlemakers for years. Gainesville is just across the Red River from Oklahoma.
Cheaneys Custom Saddles Inc.
318 Lindsay Street-Gainesville, Texas 76240, 940-668-8607

Fred Mueller, Denver, Colo
Born in the 1860s in St. Louis MO, Mueller opened his first shop in Denver in 1891.  He sold his business to his employees in 1917 and it continued till 1957.  He died in 1924.
Bill Kane shared these photos with us, saying, "Here is a Fred Mueller that we own. Don't know when it was made but his mark would indicate prior to selling his company to his workers."

Mueller saddle Mueller saddle
R.T. Frazier, Pueblo, Colorado
R. T. Frazier Saddlery was in business from 1898-1958.
Our example to the right is a saddle shown to us courtesy of Dave Fullarton, Australia.  He says, "A guy I knew brought a house in Rockhampton, Qld, (Australia) which contained a small locked shed out the back. The story is that some people were coming from England to Australia around the 1900s and they brought some sea chests for their journey. In the chests were a pair or angora chaps, a set of throwing knifes and this saddle. Over the years the chaps and knives disappeared. The saddle is in remarkable order. I presume that is was left over from when Buffalo Bill toured England."
Dave Jones saddlemakerDave Jones, Monticello, Fla.
A
contemporary saddle maker, Jones Saddlery, who made his first for-sale saddle for Arthur Godfrey in 1958. He was also an accomplished horse trainer and cowboy.  Dave was a long time contributor to Western Horseman and other magazines.

 
Here is a link to his obituary: http://www.flamuseum.com/davejones.html 

Ryon, Fort Worth, Texas
Ryon Saddle and Ranch - 1950s to present
Don "Windy" Ryon

Kansas City Saddlery
military stamp (1917 Packer saddle)
307-317 Delaware St., Kansas City, MO.  1915-1925.

Price McLaughlin, Maker, Saginaw, Tex.
Contemporary maker since 1946.

J.G. Read & Bros, Ogden, Utah
J.G. Read learned saddlemaking beginning at the age of 17 working for Cornish & Walton in Ogden Utah during the 1870s.  In 1883 he bought the firm and renamed it J.G. Read Harness & Saddlery.  His brother W.S. joined him a year later and together they also purchased the small firm of Cheyenne Harness & Saddlery of Ogden.  They were joined in 1898 by a third brother, Oscar I. and formed the J.G. Read and Brothers Co.  The firm was active as a leather goods, harness and saddlery store at that time, but as the years went by, adjusted to progress by selling motor car accessories (tires, batteries) and even later, household appliances and furnishings.

EDDLEMAN BROS. SAD. CO. Maker Graham, Tex.
"My husband has a saddle that his father bought back in the late 1960s. It has a stamp that reads EDDLEMAN BROS. SAD. CO. Maker Graham, Tex. on the seat and both Stirrup leathers. It also has a bull stamp on both stirrup leathers and tooling across the seat. I have attached a photo of the stamp." Thanks, Julia Washburn

A. B. Eddleman, Graham Texas 1900-1962
The Eddleman Bros brand was used from about 1897-1957.
There is quite a bit of history about ownership changes.
Dorman Holub, Graham, Texas adds the following information:
"If the building burned in 1957 - that would have made The Graham Leader in Graham, Texas. There is no record of the saddle company burning.
The business flourished under the new owners and Eddleman saddles were still being made by the saddlemakers who worked for the Eddleman brothers until the 1980s using Eddleman patterns. The Eddleman stamp was still being used until 1994.
There is a way to tell whether an Eddleman saddle is before the time of the selling of the saddle shop and after according to an agreement with the Eddleman's. The Eddleman stamp is still in Graham, Texas as are the patterns for Eddleman Saddles."

Side Saddles
I specialize in ladies sidesaddles and have been dealing in them for 35+ years, these two are part of my private collection.   
Marti Friddle VP American Sidesaddle Assn. ASA Certified Instructor http://hundredoaksinc.comHe has written extensively on this subject, and for further reading interested parties can purchase his book  "The Sidesaddle Legacy", through Amazon.com 
I think the mystery of the "medallion sidesaddles" has been solved!   I'd sent you photos of 2 western sidesaddles that are on display in our shop.    Both have the distinctive "medallion" or "sunflower" design on them, and have other very similar elements, such as a handhold (somewhat rare in sidesaddles) and a pretty purse on the right side of the saddle.   

