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Charles Weldon "Tooter" Cannon
Born January 14, 1915(1915-01-14)
Afton, Dickens County, Texas, USA
Died March 14, 1997 (aged 82)
Lubbock, Texas
Nationality American
Occupation Saddlemaker; Rancher; Dickens Town Council member
Religious beliefs Methodist
Spouse(s) Second wife, Grace Adeline Roberts Cannon, previously Grace Wheeler (married 1957-his death)
Children Daughter from first marriage:

Leanora Cannon Houwen

Stepsons: Kenneth and Bill Wheeler
Parents Charles Ira and Mattie Snodgrass Cannon

Charles Weldon Cannon, known as Tooter Cannon (January 14, 1915 —March 14, 1997[1]), was a widely recognized manufacturer of boots and saddles in rural Dickens, Texas.

Cannon was the last of nine children born to Charles Ira Cannon (1871-1920) and the former Mattie Cordial Snodgrass (1870-1956)[2] on a working ranch in Afton in Dickens County in West Texas. He was given his unusual nickname as a child by his father. As a teenager, he learned boot and saddlemaking techniques to help the cowboys obtain a proper fit on their horses. He also worked on other ranches in Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada, as well as Texas.[3]

He broke horses for the U.S. government during World War II at El Reno in Canadian County, Oklahoma. After the war, he operated two leather goods businesses in Tulsa, where his clients included the city police. In 1949, he returned to Dickens County and settled in the Spur community. He relocated to Dickens in 1964. After 1970, he concentrated exclusively until his death on saddlemaking. His Tooter Cannon Saddles were prized by ranchers and rodeo riders because they were designed to fit the contour of the horse. A Tooter Cannon saddle or a pair of his boots is usually passed down within families. It is rare to find anything made by Cannon for sale on the open market. His work is found in a number of private collections.[4] Customers often waited for Cannon to fill their orders, rather than finding other available saddlemakers.[4]

Cannon, who outlived all of his siblings, died in a Lubbock hospital at the age of eighty-two. He was a former two-term member of the Dickens Town Council. He was Methodist. Survivors included his second wife, the former Grace Adeline Roberts, then Grace Wheeler (July 11, 1908—February 14, 2000), whom he married on April 22, 1957,[5] in Santa Fe, New Mexico; a daughter, Leanora Cannon Houwen, then of Santa Maria in Santa Barbara County, California, but who later returned to Dickens; two stepsons, Kenneth Wheeler of Hobbs, New Mexico, and Bill Wheeler of San Antonio, eleven grandchildren, nineteen great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. Cannon also had an older sister named "Grace". Charles and Grace Cannon are interred at Dickens Cemetery.[3]

Over the years, Cannon was cited in newspaper articles, books, magazines, and even a television special.[6] He is permanently honored in the saddlemaking exhibit at the National Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock.

See also

  • Joe Bowman, bootmaker, marksman, and Western entertainer

References

Charles "Tooter" Cannon exhibit at National Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock, Texas
Replica of Cannon Saddle Shop at National Ranching Heritage Center
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