Colt Forum banner

1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,001 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
These iron spurs with "Gal Leg" shanks probably were made by Jess Hodge of Ft. McKavitt, Texas (1915-??). Born in Alabama, Hodge is suspected to have had a past that he chose to leave behind, and thus pre-1915 little is known about him. Heelbands and buttons were later decorated with French 50 Centimes dime-sized coins (six coins on each spur). Other than coins, only two unengraved diamond overlays were affixed to heelbands on each side of shank. On one spur those diamonds are engraved "S" and "P".

These spurs were purchased on a ranch not far from Ft. McKavitt many years ago. The lady there said that the “S.P.” initials must have been Stanley Patton, who was ranch foreman longer than anyone else. The 1930 Census lists Stanley Patton as a 39 year old “Ranch Foreman” in Sutton County that served in WWI. No doubt Stanley Patton (1890-1970) had these French coins added to his spurs after the war.

Also the rowels were at some time replaced with matching brass tokens that originally read: "The Ranch / ( Steerhead ) / Kerrville, Tex. // Good For / 12½¢ / Drink / M. F. Weston". That token legend is very readable on one of the tokens, after they were filed and re-shaped to fit into the existing narrow shank slots. Perhaps Stanley Patton, in his earlier years had visited The Ranch Saloon in Kerrville. M. F. Weston was saloon proprietor 1907-12.

A photo of young Stanley Patton and his tombstone are also shown.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,001 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
These spurs were made by prisoners at the Canon City (Colorado) Prison. According to some accounts, this spur production began in the early 1900’s and continued until the 1940’s.

This is perhaps the top-of-the-line spur in terms of quality and craftmanship. It is one thing to do a silver overlay, but quite another to perform an inlay. Steel must first be excavated, leaving a roughly flat bottom. Then the sides of the profiled “hole” intended for inlay must be tapered wider at the bottom. With such preparation, when a pre-shaped and thicker piece of silver is inserted and hammered into place, the sides of that silver shape expand and lock into the steel walls. Any overage in thickness is then filed flush with the local spur area.

Then the engraving of the silver begins, and judging by the very deep cuts performed, the silver inlays must be thicker than the more common overlays.

These are large double-mounted spurs made by Canon City prison inmates about 1920. They are the earlier style with heelband & shank silver inlayed. Heelband silver was then engraved in crosshatch diamond pattern w/the upper & lower partial diamonds stippled. Shank silver is engraved with a complex four-petal flower(?) near heel, and plus-shaped ornaments running out to near the rowel pins. The only overlays are on the four buttons, using thick silver & deep-cut engraving. The shank ends resemble a bird's head with beak pointed downward.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,634 Posts
Thank you for sharing these with us victorio1sw. I really enjoy seeing the different items used by the old time western working folk. After all, who grew up in the 50’s or 60’s and doesn’t still want to be a cowboy...lol. Well, me for one. I expect this to be an interesting thread as a few spurs have been seen around these parts before.

Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,001 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for sharing these with us victorio1sw. I really enjoy seeing the different items used by the old time western working folk. After all, who grew up in the 50’s or 60’s and doesn’t still want to be a cowboy...lol. Well, me for one. I expect this to be an interesting thread as a few spurs have been seen around these parts before.

Tom
I am a "Late Comer" to Spurs. No doubt some of you guys can make my head spin with pictures of your examples!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,001 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
This was my “First Pair” of antique spurs, bought in an interesting Grapevine, TX shop about 1972. One spur is stamped "OK" on the heelband as shown in picture #2. These “OK” August Buermann spurs still had some original leather straps, but literally in shreds. So, I traced their profiles and made exact copies, as seen now. They are very simple, functional straps, with no buckles to snag brush. I actually used these spurs 1972-75 while helping on a ranch in Bosque County.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
686 Posts
Surely if you're a spurs fan, victorio, you have a copy of THE book on the topic for collectors: "Old Cowboy Saddles & Spurs". I have a copy (two editions actually) because it lists 6000 saddlemakers who were all of the West's gunleather makers, too. There's a separate section for the vintage spur makers and Hodge is one of them. States there your man J.S. Hodge was a blacksmith (vs a leathersmith) who was b. 1869 and d. 1953, and that he didn't mark his spurs (with his name).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,180 Posts
It's funny, when I moved out West my dad gave me his old Bona Allen roper saddle and several pair of spurs he used in the 1950s. I used the saddle a lot, but hardly ever needed the spurs, and seldom used them. They hang on a nail near my desk to remind me of my dad. I'm not sure many riders use spurs today, I'd sometimes ride with 30 or more horse and mule riders and did some roundups, no spurs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
925 Posts
They’re up to the 7th edition of Old Cowboy Saddles and Spurs and I agree with Red, it’s a valuable reference work for collectors of many different objects.
I’ve studiously avoided accumulating saddles and spurs as a result of being inundated with gun leather but I sure admire them. Thanks for posting.
Regards,
turnerriver
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,001 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Surely if you're a spurs fan, victorio, you have a copy of THE book on the topic for collectors: "Old Cowboy Saddles & Spurs". I have a copy (two editions actually) because it lists 6000 saddlemakers who were all of the West's gunleather makers, too. There's a separate section for the vintage spur makers and Hodge is one of them. States there your man J.S. Hodge was a blacksmith (vs a leathersmith) who was b. 1869 and d. 1953, and that he didn't mark his spurs (with his name).
I do have the 6[SUP]th[/SUP] edition of Old Cowboy Saddles & Spurs by Hutchins.


