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Gary Cunningham (Gcunning)
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Post Number: 5
Registered: 1-2004
Posted on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 11:20 pm:   

I wonder if anybody has information about a man named Humphreys (sp). He apprenticed in Germany about the 1880's and ended up in Seymour TX. He did a lot of boot making and shoe making from his wagon as he went on regular stops through west Texas.
Tex Robin (Tex_robin)
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Post Number: 11
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Posted on Wednesday, January 21, 2004 - 12:55 am:   

Gary,
There was a man in Abilene named Pumphrey that had a repair shop in the old Hotel. He may have made some boots. I know he had a couple of bootmakers working there at one time. One was Acie Dobbs(father of Quail Dobbs)Jay Griffith may have worked with him. Alan Bell would know because I think he knew him well. If your name was spelled wrong he could be a son......TR
Gary Cunningham (Gcunning)
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Posted on Wednesday, January 21, 2004 - 1:23 am:   

This is cool. Got to go now will be back to discuss.
Gary Cunningham (Gcunning)
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Post Number: 7
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Posted on Wednesday, January 21, 2004 - 5:23 am:   

Quail Dobbs father was a bootmaker?
I think his name started with an H. I will find out.
Tex Robin (Tex_robin)
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Post Number: 12
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Posted on Wednesday, January 21, 2004 - 11:11 am:   

Gary,
I can tell you exactly what his name was. It was Acie Leon Dobbs and his son Quail was named Marvin Jean Dobbs. There was an older brother to Quail named Leon Dobbs that was in the repair business for a while and Quail also did repair for a while in Colorado City. Quail is now the JP in Coahoma. I have known Quail since he was about 3 or 4 yrs old. His father Acie worked for my father off and on for 20 yrs. I worked with Acie and knew him well....TR
Gary Cunningham (Gcunning)
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Posted on Wednesday, January 21, 2004 - 12:06 pm:   

I have met Quail a few times. He would not know me. Kind of like many others I met in my short and not so great, but fun, rodeo career.
Pablo (Pvasquez)
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Posted on Thursday, January 22, 2004 - 12:26 pm:   

Gary Cunningham,
A G.U.Humphreys in 1889 advertised in W. Falls.. later same in Seymor as you noted. Nothing else on him.
Tex Robin (Tex_robin)
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Post Number: 18
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Posted on Thursday, January 22, 2004 - 1:21 pm:   

Pablo,
Welcome to the CCB&S forum. Say do you have anything on a Roy Shannon who had a boot shop in Throckmorton in the 40s? My father worked for him in 42 but I don't know anything else. Keep up the good research work....TR
Gary Cunningham (Gcunning)
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Post Number: 10
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Posted on Friday, January 23, 2004 - 8:18 am:   

Pablo
Thanks
Do you have any Idea of how to research on back? Mr. Humphreys trained Carl Chappell's dad. Mr. Chappell has told me about many tools that hung in the shop that he has never seen again.
I just think it would be neat to know more about him.
Pablo (Pvasquez)
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Posted on Friday, January 23, 2004 - 1:09 pm:   

Gary,
When I interviewed C/Chappell couple years ago he only would say an old German had trained his Dad
so I couldn't make a connection.. thanks.
Newspapers of the period are very good at locating establishments. They read like classified ads of today so its tedious.Find the cemetery then contact the locals( county clerk or
the funeral home ).Local historian or historical
society can point you in the right direction.
The 1900 census is a good start. There is a column for occupation.That is like hunting for the proverbial needle so don't dispair and turn"every" page to the end.
My guess is you'll spend two weeks solid.
Pablo (Pvasquez)
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Posted on Friday, January 23, 2004 - 1:38 pm:   

Tex,
Roy Shannon does not appear in any file.Thanks for the new name.
Tex Robin (Tex_robin)
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Posted on Friday, January 23, 2004 - 2:57 pm:   

Pablo,

I have a letter written on Roy Shannon's letterhead
giving a reference to my father in boot repair and foxing. It is dated 1942. He is probably buried in Throckmorton.....TR
Gary Cunningham (Gcunning)
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Post Number: 11
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Posted on Saturday, January 24, 2004 - 12:04 am:   

Pablo,
Thanks.
About 6 months ago Carl and I asked Mr. Chappell the man's first name and he could not remember. He did not remember much only about tools and little funny things. It was Mr. Humphrey's though.
Doug Collins (Runninhare)
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Post Number: 4
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Posted on Friday, February 20, 2004 - 1:49 pm:   

