Buckley saddle donated to Pioneer MuseumOct 23, 2016 From wire reports
One of the most important businesses in a rural Wyoming community in the late 1800s and early 1900s was the livery stable and a saddle maker.
The Lander Pioneer Museum has an extensive collection of saddles made in Lander. Until recently, a major missing piece was a saddle by noted leather worker John P. Buckley, who had a shop in Lander from 1907 to 1914.
In the last year the museum has received three Buckley saddles The most recent was donated by Buckley's grandson in California. "My grandfather would have wanted his saddle in Lander," said Charles Buckley. "He loved the town and was very successful there." The saddle is unique because it has built in saddlebags, a Buckley trademark.
The donation also includes Buckley's saddle-making stand, which museum curator Randy Wise said "is actually even more important than the saddle in some ways" because "it dates to at least 1880 and was used by Buckley in his shop here and across Wyoming."
Several Buckley saddles were sold to a troupe of "rough riders" with a wild west show in Philadelphia. Buckley claimed that a Wyoming cowboy working in the new film industry in Los Angeles had introduced Buckley saddles to his "actor friends."
Buckley sold his business in 1914. His shop was described in the Wyoming State Journal as "The best harness shop in the state of Wyoming." The paper said Buckley was suffering from rheumatism and was going to spend time in Thermopolis where he hoped the hot springs would help his health.