George L. Mee

George L. Mee1891-1958

George Mee was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and spent his childhood in El Paso, Texas, with such spare time jobs as cooking in a mining camp in Mexico at the age of twelve, newspaper boy, and as an operator of a horse-drawn streetcar during high school.

In Wilcox, Arizona, about 1917, he became associated with Johnson and Cook, two of the largest cattle operators in the Southwest. Here he also met and married Myrtle Pulliam, a schoolteacher from Flagstaff, Arizona. When the Los Angeles Union Stock Yard was established in 1922, George was sent to organize the Johnson and Cook Commission Company. Later, as a partnership, he developed the California Livestock Commission Company on the same market.

The California Land and Cattle Company was his next endeavor and the company operated large commercial feed yards in California, New Mexico, and Arizona. George fed his own cattle and thousands of head for other producers and packers, using highly scientific methods.

Mee's special pride was his 30,000-acre ranch in Peach Tree Valley, Monterey County, California, that had previously been owned by Henry Miller, "Cattle King of the West" during the Roaring 80's and Gay 90's. Mee immediately increased the carrying capacity of this spread by upgrading the water supply and using improved range management practices to increase beef production. Over 1,600,000 pounds of beef have been produced from this famous Spanish Land Grant ranch in a single year. In 1949 he entered the purebred cattle business. His original herd was steadily improved with the help and direction of the late Alex McDonald, beef herdsman at UC Davis.

Mr. Mee was active in the California Cattlemen's and the California Cattle Feeders' Associations. He took an active part in community affairs and was interested in higher education, donating a substantial sum of money to the construction of the Memorial Union at UC Davis. A room at the Memorial Union was dedicated to the memory of his oldest son, who had been a student at Davis. George Mee's success in the livestock business, coupled with his hospitality and generosity, marked him as an outstanding and very colorful cattleman during his generation.