H.L. Kuck Saddle Shop History


Shaniko, Oregon 1880 - 1890
The Dalles, Oregon 1890 - 1962

Here is a brief history on a very diverse individual, Henry L. Kuck, who was well known in his local area and was instrumental in developing The Dalles, Oregon. A saddle maker and leather worker by trade Henry L. Kuck started his career in Shaniko, Oregon in the early 1880s where he owned and operated a Saddle Shop with John Gunther, also a Saddle Maker and leather worker. Henry L. Kuck and his wife Minnie Anderson Kuck had a son named Ernest A. Kuck and by 1890 Henry L. Kuck moved his family to The Dalles Oregon.

It was soon after the family moved to The Dalles Oregon that on September 2, 1891 a major fire swept through the Eureka Restaurant, The H. L. Kuck Saddle Shop and the Skibbe Saloon everything was destroyed with nothing salvageable. Then in 1894, there was a major flood of the Columbia River which crested at 59 feet, the highest ever recorded and everything in the shop was lost again, other than some tools and odds and ends, but nothing of real value to the saddle maker.

Between 1894 and 1921, H. L. Kuck ran his shop with his son Ernest and in 1921 they went in to a partnership with Ralph Rubin Bonney. Ernest ran the shop with Ralph and they renamed the shop, Kuck & Bonney Sporting Goods, and Henry L. Kuck became more involved in the development of the city and in politics. In 1903 Henry L. Kuck joined the Volunteer Fire Department in The Dalles and he served on the Fire Department until 1918 also in 1903 and 1904 Henry L. Kuck served as the Exalted Ruler of his Elks Lodge. In 1921 Henry L. Kuck served on the Board of Directors for the Citizens National Bank and he also started buying property to develop in the City of The Dalles, Oregon. In 1929 Henry L. Kuck was the Representative of the 16th District which included The Dalles, Hood River and Wasco Oregon to the State Senate and he was Representative for the 35th Session dating from January 14, 1929 to March 4, 1929 and the 36th session from January 12, 1931 to March 6, 1931.

The Kuck family sold their interest in the Sporting Goods Business in 1943 although Ralph Rubin Bonney continued to use to Kuck & Bonney maker mark and name until 1962 when the business closed completely.


Kuck Saddlery store front
Kuck Saddlery makers mark