Nebraska cowboy finds niche as custom hat maker | TSLN.com

Nebraska cowboy finds niche as custom hat maker

Photos by Gayle SmithJames Marshall sanding one of his custom hats to soften the texture and create a sheen.

A freak accident sorting a pen of bulls for a bull riding event turned the career path for an Arthur, NE cowboy in a new direction.

James Marshall, who is known as the Sandhills hatter in his Arthur community, tried a few different occupations before finding his niche in the hat making business. When he first moved to Arthur, Marshall managed a ranch for about two and a half years before starting a successful fencing business.

“We were putting up barbwire fencing and repairing fencing,” says Marshall. “The business was doing pretty well.”

Then, during a weekend in Mitchell, NE, Marshall was helping sort a pen of bulls when a bull got Marshall down in the pen and hurt him really bad.

“He roughed me up pretty good,” Marshall explains. “My back was broken in several spots and I had to have several rods and pins put in. When I got out of the hospital, I realized I couldn’t fence anymore because of the pain.”

Not one to let his injuries get him down, Marshall started seeking out a new career.

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“I knew a guy in Valentine, Ron Hollenbeck, who had a hat-making business, The Snake River Hat Company,” says Marshall. “I thought hat making looked like something I could do and I was interested in it, so I started researching it.”

He also started looking into the Educational Development of Growing Entrepreneurs (EDGE) offered through the University of Nebraska. Through EDGE, Marshall was able to make a business plan and see if his business would be lucrative on paper.

A freak accident sorting a pen of bulls for a bull riding event turned the career path for an Arthur, NE cowboy in a new direction.

James Marshall, who is known as the Sandhills hatter in his Arthur community, tried a few different occupations before finding his niche in the hat making business. When he first moved to Arthur, Marshall managed a ranch for about two and a half years before starting a successful fencing business.

“We were putting up barbwire fencing and repairing fencing,” says Marshall. “The business was doing pretty well.”

Then, during a weekend in Mitchell, NE, Marshall was helping sort a pen of bulls when a bull got Marshall down in the pen and hurt him really bad.

“He roughed me up pretty good,” Marshall explains. “My back was broken in several spots and I had to have several rods and pins put in. When I got out of the hospital, I realized I couldn’t fence anymore because of the pain.”

Not one to let his injuries get him down, Marshall started seeking out a new career.

“I knew a guy in Valentine, Ron Hollenbeck, who had a hat-making business, The Snake River Hat Company,” says Marshall. “I thought hat making looked like something I could do and I was interested in it, so I started researching it.”

He also started looking into the Educational Development of Growing Entrepreneurs (EDGE) offered through the University of Nebraska. Through EDGE, Marshall was able to make a business plan and see if his business would be lucrative on paper.

A freak accident sorting a pen of bulls for a bull riding event turned the career path for an Arthur, NE cowboy in a new direction.

James Marshall, who is known as the Sandhills hatter in his Arthur community, tried a few different occupations before finding his niche in the hat making business. When he first moved to Arthur, Marshall managed a ranch for about two and a half years before starting a successful fencing business.

“We were putting up barbwire fencing and repairing fencing,” says Marshall. “The business was doing pretty well.”

Then, during a weekend in Mitchell, NE, Marshall was helping sort a pen of bulls when a bull got Marshall down in the pen and hurt him really bad.

“He roughed me up pretty good,” Marshall explains. “My back was broken in several spots and I had to have several rods and pins put in. When I got out of the hospital, I realized I couldn’t fence anymore because of the pain.”

Not one to let his injuries get him down, Marshall started seeking out a new career.

“I knew a guy in Valentine, Ron Hollenbeck, who had a hat-making business, The Snake River Hat Company,” says Marshall. “I thought hat making looked like something I could do and I was interested in it, so I started researching it.”

He also started looking into the Educational Development of Growing Entrepreneurs (EDGE) offered through the University of Nebraska. Through EDGE, Marshall was able to make a business plan and see if his business would be lucrative on paper.

A freak accident sorting a pen of bulls for a bull riding event turned the career path for an Arthur, NE cowboy in a new direction.

James Marshall, who is known as the Sandhills hatter in his Arthur community, tried a few different occupations before finding his niche in the hat making business. When he first moved to Arthur, Marshall managed a ranch for about two and a half years before starting a successful fencing business.

“We were putting up barbwire fencing and repairing fencing,” says Marshall. “The business was doing pretty well.”

Then, during a weekend in Mitchell, NE, Marshall was helping sort a pen of bulls when a bull got Marshall down in the pen and hurt him really bad.

“He roughed me up pretty good,” Marshall explains. “My back was broken in several spots and I had to have several rods and pins put in. When I got out of the hospital, I realized I couldn’t fence anymore because of the pain.”

Not one to let his injuries get him down, Marshall started seeking out a new career.

“I knew a guy in Valentine, Ron Hollenbeck, who had a hat-making business, The Snake River Hat Company,” says Marshall. “I thought hat making looked like something I could do and I was interested in it, so I started researching it.”

He also started looking into the Educational Development of Growing Entrepreneurs (EDGE) offered through the University of Nebraska. Through EDGE, Marshall was able to make a business plan and see if his business would be lucrative on paper.

A freak accident sorting a pen of bulls for a bull riding event turned the career path for an Arthur, NE cowboy in a new direction.

James Marshall, who is known as the Sandhills hatter in his Arthur community, tried a few different occupations before finding his niche in the hat making business. When he first moved to Arthur, Marshall managed a ranch for about two and a half years before starting a successful fencing business.

“We were putting up barbwire fencing and repairing fencing,” says Marshall. “The business was doing pretty well.”

Then, during a weekend in Mitchell, NE, Marshall was helping sort a pen of bulls when a bull got Marshall down in the pen and hurt him really bad.

“He roughed me up pretty good,” Marshall explains. “My back was broken in several spots and I had to have several rods and pins put in. When I got out of the hospital, I realized I couldn’t fence anymore because of the pain.”

Not one to let his injuries get him down, Marshall started seeking out a new career.

“I knew a guy in Valentine, Ron Hollenbeck, who had a hat-making business, The Snake River Hat Company,” says Marshall. “I thought hat making looked like something I could do and I was interested in it, so I started researching it.”

He also started looking into the Educational Development of Growing Entrepreneurs (EDGE) offered through the University of Nebraska. Through EDGE, Marshall was able to make a business plan and see if his business would be lucrative on paper.

A freak accident sorting a pen of bulls for a bull riding event turned the career path for an Arthur, NE cowboy in a new direction.

James Marshall, who is known as the Sandhills hatter in his Arthur community, tried a few different occupations before finding his niche in the hat making business. When he first moved to Arthur, Marshall managed a ranch for about two and a half years before starting a successful fencing business.

“We were putting up barbwire fencing and repairing fencing,” says Marshall. “The business was doing pretty well.”

Then, during a weekend in Mitchell, NE, Marshall was helping sort a pen of bulls when a bull got Marshall down in the pen and hurt him really bad.

“He roughed me up pretty good,” Marshall explains. “My back was broken in several spots and I had to have several rods and pins put in. When I got out of the hospital, I realized I couldn’t fence anymore because of the pain.”

Not one to let his injuries get him down, Marshall started seeking out a new career.

“I knew a guy in Valentine, Ron Hollenbeck, who had a hat-making business, The Snake River Hat Company,” says Marshall. “I thought hat making looked like something I could do and I was interested in it, so I started researching it.”

He also started looking into the Educational Development of Growing Entrepreneurs (EDGE) offered through the University of Nebraska. Through EDGE, Marshall was able to make a business plan and see if his business would be lucrative on paper.