Holsters from Rocking K Saddlery (top) and Jeffrey Custom Leather are modern examples of the Threepersons design.
Tom Threepersons was among the most famous of all western lawmen of the previous century. He was by all accounts not only a formidable lawman but also a great cowboy, competing in rodeos prior to World War I, and a scout who served in the Pancho Villa Expedition under Gen. John J. Pershing.
Threepersons joined the Army soon after. His military service in World War I was confined to handling horses at Fort Bliss, Texas, and he stayed on until 1920. During this time Threepersons received a blow to the head from a horse. This serious injury dogged him the rest of his life, and he underwent several surgeries in later years.
He joined the El Paso police department after mustering out of the Army, working in some of the roughest sections of the city. According to service records Threepersons was shot five times during this period. Later, as a federal Prohibition agent he hunted bootleggers and smugglers. At one time he was run over by a bootlegger’s vehicle and injured, although he recovered. He eventually moved from Prohibition to Customs work.
Still later, Threepersons worked as a sheriff’s deputy and eventually left law enforcement for good at the age of 43. He continued work on ranches, which seems to have been his chosen vocation. He continued in this trade and became the foreman of a number of ranches. He passed away on April 3, 1969.
The original Threepersons holster was first made by S.D. Myres.
In Threeperson’s day, purpose-designed police holsters were few, and most in law enforcement simply adapted holsters from the previous century to modern belts. The Mexican loop holster, for instance, was a