From 'Fanning the Embers', published 1971, Range Rider Reps, Miles City, Montana
By C. E. Wilson
The Coggshall Saddlery is truly a pioneer firm, having been established in 1895 by C. E. Coggshall. Throughout the many years, the name, "Coggshall" has meant quality of the highest type. Coggshall surrounded himself with only the highest type of workmen and supplied them with the highest grade materials with which to make saddles and all other items of leather goods.
On Aug. 9, 1909, Mr. Coggshall sold all his interests in the firm, except one share, to Bert T. Coleman, C. H. Kathmann and Frank Jelinek. These men had been with the firm several years, prior to buying it. They were of course deeply concerned with maintaining all the high standards that had been established by Mr. Coggshall.
Mr. Joe Conway, who had been hired as a bookkeeper in 1910, bought the entire business in 1939 and ran the business until his death in 1956, with the help of his three sons, Dick, Luke and Bob.
In January of 1948, Joe Conway asked C. E. Wilson who was shop foreman of the largest silver saddle shop in the world at the time, to come to Miles City and take over as foreman of his firm. A very pleasant business relationship developed between Mr. Conway, the three Conway boys and Mr. Wilson.
In April of 1961, the Conway boys informed Mr. Wilson that they were ready to retire and that it was their wish he would purchase the saddle and leather goods department. On May 1, 1961, the details were worked out and Mr. Wilson purchased all the machines, tools and stock. Most important to all concerned was that the name Wilson Coggshall Saddlery, "Makers of Original Coggshall Saddles," would be carried on with the same pride and careful attention required to turn out top quality saddles.
Today, the name Wilson Coggshall Saddlery, "Makers of Original Coggshall Saddles," has proudly been registered. Through the years many firsts, such as the flat plate rigging, the first swell forked saddle and many new saddle trees, the Sid Special, the Montana, the Miles City 98, that became world famous, were all developed by the skilled Coggshall craftsmen.
Plans are being made now to train two employees that have been with the firm for several years, to take over the ownership when Mr. Wilson retires.