top of page

The Ranch

Founded 1887


To those that have asked, wanted to ask, or may someday ask, this is a brief summary from the formation of the A bar C Ranch to it's current state.


“In the later nineties, I bought the ranch of “Dad” Abbott in Krumpf Lake Valley and the A Bar C brand…” said J.M. Gentry.   Based on this article, other articles and documents, the best estimate is the A bar C Ranch came to be in 1887.


The actual ranch was started by Christopher Abbott.


Abbott migrated from Ireland in 1825.  He came in from Canada and landed in Michigan, made a venture for gold in California in 1849.  No one knows how he fared, but he did go back to Michigan to repay his debt.  He eventually found his way to the Sandhills and filed a homestead 12 miles NE of Hyannis in 1887, built a sod house, and began acquiring land through various means.  Christopher Abbott had 3 kids, Harry, Arthur J, and Frances.  Harry was killed by Indians at the age of 19.  Frances married Tom Monaghan (Monahan) the spelling was changed later.  They had Elizabeth, James  H, and Alice.  Frances was widowed at an early age.  Later she remarried a fellow (John McVicar Gentry) whom  made his way into the country with Arthur Abbott after a cattle drive to the Dakotas.  J.M. worked for Christopher for a spell before marrying Frances and eventually purchasing the ranch that laid in the “Home Valley” of the current A bar C.  He ran cattle together with Arthur Abbott and Jim Monahan on lands at the head of the Middle Loup.  He and Monahan bought Abbott’s interest in 1912 and summered cattle together until 1926 when they made an agreeable division of the land.  Many of these lands were old homesteads the Kincaiders had sold out to the ranchers.


J.M. and Frances had two kids of their own, Carver and Raymond.  The two brothers eventually split the ranch after J.M.’s death.  I don’t know much about this exchange.  Raymond kept the A bar C brand and continued expanding his part of the original ranch.  Raymond married Betty (James) and had two kids, Ardyss and John.  He remarried after Betty’s death to Marguerite (Dunkel) and had one son, Robert William. 


Robert (Bob) was born in 1934, upon returning to the ranch after school in Michigan he partnered with his Dad (Raymond) to run the A bar C.  Sometime near 1960 Bob took on a lease from Walter Anderson’s share of the old Dumbell.  He later leased more ground from Ambler Rothwell.  He and his Dad continued to work together until about 1970  when Raymond leased the A bar C land to Earl Monahan and moved to Alliance.  About the same time, Walter Anderson leased his part of the Dumbell to Ed and Josiah “Si” Wearin and Bob Gentry.  Walter died and his land went into an estate which eventually sold .  Bob purchased the southeast portion of the old Dumbell.  Bob did not renew the Rothwell lease and continued to run the A bar C.  He later added lands from various purchases, including Dean and Sharline Haney’s land east of the Whitman oil.  This was land that had been split between Carver and Raymond Gentry years ago.  He also purchased land descended from Evelyn Brenneman, which was also land from Carver Gentry.  Land from Gary Hoyt was purchased, and several transactions from Wearin Brothers which was land from the old Dumbell Ranch that come from Ethel Wearin  (Anderson).  Bob also purchased land from Albert Carpenter at an estate sale.  Bob passed in July of 2017 and passed the reins to Chris.


Chris was born in 1969 at St. Joseph's Hospital in Alliance, NE.  Cattle ranching was the furthest sought ambition in his early years.  He proudly attended and graduated Missouri Military Academy in 1988, did another four years of college and set off for jobs of various colors.  Chris came back to the ranch in 1996 and has never looked back.  He was determined to absorb every piece of knowledge from the best cow man he has ever known, yet still learns something new every day.  The first year of reining the A Bar C, was steady to every step of the past and kept the entire team at a walk.  It didn't take long to let the reins up just a little.  The ranch has went into an All Natural program, which is opening a few doors.  In the fall of 2021 Chris took on his first piece of expansion.  A small step, when a 550 acre piece of ground, once owned by Bill Wright, came to sale by Dan Deibler.  The piece borders the old Albert Carpenter ground, thus making more room for the yearling heifers.  

Thereafter, much consideration was taken, and the Ranch decided to form an LLC and protect her future.  October 2021 brought on A Bar C Ranch, LLC.  Only a year later, and the Hayward ground came up for auction.  This was not on the radar, until Chris realized the north end touched the Dumbell.  It was fairly certain, the Dumbell would sell some day, so a gamble was taken and an aggressive bid war secured 1360 acres of the west side of the Hayward for the A Bar C.  Someday came rather quickly as the Dumbell announced her intentions to sell.  It became an outright mission to obtain and grow into a new adventure.  By fall of 2023 the A Bar C closed on 5000 acres of the Dumbell and opened an opportunity.  Chris decided to get into the calf market and bought 500 Connealy influenced bred heifers to enter the calf market.  This will now allow the A Bar C to tap into the calf and yearling markets. The expansion puts the A Bar C to over 56,500 deeded acres plus 3200 acres of school leases to be just shy of 60,000 acres. 

This is how the A bar C came to be what it is today.  She is in her 5th generation, and Eric and Emily are just around the corner.  We are proud of our past and excited for the future to grow and take on new challenges as they come.  


bottom of page