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Ranch History

Fred Bertsch was the first owner of J Bar M Ranch which was then called Bertsch Creek Ranch.  The name  Bertsch Creek Ranch comes from the owner’s name Bertsch and the name of the creek by our house Bertsch Creek.  Fred Bertsch sold his ranch to a man with a last name of Kelly.


Kelly sold the ranch to a man named Lewis Sharp Sr.  Lewis Sharp Sr. is Alan Sharp’s great grandfather.  When Lewis moved to the current Sharp Ranch, John A. Sharp called Jack took over.  John was Alan Sharp’s great uncle.  The rock house on the ranch which is in trees by Bertsch Creek was used as a meat house and a milk house.  It was a cool place to store meat and milk.  The milk was also separated from the cream there.  The bunk house was built close to the rock house and was a place for hired help to sleep.  The red barn which is still standing and used today was built out of old poles from the telegraph line.

John’s brand, as recorded in 1932, looked like a bar with a diamond under it and a hanging J.  His brand was placed on a cow on the left hip and on a horse on the left hip.  His cattle were earmarked with an over bit and an under bit.  Later in the 1930’s John, also known as Jack, lost the ranch because of the Depression, and it was taken over by the bank.


A man by the name of William Vogeler bought the ranch from the bank.  He owned the ranch for just a few years before W. B. Richardson bought it.  W. B. Richardson was a wealthy man who owned several furniture stores in Utah by the name of Granite Furniture Company.  Richardson bought the ranch to keep his sons from being drafted into the war. 

His son Steve Richardson was one of the ranch managers.  The ranch had several other managers after Steve.  During the time that Richardson owned the ranch, it had pigs, chickens, and cattle. When Buster Wines worked there in 1955 the land was pretty dry with little water.  There were about 150-175 head of cattle, about 6 horses, and chickens lived in a chicken coop which was close to where our new calving shed is now.


In the late 1950’s, Rulon Christensen along with his father and brother Lavoy Talmage Christensen bought the ranch.  Lavoy worked on the ranch during haying season and later sold his share of the ranch to Rulon. 

Rulon and his family lived at the ranch during the summers; the rest of the time, they lived at their home in Utah.  The ranch had cows and calves, milk cows, and some horses.  There was no electricity on the ranch until a diesel generator was hooked up to the rock house.  People made phone calls with a hand crank phone.  Thirteen people shared the phone line, and each person’s telephone ring was unique (long, long, short, short, long, long).

In 1971 the ranch house burned down when the hired help living there made a fire in the house so hot that it caught the house on fire.  The house burned to the ground before the fire department was able to get there.


In 1976 U.X. Livestock, owned and operated by Lewis and Cecil Ward and Howard and Eloise McQueary, bought the ranch.  Steve and Val Wines worked for Eloise and her parents on the ranch at that time.  They lived in a trailer house close to the creek.  The rock house at this time was no longer used for meat and milk storage.  They kept wood inside it to keep dry.  In 1983 the 680, a field on the west end of the ranch, was sold to Bert and Paul Smith who still own it today.   In 1984, the Wards and McQuearys sold the ranch to Jay Wright.  He owned the ranch for a period of about five years before selling to the Neff Family.


The Neff Family bought the ranch in October of 1989.  Neff Ranch Company bought the land to use to raise cattle and some hay.  The ranch remained part of Neff Ranch Company until the company was dissolved.  All of the land including the current J Bar M Ranch was split into each shareholder’s individual ranch.  On January 1, 2000, Mark and Jeanne Sampson became the new owners of J Bar M Ranch.  At that time the ranch came with 156 head of cattle.  Today Mark, Jeanne, their son Logan, and his wife Adriane Sampson run about 300 head of commercial cattle.  In 2017, Logan and Adriane purchased a herd of registered Black Angus cows.  Logan attended embryo transfer school in 2018 and now utilizes this technique and artificial insemination to build the purebred herd.

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