Early Sublette County Brands Project
Stan Murdock Ranch
 Jonita Sommers interviewed Stan Murdock Ju1y 27, 1990, at his ranch.
Jonita-  How long have you been on this ranch?

Stan-  Actually, I've been on it since 1966, other than the time I spent in college.
But the first time I was on it full time to work was in 1960.

Jonita-  What animals do you now run on it?

Stan-  Just cows and horses.

Jonita-  How did you done to have this ranch?

Stan-  Well, it's an old family ranch originally from my grandfather and eventually it was owned by the oldest son which would be my uncle, George Jorgeson, and he took it over in 1938 when his dad died and then he ran it until 1966 when my brother and I got involved in it.

Jonita- How many brands are with this place now?

Stan- Actually, we only use 3 brands here now:  My brother's, my mother's brand which was Circle B Bar on the right rib  (on her cattle we used the 2 Bar E which was George Jorgeson's original brand on the left rib) and then we use a Double Horseshoe on the right hip which is my wife's primary brand on the purebreds I market.

Jonita- From what stream do you irrigate?

Stan- We irrigate most of this ranch from New Fork and Willow Creek.

Jonita-  And who are your neighbors and what are their brands?

Stan- My neighbors to the north, of course, are Binnings.  They run a number of brands.  Be the Big Ben, T Slash Z and Z Slash T. Wilsons next door run Bar Slash Bar.  Trivors run primarily the Crown S, Jorgesons the Cross Box, and the Steeles the ADL.

Jonita - What is your main brand, where is it located and draw it on the cow.  And the earmark?

Stan- Well, our main brand of course is the Bar Bar E which is left rib and the ear mark is swallow fork in left ear.

Jonita- Do you have a wattle or dewlap with it ?

Stan- No, we originally had one but we dropped that here about 1965 ..... we haven't used one for a long tire.

Jonita- How long have you had this brand?

Stan- Well, we've had it since 166.

Jonita- Then where did you get the brand?

Stan- It was George Jorgeson's brand and he had it since probably the mid 20's.

Jonita- Has it been a good brand and why?

Stan- Oh, it's been a good brand because it's easy to read and it doesn't conflict with other brands in the association.

Jonita: Is there a plan to keep the brand in the family?

Stan- Oh, yes, absolutely.

Jonita- Why was this brand designed or chosen?

Stan- Oh, we don't know the history on the brand, if it belonged to anybody else before that or if it was just one that was acceptable.  It's a good clean brand that can be put on easily with running irons so it's a good brand but other than that I don't know the history on it.

Jonita- And where did you get your branding irons?

Stan- We built our own branding irons.

Jonita- Why don't you go ahead and tell about you mother's brand .... what it is and where it is located?

Stan- OK, my mother' s brand is the Quarter Circle B Bar on the right hip and her ear mark is a swallow fork in the right ear; and she apparently got that brand in the early 30's and the first cattle she put it on would have been her mother and father's.  Half herd .... the purebreds that they had .... her sister bought the other half of them.  Then they moved those cattle down to Big Piney and ran them out of there until my Dad died and we have run the cattle at Pinedale ever since.

Jonita- And then the other brand that you use?  The Double Horseshoe?

Stan- Oh, the Double Horseshoe was a brand that my wife applied for here probably in the 1970's and it's a right hip brand and it just looks like a horsetrack, one horse shoe on top the other, kinda looks like a McDonald's M only it's made in the shape of horseshoes and we use it on her purebred cattle and we also use it as a holding brand on animals that we purchase that might be branded on the left side where it would conflict to put a Bar Bar E on so it's a good brand.
   One of the original brands that Nels Jorgeson had was the NJ which he had on both horses and cattle and his original primary cattle brand apparently was the old Mitten.  And I don't know how long he used it but I know my mother commented a number of times that the mitten was the old brand and that was in.... Is this the 1910 brand book?

Jonita- Un, huh.

Stan- So apparently, prior to 1910.  Later on., the primary cattle brand became the Diamond Bar in the left rib, or the right rib, I'm sorry.  And I just don't know when they quit using the mitten but it was not registered apparently after 1915 and then they just used the NJ on the horses.  I don't know that they used.... I never did see the Diamond Bar on any of the horses....Just the NJ.

Jonita- And so these brands were the start .... The NJ and Mitten were started in l899?

Stan- I don't know if it was in 1899 or the first couple of years in 1900 .... cause I just don't know if he used that brand.  Originally he came to Sublette County in 1897 from the Green River City and they were down in Boulder for a couple of years.  But he had a couple of partners on that ranch and I think that's the ranch that's part of the home Billy Hittle place down there.  But then in the fall of 1899 he sold his share of that to his partners and then moved up here.  And I think he paid $500 for the relinquishment rights on this place from the Biehers' and then that winter, both families wintered together.  Women and children in the main house, which was just a log cabin and then all the menfolk lived in the old log bunkhouse.