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John “Swede” Ellis

John Roland Ellis was born in Hanna, Wyoming to Florence and John Ellis. He was the third generation to be raised on Ellis Ranch. There he spent his childhood with his three brothers and a sister. He loved everything that included being horseback. As a teenager he would rope a young wild horse and take it home where he would transform it into to a saddle horse. He enjoyed feeding with a team in the winter and liked to break in a new team. He still spends many hours in the saddle and is always willing to help out the neighbors with branding, sorting and shipping. He has always been known for having a gentle hand with all of his livestock.


He attended school at the ranch for 11 years and spent his senior year in Medicine Bow where he graduated. He returned to the ranch and continued ranching with his father and younger brother. In 1963 he married Pat Middaugh. In 1966 his first daughter Sherry was born. In March of 1969 his second daughter Annie was born, shortly after Annie’s birth, John’s father passed away and he and his brother acquired the complete responsibility of the ranch. They ran cow/calf pairs, yearlings, and sheep and put up hay. They continued ranching as a partnership until 1990 when they then split the ranch, each continuing on their own. In 2004, John and Pat sold the ranch on Difficulty Creek and purchased a ranch at Prairie Center in Goshen County where they continue to ranch. Their youngest daughter and her husband are at the ranch with them, carrying on the ranching tradition of the family.


John has been very active in the Wyoming Stockgrowers Association for 51 years and spent 20 years on the Wyoming State Grazing Association. Being an avid pilot, he is a gold member of the Experimental Aircraft Association. He has repaired and built three airplanes which he enjoyed flying. He is currently on the Airport Board in Torrington and just recently has been placed on the hospital board in Torrington.


John is still very active in the ranch and can be found horseback in the calving and branding pen. Currently he can be found flying his Super Cub to check windmills and is always willing to fly to help his neighbors find a lost bull or check a windmill. He really enjoys going back to Medicine Bow to hunt with his brother and friends.


John is a great representative of the Wyoming rancher and cowboy. He has always been willing to do whatever it takes to make the ranch successful and take care of his family. He is an outstanding family man, always putting them first. He is a wonderful steward of the land and livestock. He has a deep passion and respect for both the land and the animals. He is known for his honest no-nonsense ways, and has a way of making everyone he is talking to feel like the most important person in the world.

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