Brief History of Moser Leather - Moser was founded in 1878 by George Moser who immigrated to
the United States from Germany sometime in the 1860's. He came to New Albany, Indiana and
stayed with his brother who ran a tailoring business there and went to work for August Barth who
owned Barth's Tannery on East Tenth Street which is just down the river from the current tannery
location.  Barth was established in 1864.  After working for Barth for 10 years, Moser purchased the
Lockwood Brothers tannery at 272-278 East Eight Street in 1878.  He enlarged and improved it and
went into business for himself.  In July of 1891 John M. Moser came into the firm as a partner, he
was George's nephew and they changed the name to George Moser & Company.  By 1902 the
company employed 35 men and sold its products to jobbers across the country and was handling
about 15,000 medium weight hides per year.  Moser specialized in high grade leather for harness
and collar makers, the company marketed its product as Hemlock Collar Leather.  In 1900 Charles
E. Moser assumed his brother John's interest in George Moser & Company.  In 1905 George
opened an additional plant, which he name the Indiana Leather Company, on Silver Street, south of
the PA Railroad.  Fire destroyed the East Eighth Street tannery in 1914.  George died the same
year, and his heirs renamed the remaining Indiana Leather Company the George Moser Leather
Company.  Eventually George's son's - George Jr, Julius, and Karl joined the company, but it was
George's partner (and nephew), Charles Moser who assumed presidency.  By 1936 the company
covered nearly eight acres and employed approx. 100 workers and was a wholesale leather
manufacturer, tanning hides purchased by the carload and converting them into leather for shoes,
belts, or saddles. In the 1980's the company bought Caldwell Leather Co. of Auburn, Ky which was
founded in 1863 by George Washington Caldwell and became Caldwell/Moser Leather Co. -
Caldwell a Shoe Lace Tanner and part of Brown Group of St. Louis had just shut down their
tannery and Moser bought them out. Some info
courtesy of Historical article internet blog


James Cox Saddlery began in 1945 when James D. Cox was the manager of Comer and         
Jordan Livestock Company in Springdale, Ohio.  James traveled extensively buying and selling
horses and livestock all over the country for that auction.  He used to buy stock sight unseen, and
have it delivered by rail car to the Glendale Station.  He would go and inspect the herd, and have
them off loaded onto trucks there and brought to the sale barn.  He sold one of the horses to
Hollywood, that was used in making the movie Frisco Kid!  He eventually ventured into the
equipment for horses and livestock which included harness and saddlery.  The sale barn was
struck by a fire and never re-built and at that time, so James started going to London, Kentucky
almost every week.  He bought and sold livestock there, and harness and tack.  Our farm on Boyle
Road had seen as many as 30,000 head of cattle moved through there in a years time.  The
saddlery market was strong at that time, so the livestock barn was converted into its present day
saddle shop.  His sons, Charles and Del got into the business and they started a retail and
wholesale operation there, and eventually started a contract manufacturing business for many of
their products.  Debbie Cox, Del's daughter joined the company and worked in the retail operation
and did much of the accounting and replaced her mother from doing so, since she was busy with
raising her son, Jimmy.  Eventually Jimmy, joined the company in 1987 and James Cox Saddlery
ventured into manufacturing its own products in 1991.  They started manufacturing saddle pads, as
well as importing of bits, and spurs.  Charles Cox was instrumental in getting us into importing items
that we could no longer get here in the USA.

They developed many saddle brands such as Circle 'C' and resurrected the Big 'W' Western
Saddlery Brand, Buford Saddlery, and Monterrey Makers Brand.  

Jimmy, goes by James today and in 1997 he started a small leather operation called Western Hide
and Tanning Company.  Mainly to tan deer hides and buy and sell leather job lots, etc.  He started
working closely with Caldwell/Moser and bought harness and latigo from them, and distributed
much of their leather.  Large quantities of leather were sold in Tennessee to many of the saddle
companies that he was already doing business with.  James was in a unique position as he could
trade leather for finished products, and run them through the distribution business, as well as
auctions that the company participated in.  Auctions were a whole new venue of clients to sell to,
besides stores. In those days you could get more money at auctions, than you could regularly
wholesale something directly to dealers at the saddle shops.  Eventually James took the wholesale
and manufacturing business, and split from the retail operation in 2002.  This is when
Caldwell/Moser shut down, and James bought the trade name and recipes for Moser, as well as
some of the equipment and chemicals, etc.  The new Moser set up shop with some existing
tanneries here in the states to custom tan for them, as well as some tanneries in Mexico that
tanned on U.S. hides provided by James.  Leather was tanned in Mexico, and brought back here
and finished in the same dipping tanks that came out of the old tannery, to make harness and
latigo leathers.  Extra large Bulls and Steers are the niche that Moser has filled.  This leather is
used for harness as well as saddles.  We hot stuff and dip latigo and harness leather at our
operation in Hamilton, and are only one of 4 companies that are doing this in the United States.  
Our leather has been compared to the best Old Style Harness Leathers that are being produced in
the U.S. Market place.  We are also specializing in double shoulders... something that is not being
produced here in the USA on a continuing basis.  Our leathers sell as fast as we can produce
them.  We have strict guidelines that our tanneries and our employees must follow, to bring you the
best products that we can, for a reasonable price.  We have always told our employees that we are
only as good as the last shipment that we sent out.  In other words, if we cut corners on anything, it
could be the last time we sell someone.  So we always are on guard to put the best effort we can, to
continually make a good product for our customers.  No orders are too small.  We appreciate
everyone's business.

