Knox & Tanner Saddlery History


R. B. Knox Company 1879 - 1882
Knox & Tanner Saddlery 1900 - 1905
Rawlins, Wyoming

This is a History involving two different men whose lives come together in the late 1800s, as Reuben Knox was the Father in law of George A. Tanner and eventual Business Partners in the Knox & Tanner Company of Rawlins Wyoming. In 1842 Reuben Knox was born and at an early age he starting learning Saddle Making by working as an apprentice to E. L. Gallatin at the Gallatin Saddlery of the Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory. In September 1879 Reuben Knox opened his first shop in Rawlins, Wyoming Territory just shortly after Colorado became a State in 1876, and he opened this Saddle Shop in the back of 500 Front Street in Rawlins. The town of Rawlins was a growing community and the last stop before heading into the Western Side of newly established Colorado State prime Ranching Country which would need supplies and a Saddlery for the working Cowboys. In 1880 Reuben Knox built his own building on Cedar Street which would offer him much more exposure versus the rented space he had at the back of 500 Front Street Rawlins, WY the previous year. At the E. L. Gallatin Saddlery Reuben Knox learned all types of Leather work from Saddle making to making Gun Leather, Chaps, Harness Equipment and many other products. Although building his own facility and expanding his efforts to sell his Saddlery Goods business remained slow and in January 1882 Reuben Knox became a Jailer for the Local Sheriff and Rancher I. C. Miller of Rawlins. Rawlins, Wyoming was designated as the county seat of Carbon County, one of four counties in Wyoming at the time. It covered an area of 86 miles wide and 276 miles long-from the Colorado to the Montana border. The first Sheriff was I.C. Miller he also served as Mayor of Rawlins both offices being held by him before he had citizenship papers! He said the hardest job he had as Sheriff was bringing a criminal to Rawlins for trial. The man had been apprehended in the very northern most part of the County Seat. They were shackled together and came by stagecoach, wagon and horse back on that miserable trip. In February of 1882 I. C. Miller went into Partnership with Reuben Knox in the R. B. Knox Company and by 1883 I. C. Miller bought the Company becoming the sole proprietor and he tried to make a go for himself at running the Saddlery. By the later part of 1883 Sheriff I. C. Miller sold R. B. Knox Company to John Foote who owned and operated a Front Street Saloon in Rawlins, Wyoming so he promptly hired R. B. Knox to manage the Saddlery Business and he also invested money to expand the Saddlery building. An employed saddle maker working for the R B Knox Company left to open another Saddlery around the corner on Fifth Street that was H. H. Bruning or Herman H. Bruning unfortunately his shop burned down within a couple of months and he was back working for R. B. Knox Company. In 1885 John A. Donnel purchased the Saddlery from John Foote and that is a separate Company History although to continue this history John A. Donnel sold the Saddlery back to Reuben Knox and his son in law George A. Tanner. The unfortunate circumstances that led to this Partnership ending within 4 years were Reuben Knox died on February 27, 1904 at the age of 62 years old. Based on documentation from the Company’s Articles of Incorporation George A. Tanner was listed as President of the R. B. Knox Company in 1905 which was the original Incorporation filing. Although beyond 1905 there is no records of George A. Tanner working with the R. B. Knox Company which continued operations into the 1930s with various ownership changes and product line changes.


R B Knox Maker W.T. maker mark Gun Belt & Holster Set 1879 - 1883


Knox & Tanner Cabinet Card Advertisement Saddle #100 Front View 1900 - 1905


Knox & Tanner - Maker Mark 1900 - 1905


Knox & Tanner Advertisement from 1900 - 1905