Linda Lou Applegarth Cleveland has broken the horses, worked the cattle, c0-managed one of the largest ranches in the Sandhill’s (she won’t take credit for that though), cooked the branding dinners, cooked for cowboys, supported rodeo acting as a timer or where ever needed, participated in cutting events and probably most important, raised a stellar Sandhill family with values that reflect the Sandhill’s honest hardworking people.
Linda was born October 9, 1940 to Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame honoree Andrew Joseph Applegarth II, better known as “Joe”, and Irma Maxine Taylor Applegarth better known as “Max.”
Linda was born into a family steeped in “cowboy”. Linda’s paternal Grandfather was Dr. Andrew Joseph Applegarth a well-known Veterinarian in the area who homesteaded north of Bingham, NE. Andy, as he was affectionately known, was referred to as ‘the horse Doctor.’ He also bought horses for Fort Robinson. Since Linda’s father Joe Applegarth broke a lot of horses in the area as well as ranging as far west as California, Linda was steeped in horse.
Linda and her sister Nancy Applegarth Orr began breaking horses at an early age, starting in 7th and 8th grades. Joe had taken employment at the historic Dumbell Ranch north of Hyannis, NE and at the time, the 86 Section ranch was operated all with horse power.
Linda and Nancy milked cows and sold the cream for extra spending money during the summers and attended High School at St. Agnes in Alliance, NE during the winter. During these years, they became great hands working with cattle in almost every situation.
Linda married Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame honoree Larry Cleveland on September 6, 1958 having recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
When it became necessary for Joe to retire as Ranch Manager from the Pitchfork after the Dumbell had been divided, Linda and Larry were hired to replace Joe as manager and they continued operating the ranch for many years.
Linda raised her children on the Pitchfork; she multitasked, cooked for many a ranch hand, and helped with the operation of the ranch. Linda has still been called on to help with local ranchers working cattle if they needed a great hand.
Linda has walked the walk, lived the life of a Sandhill’s ranch woman and she has done all of this with beauty, charm and grace.
Linda has worked for and with her Church her entire life and that Linda’s treasurers, awards, etc. would have to be her many close friends and loved ones.