We did have a setback with 9/11, and the subsequent real estate collapse in 2006-2008.  Big 'W',
and Circle 'C' Brands were eventually sold to other companies in an effort to downsize in 2008, and
concentrate on our core products of leather.  We sold our 10,500 square foot building in Hamilton,
and have been working out of two smaller warehouse and manufacturing facilities.  Debbie Cox
Earls, owns the retail location, and still has saddles under the Diamond 'C' brand which she
created, we have a couple of buildings that we are working out of to keep costs down, and have
just recently in 2018 started a business arrangement with a very large tannery in Mexico that
produces over 3500 hides per day.  They have been making our shoulders and now we are doing
production of Skirting Sides, Harness Backs, Latigo, and Bridle Leathers.  Prices are very good,
and the hides are USA hides.  Ask about our volume pricing, which is a good discount from our
regular pricing.  We are looking for Distributors to sell our leathers.  Please inquire.  

The economy has improved, and we not only own Monterrey Makers Saddle Brand, but have
recently purchased Paul Lamb Saddle Brand of Bowling Green, Ky, Southern Saddlery, Bonny
Oaks Saddlery, and are working to bring back Big W Saddles once again.  We downsized to
upsize!  We are currently planning on building a new larger building to consolidate all warehouse
and manufacturing under one roof in the near future.  

We still have other leather lines, like Wickett and Craig, Auburn Leather, Newman Leather, and
many others, to choose from.  Our finished goods consist of saddlery items, cut parts, belts, and
many other leather items.  

We are focusing on our best sellers, and venturing into new markets.  Sometimes it is good to
change it up, and you never seem to take the time to do this, until you are forced to.  

**I think our government needs to be responsible for their fiscal needs, just like we as business
owners have to stay on top of things.  If our government ran itself like a business, then maybe our
country would not have fallen so far.  I feel our government can do better to help manufacturers
stay in the United States with tax incentives to companies that keep at least 51% of their
manufacturing base here in the United States.  Importing is a necessary thing for some parts, or
items, but should only be used when necessary, and to supplement what companies are still doing
here in the United States.  This is our philosophy, and we are trying to keep as many people
working here in the U.S. as possible.  Please help us do so, by placing an order today!!!

Stay tuned to our web site for upcoming auctions and trade shows that we sponsor, as well as new
product information.  Also read the auction caption about what we can do for you in the way of
making old store stock find a new home.   

Take the tannery tour for inside pictures.  We have explained both the tannery processes, and also
part of what happened to bring the tannery to its current state in that section of the tour.  This is
really interesting and shows the hard work, that goes into producing leather. The Tannery Tour is a
pictorial view of the old tannery buildings in New Albany, as they are today.  Part of the tan yard
buildings have collapsed due to a fire and heavy snow.  They will not be re-built, because of future
development plans.  We have included all these pictures in the site, as a tribute to all the people
who have worked at the tannery over the years and made the name 'Moser Leather' what it is
today.  The site was being considered for development for Loft Condominiums by A.W. Goodman
and Associates, who purchased the property when the New Albany site shut down.  Al wants to
preserve the 3 story part of the building, because of its unique architecture design, and for what it
brings to the community. The history and story, that it has to tell.  Other uses for the site, have
been a walking path/trail through the natural wetlands habitat. There is 47 acres by the river, that
was developed in cooperation with Al Goodman and a conservation group.  This is called the
'Wetlands'.  This was just recently sold to the City of New Albany, who hopefully will preserve the
site for another use.
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History of James Cox Saddlery and subsequent purchase of Moser to present date...listed below.