Saturday, May 27, 2006


1011 EAST 23RD
PHONE/FAX: 660/359/3592

Monroe Veach (1896-1986) was born on a farm north of Trenton, MO. Around 1917, Monroe left home to go west to be a cowboy, and ended up in Eads, Colorado. Shortly after getting accustomed to his new way of life, America entered World War I.
Monroe enlisted in the U.S. Army, and like all the rest of the cowboys, he wanted to be assigned to the Cavalry.
However, the Army had other ideas for Monroe. At Fort Riley, KS, Monroe was assigned to the Post Saddle and Harness Repair Shop, where he stayed until the end of WWI. It was here that Monroe learned the basics of saddle and harness repair.
Upon his return to Trenton, Monroe married Alta Brown in 1919, and set up a Harness Shop on his father's farm, north of Trenton.
One day , a gentleman by the name of Orren Wilson came into Monroe's shop, and mentioned that he was wanting to get a new saddle.
Monroe told Mr. Wilson that if he, (Wilson), would pay for the materials, that he would build the saddle. The deal was made, and Monroe built the saddle.
This was the beginning of a trademark that is still in use today.
Many years later, a customer came to Veach Saddlery, bringing with him an old saddle that was in need of repair.
In looking over the saddle, Monroe realized that it was the saddle that he had built in 1919, for Orren Wilson.
Monroe told the customer that he would swap him straight across, any new saddle in the shop for the old saddle.
The customer agreed.
The First Veach Saddle is on display in the shop today.
Monroe signed on with Foghorn Clancy's rodeo as a trick roper and trick rider, and saw that there was a need for quality Trick Riding Saddles.
He took his ideas back to his shop in Trenton, and became the premier Trick Saddle maker of that era.
By 1938, Monroe had moved his operation from the farm to a larger location in the city of Trenton.
In 1939, Six Time World Champion Steer Roper, Fred Lowry won a Veach Saddle at a rodeo in Nowata, Oklahoma.
Fred thought the saddle was as close as any saddle had ever come to being the ideal roping saddle he had ever seen.
Fred wrote to Monroe, and suggested a few changes.
This was the birth of the "Fred Lowry Roper", and quickly became one of the most popular roping saddles of the 40's, 50's and late 60's.
Monroe and Alta had 6 children, Billy, Imogene (Mrs. Charley Beals), Mary (Mrs. Al Cunningham), Letty (Mrs. George McAlister), Ben, and Peggy (Mrs. Robert Robinson). All 6 of the children, (and their spouses), worked in the shop for Monroe.
Grandchildren have also received their leather working expertise working along side "the master" of the saddle industry.
The saddlery today, is under the operation of Peggy and her husband and son, Robert and Craig Robinson.
To the best of the family's knowledge, the saddlery is the oldest in operation under original family ownership.
Being a Trick Rider and Trick Roper , Monroe Veach was inducted in 1993, into the Rodeo Hall, inside the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, OK, which is now known as the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.
Monroe Veach is the subject of the 1988 Public Television Award winning documentary titled " $10 Horse $40 Saddle". The film is available for viewing in the Grundy County Jewett Norris Library as well at the Grundy County Museum.