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A Fence that ran for 200 miles

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Until the early-1880's, no range fences existed in the Texas Panhandle. When winter blizzards came, cattle drifted onto Panhandle ranches from Oklahoma, Colorado and Kansas, causing those ranches to be overgrazed because, by the time of the spring roundup, there were as many "northern" cattle as local cattle in the herds thereabouts.

In order to prevent the costly and time-consuming job of separating the cattle, each Texas rancher agreed to construct a fence along his north boundary line. The resulting fence was 200 miles long and ran from the northeast corner of the Panhandle southwest to near the site where Dumas, Texas, was later founded, then west about 35 miles into New Mexico. It was a 4-strand, 4-bars fence with posts 30 feet apart and a gate every 3 miles. The materials amounted to about 65 carloads of wire and posts hauled from Dodge City.

In 1890, however, to comply with an 1889 state law prohibiting any fence from crossing or enclosing public property, most of the fence was removed. All that work and all that expense for nothing!

Beauty is only skin deep but Texas is to the bone.

Posted : 9th January 2020 10:02 pm