Cowboy’s Faith: fence posts have a long lifespan – osage county online


“There are certainly a lot of good corner and even line posts strung along the highway ditch.”

With power lines being relocated for the construction of new highways, line poles and ties were left behind.

Reminds to mind five plus decades ago how precious these looked back then for use in ranch fencing. Hopefully neighbors and others will see their value and use them this year.

Previously, when wind and ice storms knocked down poles with the replacement of the power company, they were foreclosed on for the ranch.

However, this will not be the case now, as the philosophy has changed with only steel poles used for the construction of fences.

However, it is interesting to look around the ranch and see how many utility poles are still serving their purpose.

In the beginning, almost everything was used in the construction of fences. With the original small ranch near the tracks, old railroad ties were common. They were placed in corral, pasture and pigsty fences, but appeared to be short lived and in need of replacement within a decade.

Mom’s uncle, John, has been a partner in the garbage pig feed operation for several years. He worked for the rural power company with wide access to free worn out electric cross arms.

They were used to make short-lived fence and corner posts as well as fences for pigsties.

Accumulating the old electric poles was a major ordeal driving the freeways and dragging them in the horse trailer. A number of poles were used in the construction of a feed rack now converted into a corral.

When building this fence with Dad and Uncle Elmer, extreme caution was taken to make sure they were straight. Some did not agree with the “they will rot and can be replaced” philosophy. Well six decades later these messages are still in use and you can’t tell if they’re right and it doesn’t matter.

Of course, the philosophy has always been that “nothing beats a hedge post” for a wedge or even a line fence. So, with far too many hedge trees invading the pastures, many have been cut down and put into use. They don’t rot and will last a lifetime unless a prairie fire destroys them. Modern steel poles cost more but are more efficient and last a lifetime.

Recall from Genesis 26: 9: “They were good after a while. “

030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a longtime Alta Vista rancher, lifetime newspaper writer, unionized national farm writer, and radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

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