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[Land Transportation Accessory]

View at Kansas Memory

Accession Number: 2010.11.3.1

Physical Description: Iron spur with remnants of silver overlay. Leather heel strap. The strap is wider at proper left side, narrows toward the center, and widens slightly at the other side. Buckle at the base of proper right side. Maker's stamp on wide part of strap. Exterior side of iron heel band is decorated with a silver goose that is soldered to the surface of the iron. The surface of the goose is engraved with a pattern to resemble feathers. Decorative silver element on interior side of heel band. Silver spur buttons with design engraved on surface. Rowel has many short, rounded points.

History of Object: This pair of spurs belonged to Brigadier General James Oakes. Born in Pennsylvania, Oakes graduated from West Point in 1846. He served in the Mexican War and then in the Indian wars, where he was wounded during a skirmish with Comanches in 1850. During the Civil War he worked in recruiting and mustering, eventually attaining the rank of Brevet Brigadier General. After the war, he earned the rank of full Colonel. In the 1870s, he was sent to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and then to Fort Hays, Kansas. Oakes requested retirement in 1878 after 30 years of service. He died in 1910. The spurs were made by the Harpham Brothers Company of Lincoln, Nebraska. They started business in 1884. The logo seen on the leather straps of these spurs was used from 1900 to 1928.

Date: Between 1900 and 1910

Dimensions (in cm): 20.00 (H) 11.00 (W) 0.50 (D)

Marks/Inscriptions: [maker's mark] Saddlery goods with the brand / H.B. / BRAND / are the best made. //

Index Terms

Associations and Subjects

    Theme/topic: Forts & fortifications
    Use, Place of: Ellis County (Kan.)
    Use, Place of: Hays (Kan.)
    Origin, Place of: Lincoln (Neb.)
    Business / Organization: United States. Army. Cavalry
    Business / Organization: United States. Army. Cavalry, 6th
    Theme/topic: Military
    Event: Indian Wars
    Business / Organization: Fort Hays State Historic Site
    Individual: Oakes, James, 1826-1910
    Business / Organization: 6th U.S. Cavalry
    Business / Organization: Sixth U.S. Cavalry

Creators and Contributors

    Harpham Brothers Company

Status: Cataloged

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