Just wondering if anyone ever knew a bootmaker named Mr Hall from Dalhart. How about a gentlemen named Mr Spears in Houston (Heights).
Thanks
Doug
Tex Robin (Tex_robin)
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Post Number: 120
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Posted on Friday, February 20, 2004 - 2:17 pm:   

Doug,
There was a Shorty Hall but he was from Paducah or Childress..Terry Young worked for him. Never heard of any Spears....TR
Pablo (Pvasquez)
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Posted on Saturday, February 21, 2004 - 2:52 am:   

Doug Collins,
Joe Hall in Dalhart probably mid century(1900's) and supposedly passed away in Childress.
Tex Robin (Tex_robin)
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Post Number: 121
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Posted on Saturday, February 21, 2004 - 4:53 am:   

Pablo
This may have been Shorty Hall that Terry Young worked for. Terry will see this eventually and reply. Terry, where are you?...TR
Mark W. Fletcher (Bronbo)
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Post Number: 24
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Posted on Saturday, February 21, 2004 - 6:39 am:   

Tex,

Terry doesn't have an email on Jenn's page so I have never been able to contact him. If anyone talks to him, please invite him.
Pablo (Pvasquez)
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Posted on Saturday, February 21, 2004 - 8:35 am:   

Tex,
Arthur Lloyd"Shorty"Hall and Joe Hall are supposed to be different persons per interviews.
I never met either.
Doug Collins (Runninhare)
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Posted on Saturday, February 21, 2004 - 1:52 pm:   

Everyone
Thanks for the info. Had met a Lady Doctor who said her dad was a bootmaker and lived in Dalhart,dad had died but mother was still living and I believe in Dalhart. (could be wrong)
Doug
Terry Young (Terry_young)
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Posted on Sunday, February 22, 2004 - 7:52 am:   

Doug all Joe and Shorty Hall are two different people. Joe made boots in Paducah Texas in the 1950 s ,not sure where he learned,then he moved to dalhart, came back to Paducah in about 78 for about a year then moved back to dalhart, in 89 he bagan having heart problems and the doctors told him to quit working .I then bought his shop and moved it to Paducah about a month later he moved in with Shorty Hall in Childress Texas and made boots there until his death about a year later,last i heard his wife Catherine was still in Childress. Shorty Hall started making botts at the Pete Bordan shop in Clarendon Texas {now james owens}during the depression , then worked with his brother in law Teddy Rushing in Childress Texas and made boots in Childress until his death in about 1995 .Terry
Tex Robin (Tex_robin)
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Posted on Sunday, February 22, 2004 - 8:25 am:   

Terry,
About time you got here. I figured you could straighten that out about the Halls..Welcome....TR
Doug Collins (Runninhare)
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Posted on Sunday, February 22, 2004 - 8:53 am:   

Thanks Palbo,Tex,Terry
Small world when you think about it. Mr Hall's daughter was a audiologist and fitted me with hearing aids and always talked about her dad making boots.
Doug
Mark W. Fletcher (Bronbo)
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Post Number: 27
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Posted on Tuesday, February 24, 2004 - 2:19 am:   





I bought these on Ebay recently, seller knew the maker was from Dalhart, but didn't know the name. The pull straps a wider than normal, the vamp tongue is wider and the pegging is less and not as smooth as I see in other custom boots.

Any idea on the maker?
Pablo (Pvasquez)
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Post Number: 15
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Posted on Tuesday, February 24, 2004 - 6:48 am:   

To All,
For the record, an adjustment to the timeline of Shorty Hall's career and training as indicated by his son, "Cotton" Hall who died 27 Oct 2003.In 1935 Shorty Hall learned from Tedie Rushing as Pete Borden later also did. They joined in a shop in Clarendon during the early 1950's. Shorty Hall migrated back to Childress and Borden remained in Clarendon.
Mark W. Fletcher (Bronbo)
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Post Number: 28
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Posted on Tuesday, February 24, 2004 - 7:31 am:   

Pablo,

I honestly hope you get your book published and soon! Let me know when, I'll be first in line at Border's
Mark W. Fletcher (Bronbo)
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Post Number: 101
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Posted on Thursday, April 29, 2004 - 12:45 pm:   



Here is something I bought on Ebay awhile back. This is from the W. B. Dyer & Son shop in Memphis TX, dated 5-27-25. It looks like an order for uppers (?), style 89, heavy kangaroo front and top. He wanted wrinkles. Gives the ball, instep, heel, ankle, top, last (?) and high measurements.

