Charles “Ellis” Reynolds
Born in 1924 to Aldin and Ethel Reynolds on a ranch at Rocky Point, Charles “Ellis” Reynolds, was on a horse before he could walk. He doesn’t remember when he wasn’t breaking and training horses, both his own and others. It is said that if anyone ever had an “unrideable” horse Ellis would just ride over to their place, swap the saddle off his horse onto that “outlaw” and ride it home – where he’d happily assist with its education for a while. One of his tools in that trade was to stand in one stirrup and kick ’em in the belly, which Ellis reports will usually have the desired effect of the old horse throwing his head up and looking for more country.
Ellis, always happiest horseback, earned a great reputation and lots of prizes and awards in competition with his good working horses, as well as his own calf roping and team roping skills.
No matter how fond Ellis was of forkin’ a saddle, he couldn’t always indulge that passion. Son of a father who struggled with lung trouble, he took on much responsibility, helping his mother and setting an example for the three younger kids. When his father died young, Ellis tended crops, milked cows, and kept the outfit together. He learned to mechanic and repair and fix up whatever needed fixin’ with whatever he found at hand to use.
As quick as the schoolhouse door slammed behind him on the last day of his 8th Grade studies, Ellis rustled a job at the Parks Ranch. He later worked for other ranches in the area including the Harrod’s, Merritt Barton, Leon White and Dick Moore.
In 1945 he married and with wife Jean reared five kids– Marge, Butch, Jess, Carolyn, and Lora.
Every cowboy wants a ranch of his own, and by 1968 Ellis and Jean had bought one in Weston County. A gentleman of the old school, Ellis personifies cowboy chivalry in his deep respect and courtesy toward women. Ellis lends his wisdom on the Inyan Kara Grazing Association Board, is an election judge for PRECORP and serves on the ASCS Committee.
Still working the ranch – riding, roping, branding, haying – that’s Ellis Reynolds. Work is a way of life for the hardy 90-year-old – who celebrated his birthday by roping, dragging calves, wrestling calves, putting the iron on and doing whatever else needed to be done at his own spring branding this year. Watching him work you can tell he loves it, especially breaking horses.
Ellis Reynolds has often said the only thing he ever needed was one good woman, a good horse, and a good dog. The good woman was with him for 58 years prior to her passing, and he’s had several good dogs and lots of good horses . . . plus raising a fine family.