“I could put any kind of trick on a horse.”
Russell Moss was born on December 4, 1911 to Joseph Thomas and Susan Jane Moss on a ranch near Mount Moriah, Missouri where his father was a foreman. Russell worked with saddles since the age of eight. As a young man, Russell learned the art of saddle making from the legendary Monroe Veach of Trenton, Missouri. In 1930, he married Sylvia Mae McCollum. Making their home in Trenton, Missouri, they had one child, Juanita (Robson). He was a charter member of the Wyandotte County Mounted Sheriff’s Posse, and a rider and trainer with Ray Knapp and his Roughriders. During his time with them he established a riding group, Russell’s Juvenile Riders, in Raytown, Missouri. 1945 he opened Moss Saddle Shop in Kansas City. Later he moved his shop to Chanute where Sylvia drew designs and hand tooled leather. In 1950 former actor, Reb Russell, helped him move his shop to Coffeyville. In 1961, he moved the saddle shop back to Kansas City. Russell did trick riding as well as saddle making and was good enough to be offered work out in California, which he turned down. He has been featured in the Kansas City Star, Kansas City Kansan, Coffeyville Journal and other newspapers, and is cited in Jim Hoy’s book Cowboys and Kansas: Stories from the Tallgrass Prairie. He crafted a saddle for Kansas Governor John Anderson and repaired saddles for Buck Jones, Hoot Gibson, Tex Ritter and Clint Walker. Clint Eastwood was among his friends. Russell and Sylvia had six grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. After Sylvia passed away in 1963, Russell married his second wife, Genevieve, in the early 1970’s. She died a couple of years before Russell who passed on November 19, 2007.
Year inducted: 2009