He asks to "cut those plenty long they are for box toes as soon as possible."

Signed by Dyer and Sons
Mark W. Fletcher (Bronbo)
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Post Number: 199
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Posted on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 11:14 am:   



According to Evan Voyles, these were made by Pumphrey of Abilene, mentioned aove. Interesting toe flower.
Tex Robin (Tex_robin)
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Posted on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 11:38 am:   

Mark,
I may be wrong but I don't think Pumphrey made any boots. But he had several people that worked in his shop making them. Jay Griffith was the main one and there may have been one of the Garrisons there at one time and I know Quail Dobbs' Father worked there for Jay Griffith. All this can be verified by Alan Bell. He knew him very well. I just don't remember him being noted for making boots himself. If he had made those boots he would be in the same class as James Leddy and he wasn't....TR
Mark W. Fletcher (Bronbo)
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Posted on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 7:13 am:   

Tex,

I finally reached Alan today and he gave me a little information over the phone and I hope to get more later.

Alan said that Pumphrey was a bootmaker in Abilene for 40-50 yrs (estimate). At one time he had a bigger operation than James Leddy with about 10-12 makers. In the last few years, he did mostly repair. Alan said that James Leddy worked for him a little when he was a kid, at the same time when he was working for his uncle Clifford Leddy.
Tex Robin (Tex_robin)
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Posted on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 7:20 am:   

Mark,

I am guessing that James Leddy had the most to do with making those Pumphrey boots you just posted.
His name is written all over them....TR
Brian C. Thomas (Brian_c_thomas)
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Post Number: 879
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Posted on Monday, July 07, 2008 - 1:02 pm:   

Pablo, where are you ? I guessing your book is about ready as these post are four year sold.


"MIA for the Brand"
Brian C. Thomas
Mark W. Fletcher (Bronbo)
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Post Number: 1004
Registered: 1-2004
Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 5:15 am:   

Here's an interesting link:

http://texashistory.unt.edu/data/SUM2007/CCMH/framed_01/meta-pth-34442.tkl

Description:

Photograph of a smiling Gene Autry dressed in a button-up shirt, cowboy hat and cowboy boots with a baseball glove on his hand behind his back. We see his left profile. Behind him is a large building with a large screened window on the right side of the frame, a screened door behind Mr. Autry, and three electricity gauge boxes. There is grass and weeds in front of the building.

Note:

Typed on the back is, "According to The Childress Index, April 18, 1938, "Gene Autry became involved in a contract dispute with his Hollywood studio, Columbia Pictures, and left Hollywood to "hide out" from the studio bosses. The western star came to Childress where he stayed for over two weeks. During the time, Autry ran out of cash and went to Palace Theater owner Rufus Layton and told Layton he would put on some shows for $100. Layton agreed, and Autry performed for Childress residents. A few days later, the contract dispute was resolved, and Autry returned to Hollywood." It is rumored that he lost a part during that time to Roy Rogers. It is fact that he bought handmade boots from the late Teddy Rushing who met the Singing Cowboy when he (Rushing) went to Hollywood to try to 'break into' the movies himself. Local historian Delbert Wilson has letters in his private museum from Autry to Rushing.
(next paragraph) This photo of Gene Autry playing a game of catch was taken during his time in Childress, probably in the alley behind the old Monogram Theater. The photo is presented to the museum by Judy and A.J. Johnson, April 11, 2007, on Childress' 120th anniversary."
Mark W. Fletcher (Bronbo)
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Post Number: 1005
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Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 8:23 am:   

Some more neat stuff.







James Ross (James_ross)
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Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 8:55 am:   

Thats very cool Mark!! Keep it comming!! He is bout my biggest TV hero!! And its kinda neat knowing his ties to this part of the country!!
Tex Robin (Tex_robin)
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Post Number: 1848
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Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 9:07 am:   

Hey, 1935 was a bit of a ways back! I wonder who this Ted Rushing was...Anyone have any info on him or any pics of his boots...Seems like Gene may have been a bit impatient sometimes..TR
Suzanne Watson (Suzanne)
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Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 9:53 am:   

a

b
Terry Young (Terry_young)
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Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 10:05 am:   

Tex i knew ted i bought his shop i have most of his patterns and his last .he died in 86 he had tons of pictures and order books but his son took them his name is ted rushing too lives around dallas but ive lost touch with him. One of shortys nephews from dallas is comming to see me sunday ill see if he knows anything . Ted was shortys brother in law.
James Ross (James_ross)
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Post Number: 241
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Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 10:16 am:   

Suzanne,

Whats the story on these? Thats Gene's Flying A. Are they original, reproductions, in the Autry museum, personal collection?? JR
Suzanne Watson (Suzanne)
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Post Number: 41
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Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 10:25 am:   

Sorry, they're at the Autry Museum. I just took this picture last week!
Mark W. Fletcher (Bronbo)
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Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 12:01 pm:   

Terry was kind enough to email me this.



