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Spurs and the Great West

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nrobertb
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#961 Post by nrobertb » Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:50 pm

In the 1940s Robert H. Crates joined T. Fletcher Sims in building Sims Collar & Leather Company in Chattanooga, Tennessee, established in 1932, into world-wide distributor and industry leader, Simco Leather Company.

The years after World War II brought a great demand for recreational saddlery and riding equipment, which soon eclipsed the work harness and farm equipment business. The sport of Rodeo grew rapidly, to become a major factor in the “horse business”. Robert H. Crates became the sole owner of Simco in the 1950’s and was joined in the 50’s after military service by sons Daniel M. and Robert C. Crates.

The 50’s, 60’s and 70’s were boom days for both Western and English riding sports. Simco Leather during this period was considered one of the largest world-wide distributors of western equestrian equipment, as well as a major pioneering factor in horse clothing and nylon tack and equipment. The company grew to two manufacturing plants in Tennessee, and a distribution warehouse in Oregon to serve the West Coast.

In 1982 Robert H., Daniel M., and Robert C., along with key Simco team members, established Crates Leather company, Inc., in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to perpetuate the tradition of Crates-made western saddlery, distributed world-wide, as did the former company. Manufacturing was located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA, home territory for over 75 years.

The photos are of a square skirt and a round skirt Simco saddle. The latter is more common.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#962 Post by LCPfraTN » Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:58 pm

You continue to amaze me with all of your posts in this thread! You have certainly lived a very rich life with all the places you have been and the experiences you have had. I’ve seen and done a few things in my life too, but I still want to visit many of the places that you have shown us in this thread...many of which I had never really heard of until you posted about them. So, Thanks and keep it up!


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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#963 Post by nrobertb » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:35 pm

Thanks for the kind words. I'll keep posting as long as I can think of something to say.

Here's a nice knife by Steve Randall from South Carolina.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#964 Post by nrobertb » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:16 am

Cedar Breaks National Monument is a U.S. National Monument located in Utah near Cedar City. Cedar Breaks is a natural amphitheater, stretching across 3 miles, with a depth of over 2,000 feet. The elevation of the rim of the amphitheater is over 10,000 feet above sea level.

The eroded rock of the amphitheater is more eroded than, but otherwise similar to formations at nearby Bryce Canyon National Park, Red Canyon in Dixie National Forest and select areas of Cedar Mountain. Because of its elevation, snow often makes parts of the park inaccessible to vehicles from October through May. Its rim visitor center is open from June through October. Several hundred thousand people visit the monument annually. The monument area is the headwaters of Mammoth Creek, a tributary of the Sevier River.

The bristlecone pine, a species of tree that is known as the longest living single organism, can also be found in the high country, with some local specimens known to be more than 1600 years old. Sub-alpine meadows dot the canyon rim in such areas as Alpine Pond, which is an easy hike from the road along a clear trail. Aspen, Engelmann spruce, subalpine fir trees, and limber pine also grow here.

The amphitheater, located near the west end of the Colorado Plateau, covers the west side of the Markagunt Plateau, the same plateau that forms parts of Zion National Park. Uplift and erosion formed the canyon over millions of years, raising and then wearing away the shale, limestone, and sandstone that was deposited at the bottom of an ancient 70 by 250 miles lake, known as Lake Claron about 60 million years ago. It continues to erode at a pace of about 2 inches every 5 years. Atop the plateau, volcanic rock known as rhyolitic tuff covers much of the area, formed during cataclysmic eruptions around 28 million years ago.

The rocks of the eroded canyon contain iron and manganese in various combinations, providing brilliant colors that led Indians to call it the Circle of Painted Cliffs. Iron oxides provide the reds, oranges and yellows, while manganese oxides provide shades of purple. The color of rock is soft and subtle compared to the hoodoos at Bryce Canyon.

