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
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 .
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
& 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
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."
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
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.
Fort Worth, Texas Ryon Saddle and
Ranch - 1950s to present Don "Windy" Ryon
City Saddlery military stamp (1917 Packer saddle) 307-317 Delaware St., Kansas City, MO.
McLaughlin, Maker, Saginaw, Tex.
Contemporary maker since 1946.
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
A. B. Eddleman, Graham Texas
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."
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
He 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,
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
Kind regards, Lillian Chaudhary
Heritage Tack & Saddlery Willows CA 95988
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.
N. Porter Phoenix, Arizona Genuine Lee
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."
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
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, "
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
Makers of the Original Coggshall Saddles
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.
No.4 saddle by Miles City Saddlery. Courtesy of Michael
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.
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
Albert F. Furstnow, born 1862 in Fond du
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
Oregon in 1878. He died around 1923 and
his family continued the business until 1927.
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
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.
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
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
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.
photos courtesy of Terre James
J. C. Higgins
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.
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
EllisCounty. 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
EllisCounty, it is the thieving capitol of
I want this
saddle back. I will look for it until I am dead.
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.
High Noon (the Western America Tradeshow)
database of biographical info on Western artists and
companies including an
Ed Bohlin bio.
External links are listed as a convenience. We
take no responsibility and give no guarantees or
warranties, implied or otherwise, for content or
accuracy of third-party sites. External sites are not
necessarily endorsed by Cowboy Showcase.