By Jessica Crabtree
To G.C. and Mary Ellis, family is everything. The two cultivated a life together 41 years ago. He was from Dallas and she from a town in western Massachusetts. The two met while attending school at the University of Denver. “They’re perfect together,” said their daughter Meredith Ellis Ulibarri.
Ellis was raised in Dallas. His family’s ranch was called the Bell Branch Ranch. Upon returning home from college, Ellis stepped up to manage the place; five years later the family made the decision to sell. In ’80 the ranch was sold and the couple moved to Cooke County to work for the family’s fishing lure manufacturing company, Bomber Bait in Gainesville, Texas. At that time the couple began combing the countryside in search of a place to settle and call their own. In ’83 Ellis found his dream, even saying he wore out two pickups looking for it.
The G Bar C Ranch is settled in Cooke County, between the small, rural towns of Rosston and Era, Texas. The ranch was initially 450 acres, “The fences were bad. There was no electricity, no septic, no well. We had to start over,” said Ellis. He and Mary had very little time to waste: the home they rented was promised to another. Ellis said the property was purchased in January of ’83 and he moved a home in, got electricity, a well and septic by April.
“I chose to raise Longhorn cows,” Ellis said. “The main reason was they’re tough and require less maintenance. “Raising cattle and still working at Bomber Bait, the rancher had grown a sizeable herd of longhorns. “Michael Knabe came to work for us in ’89 and helped to grow the herd to around 200 longhorns and began rotational grazing methods. At the time we didn’t have as many pastures as we do today,” Ellis explained.
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