T. Flynn Saddlery Company History

Silver Cliff, Colorado 1880 - 1889
Trinidad, Colorado 1889 - 1892
Pueblo, Colorado 1892 - 1935

The story of Tom Flynn is a little bit more colorful than most Cowboy Saddle makers of the Old West and having been born around the time of the Civil War, Tom was an Old West Cowboy. The first shop Tom Flynn opened was located in Silver Cliff, Colorado a booming mining town just west of Pueblo, Colorado and he also had a saddle shop in Trinidad, Colorado which was south of Pueblo, Colorado.

By 1888, the town of Silver Cliff was becoming less productive with regard to mining and Saddlery so Tom Flynn decided to move his Saddlery east to Pueblo, Colorado. Pueblo was a Central Train crossing for trains going from the West Coast to the east coast and it was the perfect distribution point for selling saddlery across the country.

In 1889, when Tom Flynn was preparing to move from Silver Creek, Colorado to Trinidad, Colorado when he went to the bank to get his savings the bank had closed the doors with all of the town's money. When Tom Flynn went looking for the Bank President, who was preparing to leave town with all the money he found the Bank President and they shortly thereafter returned to the bank with Tom Flynn's gun stuck in the bank president's ribs.

At this time, in 1889, with his savings in hand, Tom Flynn moved his Saddlery Business to Trinidad, Colorado and he stayed in Trinidad until 1892 deciding at that time to open a shop in Pueblo, Colorado which he named the T. Flynn Saddlery Company. Having made a name for himself over the previous twelve years in business he was soon a noted maker of trick and show saddles for the entertainment industry. Tom Flynn was also involved in creating the famous Pueblo Saddle along with other notable Pueblo, Colorado Saddle makers of the time.

The T. Flynn Saddlery Company prospered greatly over the coming years even with the stiff competition in Pueblo, Colorado as well as major Saddleries in Denver, Colorado. It was on June 3, 1921 that there was a major flood in Pueblo, Colorado which destroyed the T. Flynn Saddlery completely although speared was the S. C. Gallup Saddlery and the R. T. Frazier Saddlery just because of location. It must be remembered that the T. Flynn Saddlery was completely wiped out with a total loss. After the flood, the S. C. Gallup Saddlery Co. offered the T. Flynn Saddlery space in their shop to continue operation to fill their mail orders salvaged from the flood, as well as new ones coming in through the mail. This offer to a competitor was gladly accepted, and Frank Flynn took three of his saddle makers to the Gallup shop where he cut and made saddles for the next three months until new quarters could be established for the T. Flynn Saddlery. Thus we find that through the generosity of one competitor to another, both Gallup and Flynn saddles were made in the same shop. This gesture was never to be forgotten, and as time went on, the T. Flynn Saddlery was able to make a similar offer to the S. C. Gallup Saddlery Co.

In 1920, James Wimmer was instantly killed in an automobile accident. At his death his interest in the S. C. Gallup Saddlery Co. was left to his widow and two sons, Jimmie and Rowland. As Wimmer had owned the controlling interest in the firm, Mrs. Wimmer now became its president, and Karl Kretschmer and the two Wimmer boys continued in operation until about 1928. The business was not functioning successfully, so that year Mrs. Wimmer, who owned the building, decided to close the doors of the S. C. Gallup Saddlery Co. and sell the building. For a time it looked like the career of the famous Gallup Saddle had come to an end.

But Kretschmer, as a stockholder, induced the Wimmers to turn over to him the mail order lists and most of the equipment. He moved to a new location and continued the business. But the depression had hit, and it was a bad time to reorganize a business. After a year he went to Frank Flynn and said he would have to close up. This was Flynn's opportunity to return the favor of the Gallup Firm after the 1921 flood. Frank Flynn bought some of the stock and offered his entire basement to store the remaining stock and fixtures. He also gave Kretschmer a job as salesman.

This set-up continued until Kretschmer's death in 1930. At that time Gallup saddles were still being made at the T. Flynn Saddlery. But Mrs. Kretschmer decided to close out all reference to the S. C. Gallup Saddlery Co., and with that decision the famous name of the S. C. Gallup Saddlery Co. passed into history. Today all that is left are the many old Gallup saddles still left out in the range country doing a good job at upholding a famous name.

It appears at this time and over the next three years both the T. Flynn Saddlery and the S. C. Gallup Saddlery operated separately but within one location. It appears as though these businesses were operated by the son of T. Flynn who was Frank Flynn and Judith Gallup and in 1924 the S. C. Gallup Saddlery was closed or purchased by Frank Flynn and absorbed into one business the T. Flynn Saddlery Company all remaining orders for S. C. Gallup Saddlery were filled by the T. Flynn Saddlery which survived until 1935.

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