Ted Rushing boots that Gene is holding, and what remains of the pattern for that boot.

Mark W. Fletcher (Bronbo)
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Post Number: 1007
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Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 12:05 pm:   

In Tyler Beard's book "100 Years of Western Wear" I believe those boots are attributed to Lucchese, but after seeing the letter and this photo, I have doubts.

Susan I hope you had a good time at the museum. I saw some of Gene's collection when they had a travelling exhibit in Austin.
Suzanne Watson (Suzanne)
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Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 1:24 pm:   

Mark, Do you think he had more than one pair of this design---the steer head looks different and the little inlay above the horns is missing.

http://www.autrynationalcenter.org/search.php Maybe someone else will have better luck with this link.. its supposedly for the online collection and I cant get connected--Boots are listed and a few are shown with photos. (click on tab "exhibitions" or "research" and click on collections online)
Terry Young (Terry_young)
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Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 1:42 pm:   

Suzanne i beleive the pic you have is the Lucchese,that was probably the boots sent to rushing in the letter to copy rushing just changed it a little.But i do know that museum has some of teds boots his son sent them i dont know if they display them or not.
Mark W. Fletcher (Bronbo)
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Post Number: 1008
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Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 10:48 pm:   

Suzanne, Terry,

Yep, I think he did have more than one boot of this design. I looked at a book "How the West Was Worn" that has an old picture of Gene in his closet with all his boots. It looks like the Rushing pair is in that. But then it has a recent color photo of a similar pair, stated to be made by Lucchese. The steer in the Lucchese boot is more slender,

I think Gene had a bunch of bootmakers, L. White, Fridays in Midland, etc.

Terry, do you have any more info on Rushing?



I didn't have any luck with the Autry link either. Do you have more pictures from your trip?

(Message edited by admin on February 19, 2009)

(Message edited by admin on March 11, 2009)
Mark W. Fletcher (Bronbo)
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Post Number: 1009
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Posted on Thursday, February 19, 2009 - 2:22 am:   

Here is some more info about Gene Autry in Childress.

http://www.texasescapes.com/MikeCoxTexasTales/168G eneAutryTheSingingCowboy.htm

Suzanne Watson (Suzanne)
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Posted on Friday, February 20, 2009 - 4:33 am:   

Mark, I'll bet what I saw was a Lucchese reproduction of an Autry boot. I see it pictured in the online collections, but its in a group of boots and not directly attributed to him.

autrynationalcenter.org
EXHIBITIONS
COLLECTIONS ON LINE
SEARCH: boots
some images are copyright protected, others can be enlarged

Was there with my boyfriend for the Masters of the West Art Exhibit opening and I had very little time to be a tourist but maybe next year...
Mark W. Fletcher (Bronbo)
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Post Number: 1013
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Posted on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 - 7:25 am:   

Suzanne,

If I was to guess I would say that the Lucchese boots were probably made in the 1940s or 1950s. Those are among the prettiest boots that I have ever seen in all the boot books.

Just curious, would those boots be hard to make?

Mark
Suzanne Watson (Suzanne)
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Posted on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 - 7:59 am:   

I love looking at old Lucchese boots. It would take hours to look at this one if it were right in front of you because the more you look the more details you begin to notice--- and think about how things were stitched and assembled.
A craftsman (craftsmen) really thought this boot out...it certainly is put together well. Even if someone made this boot before Lucchese, its not like there were instructions that came with it for the next guy--Im sure everyone whos tried it has got to be pretty skilled.
Mark W. Fletcher (Bronbo)
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Posted on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 - 8:29 am:   

Suzanne,

If Ted Rushing originated and executed that design, he deserves an Academy Award for that. I wish we had good color pictures of the Rushing boots.

The guys at Lucchese did a great job too.

Mark
Suzanne Watson (Suzanne)
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Posted on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 - 9:57 am:   

The Gene Autry's picture(s) says it all... real men wear flowers.
Mark W. Fletcher (Bronbo)
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Posted on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 - 5:43 pm:   





What a closet!

The Teddy Rushing boots appear on the second picture, lower right.