Also like Cowboy Spurs & Their Makers by Pattie. She actually interviewed some of these makers and their families long ago.


Another very interesting book with a chapter on spurs is Old West Antiques & Collectibles by Joe Goodson and others.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,001 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
These were my grandfather R. A. Neumann’s spurs. When acquired a few years ago, the overlays were black with tarnish and the thick leather straps were rock hard. One of the straps was on backwards, so I definitely wanted to remove them for careful spur cleaning and re-installation. My method for softening them is still under evaluation, and it is a “new” concept, as far as I know. The straps are now pliable and of much lighter color than shown in these pictures.

I will probably never know who made these spurs, but one thing noticed different is that the staples were silver soldered from the inside. That assured that they would never wiggle loose, as so many do. Those tarnished silver rings can be seen inside the heelbands in these pictures.

One possibility is that my grandfather’s older brother, Albert Neumann, made these spurs. He had a gun and bicycle shop in Marlin, Texas late 1890’s to about 1903. A picture of Albert is also attached here. I suspect that all of those old guns on the back wall were taken in trade!
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,877 Posts
It's funny, when I moved out West my dad gave me his old Bona Allen roper saddle and several pair of spurs he used in the 1950s. I used the saddle a lot, but hardly ever needed the spurs, and seldom used them. They hang on a nail near my desk to remind me of my dad. I'm not sure many riders use spurs today, I'd sometimes ride with 30 or more horse and mule riders and did some roundups, no spurs.
I was a mounted deputy for years, and we were required to wear spurs. I used them my entire life, as has my youngest daughter, who was a better horseman than me. She rode in every discipline; English, western, saddle seat and dressage. She roped and jumped too.

I still have mine, and they too hang on the wall now, but for us, the slight touch of a rowel would be a communication to the horse that needed to perform a minute movement.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,909 Posts
I was a mounted deputy for years, and we were required to wear spurs. I used them my entire life, as has my youngest daughter, who was a better horseman than me. She rode in every discipline; English, western, saddle seat and dressage. She roped and jumped too.

I still have mine, and they too hang on the wall now, but for us, the slight touch of a rowel would be a communication to the horse that needed to perform a minute movement.
So was I for a little over 5 yrs. my duty weapon was a 1959 SA 7 1/2 .44 spcl. I qualified w/ it w/a 295 out of 300.My oldest daughter that I lost to cancer 4 yrs. ago was a competitive horsewoman in gymkhana,cutting & match racing,when she went on vacation she loaded up her 2 1/4 horses & her blue heeler & rode on roundups on ranches owned by some of her friends,she was 55 when she left me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
686 Posts
So was I for a little over 5 yrs. my duty weapon was a 1959 SA 7 1/2 .44 spcl. I qualified w/ it w/a 295 out of 300.My oldest daughter that I lost to cancer 4 yrs. ago was a competitive horsewoman in gymkhana,cutting & match racing,when she went on vacation she loaded up her 2 1/4 horses & her blue heeler & rode on roundups on ranches owned by some of her friends,she was 55 when she left me.
So the blue heeler, aka Australian cattle dog, made it to USA, too :).

blue heeler.jpg

So sorry to hear of your daughter's death. In two days' time we'll bury my wife's father here in Australia, though he had a much longer run before he 'fell off his perch' as this is called here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,180 Posts
I was a mounted deputy for years, and we were required to wear spurs. I used them my entire life, as has my youngest daughter, who was a better horseman than me. She rode in every discipline; English, western, saddle seat and dressage. She roped and jumped too.

I still have mine, and they too hang on the wall now, but for us, the slight touch of a rowel would be a communication to the horse that needed to perform a minute movement.
I ride mules, and though people have a false impression they are "stubborn", none of mine needed spurs to perform well. I did use spurs sometimes, on rough trails. I'm sure you know, for most riding, a well-trained horse or mule doesn't need spurs to encourage impulsion. The problem with spurs is both the animal and the human rider have to be very disciplined with them, and foot position and control is critical. Plenty of runaways and bucking are due to either being unfamilar with spurs. So I didn't mess with them. Squeeze the legs, bump with a calf or boot heel...that's all I need. But I'm just doing wilderness rides, trails, stream crossing, and elk hunting. Not any rodeo events, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,001 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
These silver overlaid, engraved, and plated spurs are marked “McChesney” on the outer heelbands under the buttons. They are single mounted with simple 5-point rowels.

John R. McChesney began making spurs and bits at Broken Bow, I.T. in 1887. In 1890 he moved to Gainesville, TX. By 1906 he issued his 1st catalog and also began marketing thru Justin Boot Company. In 1910 he moved to Paul’s Valley, Okla and continued production until his death Jan 8, 1928. Nocona Boot Company (Nocona, TX) bought McChesney’s company and continued making spurs 1929-33.
 

Attachments

1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top