The area is a form of badlands—canyons, spires, walls, and cliffs so steep and confusing that the lands, while of great aesthetic value, are of little utilitarian worth. Early settlers called them badlands or breaks and created its current name by combining breaks with cedar for the many juniper trees that grow in the area.

Cedar Breaks National Monument was established in 1933. A small lodge, designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood and built and operated by the Utah Parks Company once existed near the south end of the monument, but it was razed in 1972. The Cedar Breaks Lodge was the smallest of the park lodges in the Southwest. It was deemed "uneconomical to operate" by the Park Service, but protests associated with its demolition caused the Park Service to re-examine its policies concerning lodges in other parks, contributing to their preservation.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#965 Post by nrobertb » Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:22 pm

Spurs by R.A. Glenn of Throckmorton, Texas.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#966 Post by nrobertb » Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:22 am

John Baker Omohundro (July 26, 1846 – June 28, 1880), also known as "Texas Jack," was an American frontier scout, actor, and cowboy. Born in rural Virginia he served in the Confederacy during the American Civil War and later as a civilian scout for the US Army during the Indian Wars. Before his untimely death, Texas Jack became a legendary figure in the American Old West as a western showman performing dramas on the stage throughout the country, and was immortalized in dime novels published around the world.

Omohundro was born in Palmyra on the Pleasure Hill farm in Fluvanna County, Virginia, on July 26, 1846, to John Burwell and Catherine Baker Omohundro of Anglo-American ancestry. He attended grammar school in Fluvanna and at an early age showed a strong skill in hunting and fishing.

At the start of the American Civil War, Omohundro attempted to join his older brother, Orville, in the Confederate Army. He was twice refused for his age, but was allowed to serve as a courier at the headquarters of the Virginia Militia under Major General John B. Floyd. Because of his youth and knowledge of the countryside he became known as the "Boy Scout of the Confederacy". In February 1864, at the age of 17, he successfully enlisted as a private in Company G of the 5th Virginia Cavalry, part of the Army of Northern Virginia, and was soon serving directly in General J.E.B. Stuart's command as a courier and scout. At the Battle of Yellow Tavern he delivered a scouting report to J.E.B. Stuart only minutes before the General was killed in battle. During the Battle of Trevilian Station, Omohundro was wounded and admitted to the Confederate States General Hospital in Charlottesville on June 20, 1864. After recovering from his injuries, and a short leave home, he returned to his Company and scouted under the command of General Lunsford Lomax. Following the Third Battle of Winchester, the 5th Virginia Cavalry was consolidated with the 15th Virginia Cavalry, where Omohundro scouted under General Fitzhugh Lee during the last months of the war.

After the Civil War, Omohundro left Virginia at age 19 for Florida. After a short time he moved on to Texas, arriving at the Taylor Ranch near Brazos, where he began working as a cowboy participating in cattle drives, notably on the Chisholm Trail. After one drive across Arkansas to a meat-poor Tennessee, he was given nickname "Texas Jack" by the locals. On another drive, Omohundro found a five-year-old boy orphaned after a Native American raid killed his family. He brought the boy to safety in Fort Worth, and the boy later took the name Texas Jack Jr. in homage, going on to run the Texas Jack's Wild West Show and Circus in 1903 in South Africa.

In 1869, Texas Jack moved to Fort Hays, Kansas, where he met California Joe Milner and Wild Bill Hickok, the latter being sheriff of Ellis County at the time. Later that year, Jack met and befriended William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, who was working with the 5th U.S. Cavalry at Fort McPherson, and Jack was hired as a scout and trail guide during the Indian Wars. Special permission had to be obtained as the U.S. Government did not generally permit the employment of ex-Confederate soldiers. During the Battle of Summit Springs, Texas Jack captured his well known white horse from Indian Chief Tall Bull. Texas Jack moved to Cottonwood Springs, Nebraska, where, aside from his work as a scout for the government, he made a lucrative living leading hunting expeditions for American and foreign parties which were popular at the time. Notably, Texas Jack, together with Cody, led the highly publicized royal hunt of 1872 with Grand Duke Alexei of Russia and several American military figures, including General Philip Sheridan, General George Custer, and Colonel James Forsyth. Later in 1874, Texas Jack guided the Earl of Dunraven though Yellowstone and Geyserland. In 1876, Texas Jack led Sir John Rea Reid and his party on a hunt around the Bighorn Mountains and Sweetwater country.

