The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963

Book Reviews

S. D. Myres: Saddlemaker. By Sandra L. Myres. Kerrville (Pri-
vately Printed), 1961. iv+ 124. Illustrations, index. $5.00.
This book serves a two-fold purpose: initially, it gives an in-
teresting account of the development of the particular type of
saddles used generally in Texas and the Southwest by showing
how gradual changes in saddlery took place through innovations
and additions to meet local and specific needs of the Texas cow-
boys. Happenings in such backgrounds changed the form and
style of the original Spanish saddle. Following the saddle's intro-
duction to Texas by way of Mexico, it had to undergo changes
because of the particular demands of the Texas cowboys. These
changes were necessitated through the differences in terrain,
vegetation, and methods of raising cattle which became typical
in the great Southwest.
It is interesting to find in this book that most saddles sold in
the United States are still handmade by master craftsmen. Modern
Texans will be surprised to know that "although there was
'leather on the hoof' in abundance, cured and tanned hides were
shipped to Texas from St. Louis, Chicago, and other northern
points, or imported from Mexico." Leather goods were manufac-
tured extensively, however, at several points in Texas, notably at
Dallas, Waco, and San Antonio.
One of the most successful manufacturers in Texas was S. D.
Myres, first at Sweetwater and later at El Paso. Myres produced
the renowned $1o,ooo saddle for J. C. Miller of the loi Ranch
Show. "The saddle contained one hundred and sixty-six diamonds,
one hundred and twenty sapphires, seventeen rubies, four garnets,
and fifteen pounds of gold and silver." At least one saddle was
made for the Mexican revolutionist, Pancho Villa.
Myres was celebrated for his designs stamped or carved in
leather. His business became nationally known, and he prospered.
Shortly after moving his shop from Sweetwater to El Paso in 1920o,
his annual sales exceeded $ioo,ooo. By 1929, however, Myres was
in serious financial straits. In order to meet the challenge of a
changing industry, Myres added gunbelts and holsters to his line
of merchandise. These new products added greatly to the renown
of his establishment. Holsters for the pistols worn by General
George S. Patton were creations of Myres.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed May 22, 2015.