(Message edited by admin on February 25, 2009)
Mark W. Fletcher (Bronbo)
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Posted on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 - 5:48 pm:   

Mike Karnes (Jmkarnes)
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Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 - 1:28 am:   

Maybe it's just because I like Gene Autry but those have to be the best boot promotion pictures ever taken.
James Ross (James_ross)
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Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 - 3:24 am:   

Wish i had the problem of having to decide which pair of boots i was gonna wear. And they were all inlaied tops!
Tim Bishop (Libertymesa)
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Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 - 8:02 am:   

James, I can just see you at a brandin draggin calves wearing those eagle wing tip, flowerdee tops. LOL.
James Ross (James_ross)
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Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 - 9:53 am:   

Would get laughed plumb out of the country!
Tex Robin (Tex_robin)
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Post Number: 1851
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Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 - 10:14 am:   

Actually those kind of boots are not popular at all for wearing. They are mostly just admired. I have made myself a half dozen pair of full inlay boots and have never worn any of them more than a couple of steps in the shop. I wound up selling most of them to collectors for the art. They sure are purty though.
James, you need a pair though. You could wear them to roundup in WF! Some bluebirds and a couple of pink flowers with some fringe down the side. Maybe a steerhead and a horseshoe and a mule ear on the outside :-)..TR
James Ross (James_ross)
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Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 - 10:43 am:   

I dont know. Dressed like that you might get mistaken for a member of the clown convention!
Doug Collins (Runninhare)
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Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 - 11:58 am:   

James
Just remember the boots don't make the hand; but there was a bunch of clowns there.
Doug
Suzanne Watson (Suzanne)
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Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 - 12:29 pm:   

I have a fancy vs. practical boot question, so I'll ask it here (since we're talking movie star boots). Ed's always told me that a braided top edge would tear up your leg and they're just for looks. I want to give it a try but he wont advise me on it other than saying I'd be wasting my time. Is this true? Is braiding just for show?
Lisa Sorrell (Sorrell)
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Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 12:55 am:   

Suzanne,
I've made a couple of pairs of boots with a braided sideseam and never had any complaints. I suppose you'd want to go with a braid that's going to lay pretty flat on the inside.

Lisa
Lisa Sorrell (Sorrell)
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Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 1:02 am:   

Tex, James and all,
Believe it or not, there's a whole 'nother world out here outside of Texas. Fancy boots most certainly are worn and made for wearing, maybe not by people you know, approve of or like, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. I don't make anything other than very fancy inlaid and overlaid boots, usually with an exotic foot but often with wingtip or other design on the foot. I stay extremely busy doing this, and judging from the people I see wearing Rocketbusters and Tres Outlaws I'm not the only one accomodating this market. I only wish my customers would view the boots as art, but they insist on wearing them, so they're real boots that really have to fit. I tell my customers you can wear whatever you want if you're secure in your masculinity.

Lisa
Suzanne Watson (Suzanne)
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Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 7:50 am:   

Thanks Lisa, what about braiding instead of top bead? I'd think for gals in nylons a slightly rougher top edge would be okay. Might have to make a pair for myself and find out that way.

I saw Willy Matthews in Denver wearing your boots and he made sure to pull up his pant leg to show us your tops.
Paul Krause (Paul)
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Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 9:56 pm:   

Suzanne,

I've seen braided tops done in kangaroo lace that's been beveled before lacing. It can be as smooth as any beading if it's rolled and slicked.

A calf or goat lace that wasn't beveled would be the worse tho!

Give it a try!

Paul
Tex Robin (Tex_robin)
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Post Number: 1852
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Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 - 12:34 am:   

Top Lacing,

I can see where this might be a problem and I think the skived lacing would be even sharper. I think the answer would be to wear the pants inside to show off the tops and there are longer socks to come up above the lacing. Also the top lining could be left longer to protect the leg maybe? I am going to do a pair soon and I will experiment with it...TR
Daniel Gordon (Danielg)
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Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 - 3:36 am:   

Suzanne

I have built a few boots with braidad tops for customers and never had a complaint about them rubbing the leg. Use kangaroo lace and a small bladed punch ,as Paul said the lace will roll when it rolls it keeps the edge tight to the lining and away from the leg.The worst problem can be at the side seams.I leave the lace long enough to skive and slip in between the lining and the top, then contact cement them back togather. Be carful not to cut the lace when you trim your tops after side seaming.
Hope this helps.

Daniel



Tex Robin (Tex_robin)
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Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 - 4:42 am:   

Daniel, Suzanne,

I have only done a couple of pair but I left the edge of the tops that goes under the sideseam. There is no point in going all the way to the edge when the pulls cover that part anyway.

