It's a new year and it's a time for new beginnings. With each new beginning, something comes to an end. In downtown Denton, a new beginning will happen for one business as another longtime shop closes its doors. Weldon's Saddle Shop has been an iconic establishment in downtown Denton, Texas at the corner of Bell and Oak since 1957. Owner, Weldon Burgoon, retires this weekend. The store has been a destination business in downtown Denton, with its custom, hand-made leather belts, saddles, and more. The store also housed a museum of western collections, including a collection of Gene Autry and Roy Rogers memorabilia.
When giving a history of the family business, Kippie Wilkinson, Burgoon’s daughter, said that in the early years when saddle making was slow he picked up a few retail items like hats, boots, and shirts in order to keep cash flow going. As the years went by, Weldon's Saddle Shop grew out of an old shack and into a bigger building that has been located on the same street corner for 60 years in downtown Denton. Burgoon built over 150 custom saddles during his career, among countless other leather goods.
Burgoon, now in his mid-80’s, has gone to work every day since opening the shop. Weldon’s offered the Denton area cowboys and cowgirls quality leather goods, some of them worn by champions. As he retires, a new beginning starts for his grandson, Clint Wilkinson. Wilkinson will continue the craft of custom leather goods that he learned from his grandfather and is opening a studio next door. In the tradition of leather goods, Wilkinson will offer custom designed leather goods for men and women, including purses, wallets and briefcases.
Anyone who has shopped at Weldon's and had the chance to meet him knows they were in the presence of a true Texas cowboy. Downtown, and Denton, will miss this shop that represents Denton's western heritage that built this community and gave us entrepreneurs, like Weldon Burgoon.
Denton Main Street Association wishes the best to Weldon Burgoon, Kippie Wilkinson and Clint Wilkinson. Thank you for your impact on downtown Denton and your service to this community over the years. Downtown Denton patrons interested in Wilkinson can find his goods online at ClintWilkinson.com.