This hand-tooled saddle belonged to Boothe Colwell Davis, fourth president of Alfred University (1895-1933). It was given to him by his father, probably in 1884. He used it to travel to Alfred from his home in West Virginia when he came as a 22-year-old student to attend classes in 1885. He then used it during his years at the Yale Divinity School and when he later returned to Alfred in 1895 as the University president and pastor of the Seventh Day Baptist Church in Alfred. It was donated to the University by the family.
It was under President Davis that the New York State College of Ceramics and the New York State School of Agriculture were opened at Alfred University. He was also responsible for convincing Andrew Carnegie to fund the construction of an academic library building for the University (it opened in 1913 and is today used for the University’s administrative offices).