Lisa,
How do you do them at the sideseam?...TR
Daniel Gordon (Danielg)
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Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 - 8:12 am:   

Tex,Suzanne

I should have added that the boots had finger holes with a bound edge. So I run the braid all the way to the side seam to get a continuous look around the top.If not it would be unbalanced.I have made a few pair of mules with braided edges also and have not had complants with them also.


Daniel

Paul Krause (Paul)
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Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 - 11:01 pm:   

I should make myself more clear. A beveled edge kangaroo lace, whether braided or laced as in a mexican round braid, is extremely smooth when it's slicked and rubbed out.

There are specific tools used for this beveling operation, that take off just a skant edge of flesh from even as narrow as 3/32" wide lace. Jim Downey sells one

There is also a technique, that works quite well with practice, using an exacto knife with the blade stuck in the bench. It's held at an angle against the fore finger as a guide, and one pulls the lace through, removing this scant edge.

There is no sharpness from the edge of kangaroo lace when it is beveled and rubbed smooth.

Paul
Suzanne Watson (Suzanne)
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Posted on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 - 1:04 am:   

James, Tex, Paul and Lisa, Thank you all for the tips/ suggestions. I'll test first.

Do you ever make your own lace Paul? What if you wanted metallic finish? Does the kangaroo lace come in an array of colors?
Paul Krause (Paul)
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Posted on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 - 5:09 am:   

Suzanne,

I have made lace, but nothing as narrow as I'd generaly want to use for top edges. It's a skill I have not worked at enough. But it is cool to get one of them rounds aspinnin', using the lace maker from the inside out.

I usually buy mine from Jim at 928 442-3638. And I bought one of his small bevelers.

And he has had metalics, and a nice array of colors.

Paul
Suzanne Watson (Suzanne)
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Posted on Thursday, April 09, 2009 - 2:52 pm:   

Here's a brief/ jumbled tribute to Ed Martin and some boot makers of yore-- any other memories?

Ed was influenced by many boot makers.
Both his brothers, Vernon and Robert, and his dad made boots. His mom stitched tops. Robert Martin was able to bottom 6 to 7 pair a week at Ingerton's Saddle Shop in Amarillo. Robert also worked for Willie Lusk.
Ed and /or his brothers and dad also bottomed for Bub White, the Rosses, D.V. Ross and "Ham" Leon Bolling. (Ed's dad called him "Ham" because he put a hammer in his coat threatened clients if they didn’t pay up--because customers would 1/2 wear out boots before paying.) Leon Bolling learned to make boots from Tony Spinelli (1920’s-1930’s) Spinelli was THE bootmaker (an excellent bootmaker) in Clayton NM.

Borgstrom, “Borgie”, was a Swedish bottomer. Ed worked with him. Borgie did the best finish work at Ingerton’s. Ed was 14 to 15 years old.

“Dee Tee” Howard Allen—deaf dumb made beautiful boots, bottoming.
There was Wallis Bettis,----- Brown, Curly Fuque, Pasquale and P-Wally was a nickname for Ed.

There's a bootmaker in Clarendon Texas who's dad (now deceased) showed Ed a few tricks about fitting lasts. This boot maker took over from Pete Borden, who was very good.

Ed also had the opportunity to visit with Sam Lucchese and respects his contribution.
David Rogerson (David_rogerson)
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Posted on Thursday, April 09, 2009 - 6:29 pm:   

Suzanne...I have put many miles on laced tops. Mine are all done nicely...and have no ill effects when I wear 'em. I am a bit fussy about comfort. If something is 'off' with a boot, it will drive me to distraction. So if done well, it's a nice touch. Some folks (Tres Outlaws for example) are cutting some corners at times and using pre-braided pieces, and sewing them in. It's kind of goofy from a craft point of view, but asthetically it works, until you understand how it's made. Then, it just looks kind of cheesy. The braided thing is definetly in demand, and looks great when executed well. It demands top dollar as well.
Mark W. Fletcher (Bronbo)
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Posted on Friday, April 10, 2009 - 3:05 am:   

Suzanne,

Thanks for the info on Ed Martin. There are some names you mention that I am familiar with, but many that I am not.

For some reason there is not much written history of Amarillo bootmakers, just a few bits and pieces on the Internet on some of the oldtimers. I do have one old magazine article on M. McLoughlin, a bootmaker in the Amarillo area in 1894-1930s. I believe that the Beck Brothers bought his shop.

