J. C.Bell Spurs, Waltman, Wyoming #40
I bought these J. C. Bell spurs summer 2011 from a savvy antiques dealer in
I already had a pair of J. C. Bell spurs and they are some of the hardest to
find of any maker. I think Bell sequentially numbered his spurs. The pair
that I got years ago are numbered 39 inside the heel band and this newly
found pair are numbered 40. Both pairs are marked inside the heel band that
they were made at Waltman, Wyoming.
Bill Crump of Lander, Wyoming helped me research J. C. "Joe" Bell several
Bell was born in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania in 1889. He moved to Casper,
Wyoming from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1909. He worked for seven years at
the Grieves' Ranch and then went into the ranching business on his own. He
operated the Bell Ranch, 50 miles west of Casper for 29 years and retired in
The Bell Ranch was located on the north side of Garfield Peak in the
Rattlesnake Mountains. Bell was a good blacksmith and made bits and spurs
which were popular with the ranchers and cowboys in the area. His products
were hand forged and inlaid with silver. Usually they also had high domed
conchos rising up from the sides of the spurs making the spurs both inlaid
and overlaid. He used dental tools to do the engraving. Pair number 40 had
domed conchos only over the rowel pins.
The four pairs of Bell spurs that I have seen have all been one of a kind
hand made and different from each other pair.