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William Raffour

Birth place or City of origin: Santa Barbara
State of origin: CA
Last known City: Santa Barbara
Last known State: CA
Start/Birth date: 1871
Death/End date: 1910

William Raffour was born in Santa Barbara September 11th, 1871 to French immigrant hotel keepers Louis and Maria Raffour. His father arrived in California in 1864 and moved to Santa Barbara where they had six children. William initially worked for popular local saddlemaker Sherman Loomis and then continued with the Tomlinson Bros who purchased the Loomis shop in 1898.
In 1900 J.M. Forbes, a prominent local saddle maker died and Raffour purchased his shop at 926 State Street -- moving in in January of 1901 and eventually relocating to 1906 City Hall Plaza. William specialized in Mexican/California leather art work including harness and saddles. His saddles were of very high quality showing the influence and artistry of renowned local Santa Barbara makers like J.M. Forbes and Sherman Loomis. He used saddle trees made in Los Angeles popular with local vaqueros and also employed several members of his family including Leon, a saddle maker (1904) and Phillip as a leather stamper. William died in 1910 at age 39 but not before he became one of the most popular men to Santa Barbara including a brief stint as a councilman


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