Ruxton's Trading Post

Proprietor: Gretchen and Mike Graham
22 Ruxton Avenue
Manitou Springs, CO 80829

Tel: 719-377-1919  

Value and History of one pair of Crockett spurs




Dear Bill,
Your father’s spurs are marked on the inside of the heel band with the larger CROCKETT mark which is about 1 1/4 inches long.  That mark was used between 1925 and 1935.  A spur similar to your spurs was shown on the cover of the Crockett Bit & Spur Company catalog No. 6 when the company was located at 1602 West 16th Street, Stock Yards, Kansas City, Missouri.  That spur model was the number 145 which was made by both Crockett and their competitor Kelly Brothers, Manufacturers.  Both companies called it the model number 145.  And both companies called the spur the “Johnnie Mullens Special”.  
After J. R. McChesney died in 1928, Enid Justin the owner of Nacona Boot Company bought his company and moved it to Nacona, Texas in 1929.  In the 1934 McChesney catalog as shown in the book, “J. R. McChesney, A Lifetime, A Legacy” by Lee Jacobs they show their own model number 145 with a wider heel band but very similar to the Crockett and Kelly Brothers model 145s.  I find it interesting that each company used the same model number.  Did they have a mutual agreement to use the number and name?  Perhaps they did.  I think they would meet at rodeos and other trade shows and probably shared ideas and information about business.  After all with each company publishing catalogs there would be little advantage to trying to keep information secret.
Johnnie Mullens the namesake of the spurs was a top notch cowboy working from Texas and New Mexico up to Montana.  While working at the JAL Cattle Company in New Mexico he met the Miller Brothers of Bliss, Oklahoma who had come to buy 4,000 head of cattle.  That was the year that they were starting the 101 Wild West Show and they hired him to ride broncs, rope and trick ride.  He met Tom Mix there and when the Miller show closed early they finished the season with the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show.  Later they worked for the smaller wild west show called the Circle D.  They were in Vincennes, Indiana when the Celic Polly Scope Company leased the entire Circle D Show to make motion pictures.  Johnnie and Tom Mix were featured in the movies “Ranch Life in the Great Southwest”  and “Two Boys in Blue”.
Johnnie helped organize the first Calgary Stampede with Guy Weadick with whom he had worked with in the 101 Ranch show.  He either ran or helped with many other rodeos from Madison Square Gardens to Arizona.  It is easy to see why the spur manufacturers wanted to associate their spurs with him.  Perhaps he designed the spurs and shared his design with the different makers.  I have no way of knowing but that might explain why each company made the same model.
What I like about your spurs is they are in excellent condition.  They are also double mounted which cost a little more than mounting silver on only one side of each spur.  In the Crockett number 6 catalog double mounted spurs cost $13.00 while single mounted spurs were $10.00.  The spurs could be purchased plain without silver mountings for $7.00.  The double mounting on your spurs makes them more desirable to collectors. From your good pictures I can see the engraving which is typical Crockett engraving which isn’t as detailed as if the spurs had been made by Kelly Brothers.  There is nothing wrong with this it is just the way that Crockett did it.
The other thing that makes your spurs worth more is that they are inside marked.  It is the last inside mark which is the biggest and it helps date the spurs.  It is better than latter marks on the outside or on the rims of the heel band which indicates those spurs were made later than your spurs.
Value  $1000