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Jerry Cates

Birth place or City of origin: Foard County
State of origin: TX
Last known City:
Last known State:
Start/Birth date: 1938
Death/End date: 2011

Jerry was born in Foard County, Texas in 1938 moving permanently to Amarillo in 1959. He cowboyed and worked as a brand inspector before taking up bit and spur making full-time in 1969. Jerry lived 15 miles from Adolph Bayers whom he credits with both teaching and inspiring him.


Born in 1938, Cates grew up in Foard County, Texas in a farming and ranching family. In the early 1960s, while working on a large Texas Panhandle ranch, he started repairing bits and spurs for other cowboys. Jerry made his first pair of spurs in 1969, and for three years he and his partner Bill Handley worked together on a part-time basis. With a growing demand for his work, he started making spurs and bits full-time in 1980. Cates admires the Texas patterns of McChesney, Crockett, Kelly Brothers, Adolph Bayers and Billy Klapper but has been able to create his own unique style. Highly sought after by collectors and working cowboys alike, Cates has customers worldwide, yet his talent, knowledge, and respect for the art of spur making combined with his generosity of sharing, has had a great influence on a large number of contemporary makers. Jerry’s shop is always open to the eager and curious, and he offers a formal apprenticeship program for a few promising students each year. Jerry has awarded both the Academy of Western Artists Spur Maker of the Year in 1997 and the inaugural Adolph Bayers Memorial Award in 2007. He was the founder of the Texas Style Bit and Spur Makers group. Jerry is survided by his loving wife, Perky, three children and grandchildren


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