Belfry couple chosen as Red Lodge's July 4 Grand Marshals

Courtesy photo

Dean and Dena Spaulding of Belfry

are this year's 4th of July Grand

Marshals in Red Lodge.

In keeping with this year’s rodeo and ag theme for the 4th of July celebra- tions in Red Lodge, Dean and Dena Spaulding of Bel-fry have been chosen as the Grand Marshals. They will lead out the three parades that take place from July 2-4 at 12 noon on Broadway.

“It is quite an honor,” said Dean and Dena.

Dean follows his dad, Sam, who was Grand Marshal in 2000.

The Spaulding’s have been in agriculture for 44 years running Spaulding ranch/farm in the Clarks Fork River Valley, just north of Belfry.

Dena’s parents Howard and Clara (Sirrine) Brown ranched with them for 38 years. They raise cowcalves, stocker-feeder calves and sheep livestock along with barley, oats, corn, sugar beets, grass and alfalfa hay crops.

“You need a break,” said Dean.

A lot of their time is spent getting harvest machinery ready and plant- ing equipment in shape. Also lambing and calving, feeding livestock, irrigating crops and pastures as well as tending to the business side of the operation that “helps keep the ranch run- ning in the right direction.”

“For us farming and ranching is working as a family and a team and shar- ing the responsibilities down through the years. It takes hands-on family members who are dedicated and willing to work as many hours as needed to keep an outfit together for generations,” they said.

They like the idea of the ag and rodeo theme as rodeo comes from ag and ag has supported rodeo.

“It’s making the connec- tion to the town,” they said.

They have purchased four different farms/ranch- es since they were married in 1973 and raised three children.

“Our daughter Denise (Doug) Aisenbrey farms just north of us,” said Dena. “They have three children, Katie, Grace and Ryan, who are 6th generation family members.”

Of their sons, Doug works in Seattle for the U.S. Post office while Dustin was a banker in Billings but in 2013 came back to the ranch/farm and started his own operation with his par- ents.

The family is steeped in Western history.

“We have 6 generations who have lived within 15 miles of some of the first pioneer ancestors who homesteaded in the Pioneer, Chance, Clark, Belfry and Cherry Springs areas start- ing in 1898,” said Dena.

The Spauldings also have ties to the rodeo world and not just from working the family nights at the Home Of Champions arena or taking their kids to see the riders.

Dean is the nephew of the Linderman family, one of the greatest outfits ever to grace the rodeo stage.

The Lindermans held court with another local family the Greenoughs and togeth- er they scooped up numer- ous World Championship titles in the sport. The Linderman family has five Rodeo Hall of Fam- ers. Dean and Dena have seen two inductions; Charlotte Linderman Spaulding (Grandma Rusty’s) Inductee Recognition Honor Ceremo- ny at the 2015 Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame in Great Falls, and later that year they saw the induction ceremony for Bud Linder- man into the Pro-Rodeo Hall of Fame at Colorado Springs, Colorado. They have also seen the statue of Bill Linderman outside National Cowboy Hall of Fame.

At the National Rodeo Finals in 2004 in Las Vegas, Dean was given the honor of presenting the Linderman Award.

Away from rodeoing and into homesteading, Dena’s great-grandparents (Sirrine’s) came to the area along the Montana –Wyoming border (Chance and Pioneer) in 1888. They con- structed the first irrigation canal in the Clarks Fork River in 1891 and also a post office, stage-stop and cable ferry.

Dena’s dad’s father came to Belfry area in 1886 and her dad’s mother’s fami- ly (Dewitts) homesteaded Cherry Springs in Elbow in 1906.

Dena also had a grand- father who rode with Buffa- lo Bill in Cody. “Buffalo Bill Cody used to tell my great grandmoth- er to let her hair down but she didn’t cotton to him too well,” said Dena. Belfry couple chosen as Red th Lodge's July 4 The 4th of July is also a chance of a “break” for the Spauldings.