Fellow sidesaddle enthusiast and saddle maker Lillian Chaudhary of Willows, CA sent me the information shown on the attached  black & white photos.    The saddle in her photos was made by J S Calles, Prescott, AZ.    Prior to finding the saddle in Oregon, nobody's had an exact date on these western sidesaddles.    The b&w photocopy I emailed you gives a date of 1866.   It's quite possible that's correct, although documenting it will be difficult.  The "Goodnight Style" sidesaddle came into being during the late 1880s, 1890s.  The sidesaddle generally fell out of use prior to WWI (1917) in the US.    Interestingly, I know of 3 of these saddles that were found in Oregon, and both of mine came from California.

   
Modern sidesaddle maker:
"I stumbled onto your web site by accident while searching for another site. I found it very interesting. I wanted to send photos of some modern sidesaddles I have made. I have restored many Vintage Sidesaddles as well. Most people think the sidesaddle is a thing of the past but many of my clients have orthopedic problems and can not ride astride a horse any more.
I have made off side sidesaddles for clients who have lost a leg to cancer but refused to give up riding horseback.
Also there are many men as well as women who ride aside. In the past there were men who rode aside, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis De Lafayette. In their older years they were so stove up with arthritis and rheumatism they could not ride astride.
I am sending a few sidesaddle photos of sidesaddles I have made."
   Kind regards, Lillian Chaudhary
   Heritage Tack & Saddlery
  Willows CA 95988

Porter Saddles

Newton Porter, originally from Texas, opened a shop in Phoenix, Arizona around 1898.  He died around 1912 but his sons were among the most important saddlemakers in the world during the 1930s and 1940s.  From the 1890s through the 1960s, Porter's Saddles employed two dozen or more master craftsmen, who tooled and sewed the saddles.  Their saddles were world famous for being among the finest made.  They also mentored apprentices who often opened their own shops. 

Porter Saddles
N. Porter Phoenix, Arizona
Genuine Lee Robinson Trademark
N Porter saddle mark

N Porter Co. Tucson, Arizona

"Porter Saddlery started out in a canvas tent just after the Civil War in Abilene, KS..Newton Porter (N Porter) was the first, hence the stamp.  In 1888, they moved to Washington State.  By the early 1900s, they had set up shop in Phoenix with clientele in Tucson and southern Arizona serviced by a traveling sales wagon.  Harold Porter was born in Phoenix.  Harold picked up the reins of the family business in 1925 when his father passed. In the 1930s, Harold moved to Tucson and set-up a brick and mortar store, strictly saddlery, on Congress Street. Slowly Harold introduced Western wear to the mix. He took the striped. lighter fabric of the gambler's pants and had his tailor create a new, lighter weight version of the frontier pant, just for himself at first. However, they soon were in demand as a staple wear among the men folk in the area. Back then, squaw skirt outfits were what every well-dressed Tucson lady clamored to wear and Harold gave them what they wanted. He had four or five seamstresses creating them exclusively under the Porter label. I still have one, my grandma's, that I wear with pride. In the late 1930s, Porter's moved, up-scaled they called it, to a store in the Pioneer hotel. Porter's was frequented both by your average cowboy and a whole string of celebrities. In 1963, they moved to a larger store in the 800 block of N. Stone Ave. He chose the location because it allowed his cowboy clientele to pull in and park with their horse trailers. Porter's closed their doors on April 1, 1983 due to Harold's poor health. He died 5 years later at the age of 84. Interestingly, it wasn't Harold or any of his descendants or kin who built the saddles with the Porter stamp in Tucson, at least.

In the late 1920s, Porter's built and presented the trophy saddle to Lee Anderson at the Tucson Rodeo.  It was the predecessor to the modern day roping saddle. In the Tucson area, if you sat a Porter saddle, it meant you had made something of yourself. I have my Grandfather's Porter with its custom tapaderos, circa 1929." 
Information courtesy of Catherine Lilbit Devine, Tucson, AZ


J.L. White,
saddle maker at the H. Porter store on Stone avenue in Tucson, Arizona - photo courtesy of Pam Cordier.

JL White saddlemaker at H Porter, Tucson, Arizona

J.L. White, saddle maker at H. Porter store in Tucson.  Pam Cordier shared a picture of J.L. with the saddle, in the forefront, that he was building for her.  The picture was taken at his shop in the rear of the Porter’s store on Stone Ave, in Tucson.  Photo courtesy of Eddie Hartzell, at H. Porters, Tucson, in 1971. She emphasizes, "The Porter store in Tucson was always H. Porter not ever a N. Porter."  
Editor's note:  The Tucson Porter maker's mark above definitely looks like "N. Porter Co."


Miles City Saddlery
I
In 1909, Charles E. Coggshall employees Clem Kathmann, Frank Jelinek and Bert Coleman, bought out Coggshall and formed the Miles City Saddlery Co.  At its peak between 1910 and the Depression years of the 1930s, there were up to 40 saddle makers working in Miles City.  During this period,  the cattle range started closing up and there was a corresponding decline in the need for saddles. During the Depression, no one could afford buying saddles. The company changed hands a number of times and Carl Wilson closed the saddle shop in 1982.  In 1989, Jack and Mary Lou Deibel bought Miles City Saddlery  and reinstated saddlemaking.

 

Makers of the Original Coggshall Saddles

Miles City Saddlery

 

 

 

This is a Miles City #8 Bronco or Contest Saddle that originally sold for $66.  It is made on a Coggshall's Improved Roundup Tree and has a 15" swell.


  

1918 custom-made No.4 saddle by Miles City Saddlery.
Courtesy of Michael Redman www.PureCowboy.us


Hamley & Co. - Pendleton, Oregon

   

Each maker in Hamley's shop had a distinctive border that he placed around the Circle H Trade Mark.


Maupin Bronc Saddles - Elko, Nevada

Bill Maupin
   
Contemporary saddle maker


Vanco - Sacramento, California

VanCo was a maker out of Sacramento, California.  Van Voorhees and Company started in 1850.  In 1920 they took on a partner and became Van Voorhees-Phinney Co.  They used the VanCo brand until the 1940s.  Photos courtesy of Rayanne Engel Currin

Maker Don Hughes, Burnes, Oregon

 

Bill Long -Spokane, Washington

   
Bill Long Spokane, Washington
Custom saddlemaker who also ran "Bill Long Saddle School."  He set up the custom saddle making course at Spokane Falls Community College and taught there the first year, before Jesse Smith took over the position.  Long later moved to Hamilton, Montana.
 Courtesy of Cole White.  His Grand Dad's saddle built in 1969.

Otto F Ernst -Sheridan, Wyoming
 
Otto Frederick Ernst, born 1872 in Louisville, KS, learned the trade working for a Mr. Dodgion in Wamergo, KS.  Ernst and his family moved to Sheridan, Wyoming in 1900 where he worked at several jobs including making saddles for George Parmeter.  Otto and John P. Buckley opened the Ernst-Buckley Saddlery in 1902 and it continued until 1907 when Buckley left.  Otto's brother John became the master saddlemaker.  Otto's oldest son Ernie joined the firm in 1921.  Otto died in 1938 and the business continued until it closed in 1975, a year after Ernie died.

Photo Courtesy of Chandra Weeks

Photo Courtesy of Jenny Evjen

AL Furstnow - Miles City, Montana


Albert F. Furstnow, born 1862 in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, established the Al Furstnow Saddlery Co. in Miles City, Montana in 1884.  In December 1894 he went into a partnership with Charles E. Coggshall.  That partnership lasted until 1899.  Furstnow was known for his fancy leatherwork and fine workmanship and materials He carried a large line of cowboy goods. In his 1916 catalogue, he claims to have originated the swell fork design though others dispute this claim. He died in 1923.  The saddlery continued in business until 1982. 

Photo Courtesy of Chandra Weeks

Pete VerBeck - Miles City Montana

Born in 1900, Pete Verbeck began his apprenticeship with Al Moreno at Al Furstnow's Saddlery.  In 1919 he went to work and Miles City saddlery and stayed until 1931.  In 1936 he returned to Furstnow's, but left again to work at Miles City Saddlery, and later returned again to Furstnow's.  In 1947, he opened his own shop, Pete's Saddle Shop, and made saddles there until he died in 1976.

John Clark - Portland, Oregon
John Clark started his saddlery in Portland, Oregon in 1878.  He died around 1923 and his family continued the business until 1927.

   
"Child’s saddle we believe was built in the early 1900’s.  It has been in our family almost 100 years. The saddle makers mark is a small diamond inside a larger diamond.  In the space between the lines is stamped 'John Clark and Son Portland Oregon'."  Steve and Leslie Dobson 


Unusual saddle made by the John Clark Saddlery Company in Portland Oregon.  The estimated date is late 1800's to early 1900's.  Some of the features are a brand marking on both sides which is the letter M crowned with a sun burst.  Their is also the number 8 on the center of the pommel.  The horn is metal and looks like it had be covered with polished nickel.  The seat is a rough out type with a brochette design.  Stirrups are wood and measure across the inside 4.5 inches.  Measurements from the inside of pommel to the back edge of the seat are 13-inches, and 15-inches from the back edge of horn to the back of the seat.  And the measurement from the base of the horn while touching the seat to the back edge is 18-inches.  The tree is also in excellent condition and not broken.  The approximate weight is around 20-pounds.
We would appreciate your
emailing with any ideas about the original use of this light-weight saddle.



Don Peters - Clark Saddle
Clark & Sons saddle mark
Courtesy of Joe Hendricks-Klamath Falls OR.
 
Keyston Bros. Saddlery
In 1868, James Keyston began Keyston Bros. James began making whips and lashes in the stable of his father's home on Church Street in San Francisco. James and William Keyston, sons of Samuel Keyston, started manufacturing saddles in San Francisco in 1906.  Shortly after the earthquake and fire of that year they bought out JC Johnson Co. makers of saddles and harness.  In later years, they bought out several other companies and became the largest manufacturer of saddles and harness on the Pacific Coast.  In 1950 they bought out HH Heiser  (Denver) from the Denver Dry Goods Company with the Keyston Brothers marketing under the Heiser - Keyston combined names and 1959, Lichtenberger (Los Angeles.) and became Heiser Keyston Lichtenberger to late 1960s.  The company continued their riding goods business in Sparks, NV until 1999.  Keyson Bros. remains in business today as an upholstery fabric and supply distribution company.

L White was born in 1886 and died 1952.  He started his Ft. Worth, TX shop around the time of the Mexican Revolution to supply the US Cavalry or US Army.  His son Louis White took over the shop after his death and ran it until 1969 when Louis died.  Louis’s wife Alvern White closed the shop in 1972. 

JW Jenkins & Sons were at 76 & 78 E Second South, Salt Lake City, UT. “Saddles and Harness of all styles, and everything pertaining to horse equipments.”
JW Jenkins opened the saddlery in the mid 1850s. JW Jenkins Jr. operated the shop from 1890-1940.  Other brothers of JW Jr. in the business appear to be CH Jenkins and SJ Jenkins.  JW Jenkins III operated from 1940 to 1973.

Jenkins & Sons Saddle  Jenkins & Sons Saddle 
photos courtesy of Terre James Labus
J. C. Higgins
J C Higgins saddle
Photo courtesy of Tess Voisard
From 1908 until 1962, Sears, Roebuck & Company sold a wide variety of sporting goods and recreational equipment including saddles and rifles, under the brand name "J. C. Higgins.”

LOST SADDLE
We have posted the saddle information below for a visitor from Texas.  If you are able to help him recover his saddle, please respond directly to him at his address below.

"My name is Bob Burnitt and I am trying to find my saddle that was stolen in March of 2004.  I bought it BRAND NEW in 1968, it was a “Potts Longhorn” built by Billy Cook, the REAL Billy Cook.  You could put it beside a Windy Ryon, a L. White, or a Billy Cook saddle of the day and NOT tell it apart.  It was a”professional Horse-Man’s” saddle.  Not one of the Billy Cook feedstore saddles you see now.   It had a Chuck Shepherd Tree, with a silver horn cap that said Longhorn Roper.  It was handtooled all over and was buckstitched all over which was popular at the time believe it or not.  The buckstitching wore off the first year I had it.  Very little of that remained but the holes for it are still there..  The saddle had an EXTREME amount of wear on it when it was stolen but it had not been ridden since I quit training racehorses in the late 70’s.  The seat was padded and SMALL.  The left wear leather was missing from under the dee rings and I STILL have that.  I can PROVE it’s mine when I see it.
I have been looking for it for 6 years and will pay a $1,000 CASH reward for the return of the saddle and another $1,000 for the name of the sob that stole it.  A ton of other stuff was stolen when this saddle was stolen but the saddle was IRREPLACEABLE!!!!
I found a saddle VERY SIMILAR to it and have attached some photos.  This saddle is a little different, it is an “Ashcraft All Around” and appears to have a “Low Down Roper tree in it.  Mine had a Chuck Shepherd BUT it had the same HORN in size and style.  The major difference between the saddle in the photo and mine is mine did NOT have as much “swell” at the fork.  Other wise it is VERY similar but mine had a LOT more wear as I trained horses all over the United States and Old Mexico when I was young.  I can’t ride a horse now and probably never will again, but I want that saddle BACK.  I most certainly want to find the low life that stole it so I can give him his.
 
This saddle was stolen in our 30th burglary here in Ellis County.  Jeff Crilley from Fox 4 did a story on it and Scott Gordon with KXAS 5 did a story and LIVE broadcast out here regarding the fact we have been burglarized 30 times.  Take a tip from me, don’t move to Ellis County, it is the thieving capitol of Texas. 

I want this saddle back. I will look for it until I am dead."

Thanks for your help!!!!  Bob Burnitt  800-692-6319 bobburnitt@aircanopy.net


Resources:

We have found a few sites that have further interesting information on saddlemakers and collectables and list them here as a convenience for your research.  With regard to purchases, a buyer should be absolutely certain that they are sure of what they are buying and any guarantees implied.

We would like to make a collection of photos and history of makers and maker's marks.  If you have something to share, please email us.
 

 


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