In December 1872, Omohundro and Cody debuted the first Wild West show, Scouts of the Prairie, in Chicago written and produced by Ned Buntline. Texas Jack's performance was well-received by critics and featured the first rope act performed on the American stage. The show starred Giuseppina Morlacchi, a dancer and actress from Milan, Italy, who was performing in the theater circuit with her Morlacchi Ballet Troupe when she was invited to join Scouts of the Prairie with the group. She and Texas Jack fell in love and were married on August 31, 1873 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Rochester, NY.

Desiring a lighter tour schedule, Texas Jack parted ways with Cody, and in 1877 he formed his own acting troupe in St. Louis, known as the Texas Jack Combination featuring Morlacchi, Arizona John Burke, the Modoc War scout Donald McKay, trick-shot Maud Oswald, and several Sweetwater & Warm Spring Indians.

Texas Jack and Morlacchi settled in Massachusetts with a home in downtown Lowell and a small farm in Billerica.[23] In the spring of 1880, after several performances in the region the couple decided to sojourn in the silver-mining town of Leadville, Colorado. There Omohundro became acquainted with Horace Tabor and briefly joined Tabor's Light Cavalry, a local militia formed to keep order in the newly founded town. A few months after arriving, Texas Jack contracted a cold which developed into pneumonia, he died weeks later.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#967 Post by nrobertb » Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:13 pm

n 1892 after 8 years with the S. C. Gallup Saddlery Company R. T. Frazier was able to achieve buying into the Saddlery and a partnership with S. C. Gallup. The maker mark for the S. C. Gallup and Frazier Saddlery was a Texas Longhorn Steer with a G&F branded on the left side. The Partnership was named The S. C. Gallup and Frazier Saddlery which was operated by the two men until 1898 when R. T. Frazier opened his Saddlery Business in Pueblo, Colorado named the R. T. Frazier Saddlery. When S. C. Gallup and R. T. Frazier went their separate ways R. T. Frazier continued using the Tag Line "The Original Designer, Owner and Maker of the Famous Pueblo Saddle" although the original design and manufacture was originally attributable to S. C. Gallup, Francis Gallup and E. L. Gallatin.

The R. T. Frazier Saddlery opened in 1898 and immediately R. T. Frazier started developing the Mail Order Business which he saw as being the way of the future. The R. T. Frazier Saddlery printed their first catalog in 1899 and they were soon on the way to becoming one of the largest mail order Stock Saddle Makers in the World. The Pueblo Stock Saddle which helped build the R. T. Frazier Saddlery reputation offered a Double Rigging which was a much more secure and stable seat for the rider although the saddle was heavy and harder on the horse. Along with other refinements the Pueblo Stock Saddle became a favorite of performers and riders of rough terrain because of their stability although many people referred to them as Horse Cripplers.

In approximately 1908 The R. T. Frazier Saddlery entered into a contract with The Miller Brother's 101 Wild West Show wherein Frazier would supply Saddles, Tack and Harness equipment. The Millers' neighbor Major Gordon W. Lillie, who performed as Pawnee Bill, motivated the Millers to produce a Wild West Show of their own. The Millers made their transition from putting on local shows to the national scene in 1907, when they performed at the Jamestown Exposition in Virginia.

