Fixing Fences


Larry ScheckelFixing fence on the Crawford County 238-acre Scheckel farm near Seneca was a never-ending job. One that we did not like, but knew had to be done. We seemed to have more fences than we needed, but that was because we pastured the cows, and we didn’t have a silo. Cows grazed in the pastures in the summertime, but were fed hay, cornstalks and ground corn in the winter. 

We cut our own fence posts at the same time we were cutting logs and cutting wood for burning in our furnace. We always had a supply of fence posts stored by the granary. Most were simply large dowel rods, others were sharpened on one end for driving into the ground with a post mall.

The buzz saw was used for putting a point on one end of the smaller posts. The driven posts were used in wooded and rocky areas.

Many is the day when we would hitch the two-wheeled trailer to the Massey Harris ’44, load up fence posts, fence wire, post hole digger, axe, post maul, wood splitter, nail box and nails, hammers, wire stretcher, tamper, and crow bar.

My brothers, Phillip and Bob, and I would be off to fix fence. Bob would remove the old fence post. Phillip would be digging a new hole for a replacement post. I would put in a new post, setting it down in the freshly dug hole, holding it upright while placing dirt evenly around the post, and stomping it down with a wooden tamper. Attach the fence, both woven wire and barbed wire to the new posts. We sure went through a lot of fence staples!

We “drove posts.” Some of our border fences went through woods. In the springtime, we had to “walk the fences.” We couldn’t drive the tractor and trailer with all the tools and fence posts up into the steep hills of Kettle Hollow woods. So we carried our hammer, axe, staple box, a roll of barbed wire, and that blasted 16-pound post maul into the woods. If we needed a new post, we cut one from a nearby small tree.

Live The Good Life with GRIT!

Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters