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J R McChesney

Bit/Spur Maker
Birthplace: South Bend, Indiana

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.


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