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J R McChesney

Birth place or City of origin: South Bend
State of origin: IN
Last known City:
Last known State:
Start/Birth date: 1867
Death/End date: 1928

Born September 29, 1867 in South Bend, Indiana. In 1887 he purchased the contents of a bankrupt blacksmith shop in Tulsa and moved it to Broken Arrow, 12 miles away. McChesney was a jack-of-all-trades and the shop flourished as he repaired buggies and wagons, shod horses and traded guns and horses with the desperadoes who frequented the Indian Territory. According to lore, McChesney made his first pair of spurs only after a wild friend shot up his blacksmith shop insisting that he do so. Moved in 1890 to Gainesville, Texas and again in 1907 to Pauls Valley, Oklahoma where his factory became the biggest bit and spur manufacturers in the world. McChesney died in 1928 and the factory was sold to Nocona Boot Co, who began marking the spurs with the McChesney name. McChesney, whose Gal Leg, Goose Neck and Peacock designs ranked him with the greatest innovators, producers and manufacturers of bits and spurs, employed P M Kelly, Tom Johnson, Clyde Parker, Browning and Murchison and other famous makers at one time or another.

Pascal Moreland "P.M." Kelly was born near Bright Star, TX in 1886.  The oldest of seven children, the family moved to Childress, TX in 1903 where his father taught school and operated the local blacksmith shop.  Bud made his first pair of spurs in 1903, opening a blacksmith shop in Hansford County in 1907. In 1910 he joined J.R. McChesney in Paul's Valley, Oklahoma and a year later opened a shop with Tom Johnson in Dalhart TX.  By 1911 Johnson was gone and Kelly lured Clyde Parker, a foundry man working with McChesney, to join him in Dalhart, Texas around 1912.. The partnership was dissolved in 1919 when WWI slowed the business to a halt. In 1924 Kelly relocated the business to El Paso where it prospered until the market crash of 1929.  As the depression receded, P.M. bought out his brothers and resumed business in El Paso in 1939 changing the maker-mark to "Kelly".  In the early 1940s, his son Bob joined the company taking over all aspects of the business after WWII. The business flourished in an expanded location until selling out to Crockett-Renalde on Denver, Colo in the 1960s.

 

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