It’s Texas Time: Honing Your Craft

This week we talked about the iconic Stelzig saddle company. Here’s a brief rundown: Austrian immigrant Antone Stelzig and his wife Theresa arrived in Galveston in 1843, quickly setting up a system where the couple – 19 and 16 respectively – would travel by ox-drawn cart from ranch to ranch offering on-site leather work.  

Now, let’s pick up where the video left off. Their first-born son, Antone Jr., carried on the family business, setting up a saddle shop in the Richmond/Rosenberg area. In 1876, he relocated the company to Brenham, where it would remain until its eventual transplant to Houston at 209 Main Street in 1887. Below is the 200 Block of Main Street in Houston in the 1890s. The A. Stelzig Saddlery is located at the second door on the left.  

After many more changes over the years, the Stelzig brand eventually drifted away, and today, the brick-and-mortar stores are gone… but the Stelzig family tradition of high-quality leatherwork and saddlery lives on.   

Antone Jr. passed the business onto his eldest son, Antone III, who took on the legacy when he was 13. By 1926, the company was known as the Stelzig Saddlery Company and it had a new location at 612 Preston Street, where it was to remain for 63 years. Under Antone III’s youngest brother, Henry Leo, the business expanded into western wear, boots, jewelry, and other items. 

Stelzig’s 612 Preston Street address; photo dates back to the 1950s 

The horse standing next to the saddles captured in our TikTok is the very same one that stood in the Houston location of A. Stelzig Saddle. It’s a very special piece in our museum!