In 1908, the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch Wild West Show began the tour circuit in Brighton Beach, New York. Joe Miller, the eldest son, was an exceptional equestrian and star performer. Over the course of the show's history, its cast included Bill Picket, Bessie Herberg, Bee Ho Gray, Tom Mix, Jack Hoxie, Mexican Joe, and an elderly Buffalo Bill. The show ran until 1927 when after years of financial problems and unsuccessful attempts to sell the show The Miller Brothers closed the show and went into Bankruptcy.

By 1915 The R. T. Frazier Saddlery was at the peak of their production employing 50 or more Saddle Makers during their busiest times just prior to World War I. Also in 1915 R. T. Frazier Designed and hired the building of his home at 2121 Elizabeth Street Pueblo, Colorado which is now on the Historic Register of Properties in Pueblo and this home still has the original carriage house.

Robert Thompson Frazier passed away on July 27, 1931 at the age of 80 years old leaving the Saddlery Business to his wife Kitty who had assisted R. T. Frazier in the Saddlery over the years.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#968 Post by nrobertb » Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:45 am

Gordon William Lillie (February 14, 1860 – February 3, 1942), known professionally as Pawnee Bill, was an American showman and performer who specialized in Wild West shows and was known for his short partnership with William "Buffalo" Bill Cody.

Pawnee Bill was born on February 14, 1860, in Bloomington, Illinois. His father Newton operated a flour mill in Bloomington; the mill burned to the ground in 1876. The family then moved to Wellington, Kansas, where Gordon developed a love for the West. By the age of 19, he was working on the Pawnee Indian agency in Indian Territory. In 1883, he was given the chance to work as the Pawnee interpreter with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. His work with the show was the origin of his nickname as "Pawnee Bill."

After courting for two years, Lillie married May Manning in 1886, a petite Quaker from Pennsylvania. She was younger than he, a graduate of Smith College, and the daughter of a wealthy Philadelphia physician. Her parents objected at first to their refined young daughter marrying a cowboy, but eventually they agreed to the union.

In 1888, the Lillies launched their own Wild West show, which they called "Pawnee Bill’s Historic Wild West". May starred in the show as the "Champion Girl Horseback Shot of the West." Their first season was a financial disaster. They re-organized as a smaller operation called "Pawnee Bill’s Historical Wild West Indian Museum and Encampment Show." That show was popular and financially successful. Lillie added Jose Barrera to the cast; he was widely popular performing as "Mexican Joe". In 1907, Lillie hired performers from a variety of backgrounds. The show included Mexican cowboys, Pawnee, Japanese performers, and Arab jugglers. The ensemble debuted as "Pawnee Bill’s Great Far East Show."

In 1908, Pawnee Bill and Buffalo Bill joined forces and created the "Two Bills' show. That show was foreclosed on when it was playing in Denver, Colorado.

While Gordon Lillie had been on tour, May supervised their buffalo ranch, now known as Pawnee Bill Ranch. The Lillies completed work on their Arts-and-Crafts style home on Blue Hawk Peak in 1910.

Pawnee Bill invested in banking, real estate, and oil. He operated various business interests and dabbled in film making at his ranch. In 1930, May and Pawnee Bill opened Pawnee Bill’s Old Town near the ranch. They sold Indian and Mexican crafts, and featured annual rodeos. That enterprise burned to the ground in the 1940s and was never rebuilt.

In 1936, the couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in Taos, New Mexico. In September of that year they attended a local celebration in Tulsa, Oklahoma. While driving back to their ranch that night, Pawnee Bill lost control of their vehicle. May died as a result of her injuries, and Pawnee Bill never fully recovered. He died in his sleep on February 3, 1942, at the age of 81 in his home outside of Pawnee, Oklahoma.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#969 Post by nrobertb » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:19 am

Saddles with wooden horns sometimes broke when roping steers, so steel or brass horns enjoyed a brief popularity, as on this Frazier saddle.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#970 Post by nrobertb » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:54 pm

Here is a Simco saddle with a brass horn.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#971 Post by nrobertb » Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:27 am

