“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Tulia in Swisher County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

J.O. Bass Blacksmith Shop

J.O. Bass Blacksmith Shop Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen Lowrey, May 23, 2020
1. J.O. Bass Blacksmith Shop Marker
By the end of the Red River War in 1875, settlers began to move to this area. Stretching across five counties, the J.A. Ranch employed ranch hands and cowboys to care for over 100,000 cattle. The life of a rancher depended on tools of the trade. The need for blacksmiths to make horseshoes, spurs and branding irons was great when supplies were difficult to acquire.

James Oscar Bass was born on March 19, 1879 in Atlanta, Georgia, as one of seven children. In 1890, his family moved to Young County, Texas, and then to the Panhandle a year later. Unable to transport their wagon over Caprock Canyon, the family settled in what became Quitaque.

In 1897, at eighteen years old, J.O. Bass opened a blacksmith shop in Quitaque where he had made spurs for local cowboys and ranchers. Lazy F and Matador ranch hands prided themselves in owning a pair of Bass spurs for their durability, a valuable asset. Orders for Bass spurs and bridles extended to other states, including Montana and Nevada, and to the Texas Rangers and Western movie star Tom Mix.

Bass moved his shop to Tulia in 1902 for a more centralized and populated location.
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The town of Tulia incorporated in 1909 with J.O. Bass as one of the first city commissioners, along with early Tulia pioneers. In 1914, J.O. Bass won the metallurgy award at the Texas State Fair for a pair of Gal-Leg spurs with inlaid and overlaid gold and silver.

Bass retired in 1924 and bought land west of Plainview. He passed on February 3, 1950, and is buried in Plainview Cemetery. Worn and loved by many cowboys and ranchers, J.O. Bass's legacy of craftsmanship impacted the Panhandle frontier and beyond.
Marker is the property of the State of Texas
Erected 2016 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 18366.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & SettlersWars, US Indian.
Location. 34° 32.397′ N, 101° 45.854′ W. Marker is in Tulia, Texas, in Swisher County. Marker is on N Maxwell, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 300 N Maxwell, Tulia TX 79088, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Ozark Trails Association (approx. 0.2 miles away); First Methodist Church of Tulia (approx. 0.2 miles away); Flynt Building (approx. ¼ mile away); Swisher County
J.O. Bass Blacksmith Shop Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen Lowrey, May 23, 2020
2. J.O. Bass Blacksmith Shop Marker
(approx. ¼ mile away); a different marker also named Swisher County (approx. ¼ mile away); JA Ranch Cabin (approx. 0.3 miles away); Quanah Parker Trail (approx. half a mile away); Tulia Depot (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tulia.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 24, 2020. This page has been viewed 573 times since then and 95 times this year. Last updated on July 20, 2020, by Allen Lowrey of Amarillo, Texas. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 24, 2020, by Allen Lowrey of Amarillo, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 3, 2024