There was also a Ruben Faus in Amarillo and Spearman. He bought a boot shop from Leon Bowling in Spearman for a 1929 Chevrolet Roadster, two cows, two hogs, five horses, a couple sets of harnesses and a trailer. Bowling turned the shop, a four-room building with living quarters included, all machinery in the shop and a stock of leather---No Cash. What a deal!

From some of my notes that I have collect D.V. Ross moved to Montana after WWII, but he may have returned to Texas. I believe the Ross family has been making boots since 1919.

Keep posting more info on Ed and his history. I would love to see more of his boots (and yours).

Mark
Tex Robin (Tex_robin)
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Posted on Friday, April 10, 2009 - 3:52 am:   

Suzanne, Mark,
The fifties are as far back as I go and I didn't know any of those bootmakers your named, or even Ed in those days..Bootmakers only knew each other if they worked together or lived in the next town..And even then the bootmaker in the next town was often your rival and an enemy sometimes. To bad there were no real historians then to write it down..The ones I knew were the ones that worked for and with my father in Breckenridge, Ft Worth and Coleman and s few that my father knew and visited in the panhandle...a bootmaker before the internet was unheard of in the next state..Leather salesmen were a good source of gossip in those days and would spread the news of other bootmakers...I wonder if those days weren't the best! A lot simpler...TR
Mark W. Fletcher (Bronbo)
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Posted on Thursday, July 02, 2009 - 2:51 am:   

Found this on Ed Martin.

http://www.coloradomagazineonline.com/Colorado_Peo ple/Ed_Martin_Bootmaker/Ed_Martin_Bootmaker.htm

Mark
Dan Hickman (Dan_hickman)
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Posted on Saturday, May 15, 2010 - 3:28 pm:   

Terry Young posted above and mentioned a boot maker by the name of Teddy Rushing. Does anyone have any more info on him?
Mark W. Fletcher (Bronbo)
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Posted on Thursday, May 20, 2010 - 7:45 am:   

Dan,

I think that is about all we know about Teddie.

Suzanne Watson (Suzanne)
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Posted on Monday, February 07, 2011 - 1:07 am:   

leon b.
Picture of Leon Bowling (sp?) Amarillo bootmaker, in Ed's shop.
Mark W. Fletcher (Bronbo)
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Posted on Monday, February 07, 2011 - 1:52 am:   

Thanks Suzanne,

It is great to see what some of the old-timers looked like. Does Ed have any more old pictures, perhaps of his brother Robert?

Mark
Carrlyn Miller (Carrlyn)
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Posted on Monday, February 07, 2011 - 6:40 am:   

Suzanne,
Cool old picture. Any idea what year this was?
Suzanne Watson (Suzanne)
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Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2011 - 2:13 am:   

Ed thinks this picture was taken in the 60s at a family reunion. Both Leon and Aunt Lily had their pictures taken. Leon was probably born during WWI, 1916 or 17 so that would mean he was in his 40s in this picture.
Suzanne Watson (Suzanne)
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Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2011 - 3:14 am:   

ed
The Martins left to right, Vernon, Ed, Mom (Clara Minnette Martin) and Robert. Taken inside Martin's Boot and Saddlery in Boulder Colorado. Ed moved his family up from Amarillo in 1964 and opened Martin's a few years later. They had a full line of boots and saddles and Robert did repair--they werent making boots at this time. They had this shop for quite awhile and did good business. In this picture (c1970) Mom is up visiting from Spearman Texas with Vernon.
For those familiar with Boulder they were next to Ideal Market--you might recognized the interior--all fancy shops and Whole Foods now but at one time down home businesses!
Ed sold Martin's and later opened TeePee Western Store in Boulder (mid 70s and 80s)where, in addition to retail, he started making custom boots again with his son Paul and brother Robert.
Suzanne Watson (Suzanne)
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Posted on Sunday, April 01, 2012 - 1:43 pm:   

A link to the Leon Bowling genealogy page was sent to me by his family. They asked that I post this for all:
http://www.ldpierce.com/auntvisa.html

Thanks to the Pierce family for this information!!! Many wonderful bootmakers have passed and faded into obscurity but hopefully we can keep their memory alive as they gave us the quintessential "look" during the hey-day of bootmaking that this country is so famous for. Here is an excerpt from the Bowling/Pierce genealogy website:

LEONA COMPTON was born 1912 in Spearman Tx. She married LEON BOWLING.

