About Olsen-Stelzer Boots
The History of Olsen-Stelzer Boots
Our story begins in the year 1900 in Nocona, Texas with Carl Olsen, an immigrant shoemaker from Norway working for H.J. “Big Daddy Joe” Justin of Justin Boots. It was here that Olsen first met Julius Stelzer who was the production manager for the Justin Boot Company and married to Big Daddy Joe’s daughter, Miss Enid. After several years working for Justin Boots, Carl moved to the small North Central Texas town of Henrietta and opened his own shop.
In this shop, Olsen began creating some of the most striking and memorable boot designs ever produced. These custom hand-made inlay designs would become the hallmark of the company.
In 1934, Julius Stelzer was divorced from Miss Enid and he moved to Henrietta and joined Olsen to form the Olsen-Stelzer Boot and Saddlery Company. Julius, a master of factory boot production, was able to take Carl’s beautiful designs and make them on a production line. Boots previously available to only a few quickly became available to many. By 1939, the company was producing 500 pairs of boots a week and Carl Olsen’s two sons, Norman and Harry took on leadership roles in the company with Norman serving as the business manager and Harry specializing in design and production.
Known for their superior craftsmanship and innovative new designs, Olsen-Stelzer boots were worn by the likes of John Wayne, Dwight D. Eisenhower and even Prince Olaf and Princess Martha of Norway. Roy Rogers was partial to the Eagle design and the 1942 “Bluebird” boots made for Gene Autry are currently on display in the Autry Museum in Los Angeles, California.
Over time the business declined and was sold in the 1980’s, eventually going out of business in 1988.
The Resurrection Of Olsen-Stelzer Boot Company
After the closing, the Olsen-Stelzer boots remained collector’s items and the legacy continued to grow. In 1991 a group of Henrietta citizens banded together to form the Olsen-Stelzer Boot Company, Inc. as a way of protecting the company’s name and heritage. Tom Cartlidge and Bill Holman, a local banker, led this group.
It was Tom’s vision to preserve the Olsen-Stelzer name and today he is a driving force behind the new Olsen-Stelzer Boot Company. Although he is remembered as a former State Representative from Henrietta, Texas, Tom has been in the boot business all his life. His mother and father started selling Olsen-Stelzer boots in 1938 and Tom worked as a National Sales Manager for Tony Lama Boots. Tom still lives in Henrietta and is passionate about extending the rich history of Olsen-Stelzer.
In early 2011, Tom was measuring a Wichita Falls banker for a pair of boots and told the Olsen-Stelzer story. Recognizing an opportunity, the banker introduced Tom to Carl Winfrey of Wichita Falls. After several months of research a plan was developed to revive the brand and bring Olsen-Stelzer into the 21st century to compete in the custom boot market.
In January 2012, Carl Winfrey through Old School Holdings, LLC, negotiated an exclusive licensing agreement to the name “Olsen-Stelzer Boot Company” and acquired the Westar Boot Manufacturing facility in El Paso, Texas, the “Boot Capital of the World.”
With these exciting changes, the enduring designs and quality workmanship that made Olsen-Stelzer famous are available once again.
What We Do
The Olsen-Stelzer Company has been supplying made-to-measure high-quality boots to men, women, ranchers, cowboys and businessmen for decades and their boots have been seen on the feet of notable people all over the world.
The newly resurrected Olsen-Stelzer continues this tradition and offers only the highest quality custom, handmade boots and accessories. These boots are ordered directly from the company with delivery times currently at 8 to 12 weeks.
Our “Collector Edition” boots are based on famous Olsen-Stelzer designs from the 30’s and 40’s such as the Bronc Buster, Eagle, Oil Derrick and Bluebird. We also specialize in personalizing your boots with initials, brands, logos or your design. Our team will assist you in creating unique, one-of-a-kind designs.
Contact us and we can help with measurements and offer advice on types of leather or skin, heel, toe, and top shapes and sizes, stitch patterns and designs. We may even have a representative near you who can help. Let us show you what we can do!
Carl Olsen said it best in 1906. “…I want to make you the best boots you have ever had, or that can be produced, from the standpoint of select materials, styles and workmanship!”
This continues to be the desire and intent of the Olsen-Stelzer Company. We invite you to help us make more history while wearing “America’s Finest Cowboy Boots”!