Here's a collection of old horse harness decorations. The hoof inkwell is dated 1875.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#972 Post by nrobertb » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:55 pm

These are said to be 1917 cavalry saddlebags.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#973 Post by nrobertb » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:22 am

A prize winning Navajo rug. I don'y know what that strip is that she is pointing to.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#974 Post by nrobertb » Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:38 pm

Great western character actors: A golden career was reflected in his name. Robert Golden Armstrong was born in Birmingham, Alabama on April 7, 1917. R.G. headed to New York, where his acting career really took off. In 1953, along with many of his Actors Studio buddies, he was part of the cast of "End As a Man" -- this became the first play to go from off-Broadway to Broadway. The following year, R.G. got his first taste of movies, appearing in Garden of Eden (1954). However, he returned to New York and the live stage. He received great reviews for his portrayal of Big Daddy in the Broadway production of "Cat On a Hot Tin Roof" in 1955.

In 1958, R.G. took the plunge to Hollywood -- he appeared in two movies, a television series, and did numerous guest appearances on television series that year, usually in Westerns such as The Rifleman (1958), Have Gun - Will Travel (1957) and Zane Grey Theater (1956), among others. He would go on to appear in 80 movies and three television series in his career, and guest-starred in 90 television series, many of them Westerns, often as a tough sheriff or a rugged land baron. R.G. was a regular cast member in the television series T.H.E. Cat (1966), playing tough, one-handed Captain MacAllister. During the filming of Steel (1979) in Kentucky, watching the mammoth Kincaid Tower being built, he made some good friends in the cast: "You become a family on the set," he said in an interview at the time.

Even though he had a long, versatile career, the younger generation knows him as the demonic Lewis Vandredi, who just would not let the main characters have a good night's sleep on the television series Friday the 13th: The Series (1987). Finally retiring after six successful decades in show business -- his last film appearance was Purgatory (1999) -- R.G. and his lovely wife Mary Craven were mostly just enjoying life in California, and still traveled and vacationed in Europe occasionally. His upbeat, fun-loving personality made him a delight for all who come in contact with him. R.G. Armstrong died at age 95 of natural causes in Studio City, California on July 27, 2012.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#975 Post by nrobertb » Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:58 pm

Pawnee National Grassland is a United States National Grassland located in northeastern Colorado on the Colorado Eastern Plains. The grassland is located in the South Platte River basin in remote northern and extreme northeastern Weld County between Greeley and Sterling. It comprises two parcels totaling 193,060 acres largely between State Highway 14 and the Wyoming border. The larger eastern parcel lies adjacent to the borders of both Nebraska and Wyoming. It is administered in conjunction with the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest from the U.S. Forest Service office in Fort Collins, Colorado.

The grassland is in an especially depopulated area of the Great Plains. There was limited cultivation in the early 20th century but was withdrawn from farming after the Dust Bowl. The communities of Keota and Purcell are located within the grassland. The town of Grover is located directly between the two large parcels of the grasslands near the Crow Creek. Briggsdale sits at the southern end where State Highway 14 and State Highway 392 meet. State Highway 71 traverses the eastern unit north of Stoneham. The eastern unit is drained by Pawnee Creek, a tributary of the South Platte. The western unit is largely drained by Crow Creek.

Camping is available at the Crow Valley Recreation Area northwest of Briggsdale. The grassland contains several hiking trails, including one that allows foot access to the Pawnee Buttes, the most notable geologic feature of the grasslands. Bird watching is a popular recreational activity for day hikers, especially at the Chalk Bluffs, a raptor nesting site.

Recreational activities on the Pawnee Grasslands have been somewhat curtailed over the last 10 years due to the discovery of extractable oil and natural gas. According to the US Forest Service there are 63 active vertical oil and natural gas wells, and less than 3,000 acres from the 193,060 acres is protected from drilling.
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