Birthplace: Joseph, ID
Known: Grangeville, ID
Tom Qualey was born near Joseph, Idaho in 1903 and began making bits and spurs in the mid-1920s, primarily for his own use. By 1933 Tom had established himself as an accomplished maker who supplied bits and spurs to stockman, cattleman and cowboys in eastern Oregon, central Idaho and western Montana. From the early 1930s until 1937 he worked with two brothers, Knut and Nels, before dissolving the partnership in 1937. Tom was a master engraver, who, according to saddle maker Ray Holes, was unequaled in his ability to do precise engraving, using only a forge, hammer, hacksaw and file.