If you are looking to find the person who may have been the grandfather of the Texas spur style, then Robert John McChesney certainly fits the bill. McChesney was the first to sell hand made spurs in Texas in around 1887. After moving around, as they did in those days, he took up business in Tulsa as a blacksmithing company but it was not long before his name and reputation allowed him to become one of the most well known spur makers of the area.
The McChesney Bit and Spur Company was formed in Oklahoma but moved to Gainsville, Texas in 1890 and became a well known name for ironwork and repairs. After making some spurs for a friend, he began taking orders for spurs and found that his skills with metal were perfectly suited to spur making. McChesney is quoted as inventing or originating the goose-neck spur shape too, although the cowboys he was making the equipment for preferred the Gal Leg style spurs.
During his heyday, McChesney employed a young P M Kelly, who owned a nearby blacksmithing company and was offered a job. It was the skills in spur making that Kelly learnt that allowed him to go on to become one of the largest and most successful spur makers ever. By 1911, the McChesney catalog offered 120 different styles of spurs and also 64 different bridle bits.
McChesney went on to make spurs for some famous people of the time such as Will Rogers and some famous rodeo riders. His company was also commissioned to make spurs for the US Army during World War 1.
Spurs made by the McChesney Bit and Spur Company are stamped MCCHESNEY on the outside of each spur, underneath the buttons.
Antique JR McChesney Spurs Gal Legs
Pair of McChesney 26 spurs from the Roger Wilmont collection