E. C. Lee Saddlery History


Pierre, SD 1907 - 1927

Emmett C. Lee had a Saddlery that was located in Pierre, South Dakota, and his first catalog was issued in 1907 with his twentieth catalog in 1927. There is very little history concerning the early career of E.C. Lee but his saddles are those of a great master saddle maker and leather craftsman. His saddles consistently displayed detailed leather carvings, uncharacteristic of the period. E. C. Lee Saddles were world famous during the 1900s through the 1920s. His reputation grew during this period because he made the Cooper Contest Saddles for Kenneth Cooper. The original contest saddle was made for Kenneth Cooper who lived west of Ft. Pierre, South Dakota. The swell or pommel of the contest saddle came out wide on both sides so a rider could get his knees under them and lock on. The saddles were later disqualified for competition due to this design affording an unfair advantage. This style was better known then and today as a Bear Trap Saddle. It was shortly after the issuance of their 20th catalog the company was closed in the late 1920s or early 1930s.

EC Lee Saddlery makers mark