Leslie Graff is a 92 year young “old time cowboy.” He was born on a homestead ranch on Plum Creek north of Johnstown, NE, and has lived there his whole life. His father, Frank Graff and family, moved to the home place where Frank was 12 years old in 1896. The ranch has been owned and operated by Frank Graff, then Leslie since that time.
Leslie, and his father, raised draft horses as well as cattle. They broke, trained, and sold the draft teams. They used horses to put up hay and feed the livestock for many years, until around 1950 when the first tractor was purchased. Leslie also broke lots of saddle horses for other ranchers, at $10 apiece. All the ranch and cattle work has always been done the old cowboy way – horseback. There has never been a 4-wheeler on the place.
Leslie attended a rural school, District #32 north of Johnstown, through the 8th grade and his school in Johnstown. He rode a horse three miles every morning to catch the school bus to attend high school in Johnstown. He married Betty Anderson and raised a family of four children, Kay, Stan, Vickie, and Bill. The two sons, as well as two grandsons have followed the family tradition of Nebraska Sandhill ranching.
Leslie has always been very active in the community. He served on the Brown County Hospital Board for 8 years. He is a member of the Johnstown Methodist Church. He is the oldest member of the Brown County Ag. Society and served on the Board of Directors as Treasurer for many years.
He is truly deserving of being in the Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame.