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Copyright 2013 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

 

Collectibles Corner

1920 Hamley & Co. Saddle

 By Dorinda Troutman, RMR Staff Writer

 

June 2013 issue  

 

RMR Collectibles Corner - 1920 Hamley & Co Saddle

 

Robert Emmet Russell purchased this saddle October 16, 1920 for $116, when he was 19 years old — a considerable sum at the time, especially for such a young man. His grandson, Michael Russell, of Helena , Montana , says that his grandfather had it custom-made and used it to break Arab and Mustang horses on his ranch in Helmville , Montana .

Michael says, “This saddle is in excellent condition, and I have tuned it up a little bit. My grandfather rode rodeo and worked as a wrangler breaking horses for ranches in and around Helmville and Lincoln , Montana . All Hamley saddles are numbered to identify who bought them, why, and for how much. Back in the day, if you didn’t ride a Hamley or Miles City saddle, you just weren’t one of the ‘in’ crowd.”  

 

Hamley & Co. history goes back to Cornwall , England , where the trade of saddle and leather craftsmanship passed down thorough many generations of Hamleys. William Hamley immigrated to America in 1850 and opened a leather goods store first in Wisconsin , and then, with his two sons, in North Dakota in 1883; and finally in Pendleton , Oregon in 1905, where the store remains today.

     David’s son J.J. Hamley was instrumental in organizing the first Pendleton Roundup in 1910; and Hamley & Co. made the first standard bronc riding saddle in 1919. In 2005 new owners completely renovated and resurrected the store. Hamley & Co. still uses the old slogan, “Quality Articles are Made for Men Who are Tired of the Extravagance of Buying Cheap Things.”

 

    

Copyright 2013 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

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