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Cowboy Spur Maker

The Story of Ed Blanchard

By Jane Pattie and Tom Kelly

Publication Year: 2008

Ed Blanchard was best known for making spurs that fit a cowboy's boots. Yet Blanchard was known to family and friends as a wild, reckless cowboy long before horsemen of the West recognized him as a master maker of cowboy spurs. It was his years spent herding cattle and cinching his saddle on broncs that taught him his trade as both a cowboy and a spur maker. This lively, illustrated story of the man and his craft relies heavily on the memories of Blanchard's cousin, New Mexico rancher Tom Kelly of Water Canyon, who grew up with Ed and his friends. Co-author Jane Pattie has researched the times and added historical background, and she has also drawn on interviews she did with Blanchard for her earlier book, Cowboy Spurs and Their Makers. But it is from Kelly that she has uncovered Blanchard's work in the cattle business and how he learned from a neighboring rancher the art of hammering hot steel into the shape of spurs. Kelly's ranch life as well as his own spurs are also pictured in this attractive and inviting little volume. Together, Pattie and Kelly tell a dual tale of old times and of change: the story of spur making as experienced by one of its more prolific practitioners and the story of cowboys in the early part of the twentieth century. Through Blanchard's experiences, the authors trace the changes of western life, from horse to pickup truck, from hand-forged spurs to those of commercial manufacture. Ranch life, cowboying, and metalworking in the American West are interwoven through the book, as they were in the real life of Ed Blanchard, who emerges from these pages as a humorous, down-home regional character readers will be glad to get to know.

Published by: Texas A&M University Press


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pp. v


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pp. vii-viii

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Muchas Gracias

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pp. ix-x

This is the story of Ed Blanchard, but it is also the story of the people and times and the country that molded him. It is a story that has come together with the help of many of Ed’s family and friends as well as the users and collectors of Blanchard bits and spurs. We give our thanks to them for both their time and their generosity ...

Part I Ed Blanchard Country

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Chapter 1 As I Know the Story

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pp. 3-14

The stout two-year-old maverick bull stirred up the dust as he charged down the steep mountainside above a wide canyon in New Mexico’s San Mateo Mountains. Hot on his heels rode a wild and reckless cowboy, rope in hand and swinging a big loop. Just as the bull headed for escape down the canyon’s rock ...

Part II As Tom Kelly Remembers

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Chapter 2 The Road to Water Canyon

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pp. 17-39

Just as Ed Blanchard was a product of the Southwest when New Mexico was still a frontier, the spurs that he made also reflected his life and times. Blanchard’s lifetime stretched from horseback days—when his livelihood was cinching his saddle on broncs and swinging his loop at wild cows ...

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Chapter 3 The Making of a Cowboy

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pp. 40-59

Edward Fred Blanchard was born in Water Canyon on September 26, 1894. Ol’ Ed was like any kid—he wasn’t an angel. He ran around over the mountainsides just like the rest of them and messed in his pants and peed in his britches. My grandmother Tinguely taught school in Water Canyon ...

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Chapter 4 From Horsebackto Horsepower

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pp. 60-88

Ed Blanchard, Jim Kelly, and Fred Martin were iducted into the army at the same time. They reported to Camp Cody at Deming, New Mexico, on April 11, 1918. The army was buying horses all over the country to be used in World War I. Some of them were six- and seven-year-olds that had never been broke, ...

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Chapter 5 Cowboy Ways

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pp. 89-100

Ed Blanchard worked at various ranches during the early 1930s, but he would go back to the Cooks every so often. One time, Ed and the Cooks were gathering cattle up in the San Mateo Mountains. They had their camp set up at a corral near San Mateo Peak. ...

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Chapter 6 The Forge and the Anvil

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pp. 101-116

Rueben Pankey was an old-time Texas cowman. He had been up the trail to Dodge City and to Hugo, Colorado, and also to the Musselshell River in Montana. He had worked on ranches throughout Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico. In 1898, he started his own ranch south of Hillsboro, New Mexico, ...

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Chapter 7 Handmade to Order

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pp. 117-131

While Ed had his twenty-section Arizona ranch, the Cook boys—Porter, Billy, and Bob—helped him with his cattle work. Ed’s ranch was close to theirs. Ed was always so busy making spurs, he didn’t have time to take care of the cows he had. ...

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Afterword Ranching in Blanchard Country, Then and Now

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pp. 132-142

The people who populated the Magdalena country of New Mexico, where Ed Blanchard and I grew up and where I still live, were in the most part ranchers, sheepmen, mining men, prospectors, and of course, the merchants, who supplied everything they all needed. The Santa Fe Railway made life easier in 1885, ...


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pp. 143-144


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pp. 145-146

E-ISBN-13: 9781603443906
E-ISBN-10: 1603443908
Print-ISBN-13: 9781603440509
Print-ISBN-10: 160344050X

Page Count: 160
Illustrations: 54 b&w photos.
Publication Year: 2008