photo Leona Compton Date Unknown
leona

Notes for LEON BOWLING:Leon Bowling

Most of all his life Leon Bowling followed the trade of an old time Shoe Cobbler. He could make any repair needed to shoes, but his specialty was hand made cowboy boots. He began his trade under an apt tutor, J. Ray Holland, better known as "The Dutchman". Later Leon spent some time in Clay-ton, New Mexico, learning to make boots under the masterful hand of Toni Esponella. Returning to Spearman he opened his

own shop and eventually earned the name of being the best boot man in the Panhandle of Texas. His customer's names and boot sizes filled three large ledger books. Cowmen wore nothing else but the slant-heeled riding boots, and they came often to the shop of Leon Bowling for repeat orders. Leon said he traced their foot shape off on paper, then made five different measurements before beginning his custom-made

boots. Seldom was the finished product ever sized wrong. Leon said he passed on his knowledge of boot making to several men; teaching the trade to Rube Faus, Mack Martin, William Martin and Vernon Martin. All became proficient in their trade. Born at Old Hansford in 1909 to Lillie Martin Bowling and Author G. Bowling, he spent his early childhood here. He attended school at Old Hansford and remembers his lower grades teacher was Miss Beck. He moved to Spearman with his parents when the town was moved from the valley. He had two sons: Jerry from his first marriage, and Author Jr. from a second marriage.

by Leon Bowling as told to Sybill Miller: from Hansford County History Vol 1 1980 page 105

There was also a Ruben Faus in Amarillo and Spearman. He bought a boot shop from Leon Bowling in Spearman for a 1929 Chevrolet Roadster, two cows, two hogs, five horses, a couple sets of harnesses and a trailer. Bowling turned the shop, a four-room building with living quarters included, all machinery in the shop and a stock of leather---No Cash. What a deal Harry Faus RE George Faus Meat Market This is the building George Faus and his sons moved from Texhoma to the new town of Spearman in order to have a place to re-establish the meat market they operated in Hansford. This was later a bakery ran by Ella Buschman, and in 1931 Rube Faus moved the equipment he got from Leon Bowling into the same place. Changes and additions made it look a bit different, but the biggest changes were the installation of electricity and running water. Also, the outhouse at the left rear in the picture was no longer there. States Please don't get me wrong. I just want to correct a mistake that has been circulating. There was no building involved. The building dad used for the boot shop in Spearman for 50 years was the same one that George Faus moved from Texhoma, Oklahoma in 1919 to use for his meat market. The building Leon used was demolished when he traded out to Rube. Regarding the boot shop deal; Part of the agreement was for Leon to stay with Rube and teach him to make boots and repair shoes. After one pair of boots, Leon was gone. Rube was a quick learner and a natural born craftsman. Leon came back any time he needed a job, and their casual partnership lasted for life.

leon
From bookmaker forum: Ed thinks this picture was taken in the 60s at a family reunion. Both Leon and Aunt Lily had their pictures taken. Leon was probably born during WWI, 1916 or 17 so that would mean he was in his 40s in this picture.


Suzanne Watson (Suzanne)
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Posted on Sunday, April 01, 2012 - 2:43 pm:   

Here is a photo from the Pierce family, Ed has talked about this sign often.
bootboot2
This was originally Henry White's Boot Shop on 4th St in Amarillo, here Rube has rented this building and Henry White moved a few miles out on 6th St. According to Ed this was "the prettiest boot sign I ever seen" and on the window White had lettered WORLD'S BEST BOOTMAKER. The boot was 9' tall and outlined in neon. When White was there he got plenty of orders because of this pretty sign and his slogan. Ed is sure that the man under the Autry sign is his dad, Mack Martin, walking toward Rube's boot shop from the cafe.

Another item of interest is that Eds granddad was the sheriff of Old Hansford (6 mi from where Spearman is today)Texas and he got gunned down. So "the boys" went out and killed the killer and half buried him. Rube Faus was originally the mail carrier and he drove by and saw a foot sticking out of the ground by Paolo Duro Creek and reported it. Paolo Duro Creek dry as a bone today but you used to be able to fish or "seine" in it.

Here is another genealogy link and note from the Pierce family, "Gene Autry was related to my gr great grandmothers family,his wife was a Spivey from Okla"
www.ldpierce.com/scottwoody.html
Mark W. Fletcher (Bronbo)
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Posted on Sunday, April 01, 2012 - 2:52 pm:   

Very neat, I love this history.
Carrlyn Miller (Carrlyn)
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Posted on Monday, April 02, 2012 - 1:55 am:   

Interesting. Wonder whatever happened to the sign. I love this stuff too. Thanks for posting Suzanne.

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