Farming on the Kansas Prairie is Hard Work in the 1880’s

I have heard tall tales in my life. Many of which involve the big fish that got away. But for those farmers out there, I think the following article tops them all. I found this in “The Salina Journal”, dated May 10, 1883, in a section about “Gypsum Creek Gleanings”. Gypsum Creek being the creek that flows through the town of Gypsum where most of my Swisher ancestors homesteaded.

The story goes like this:

“Fine weather for corn and small grain.

“The farmers are not done planting corn yet.

“Grass seems to make slow progress this spring from some cause of other.

“Mr. A. N. Jackson has fenced in 160 acres of pasture and wants 50 colts to pasture this summer. There is plenty of water and shade in the pasture. Mr. James Tolle has also fenced in a pasture. There is more wire fence being put up this spring that ever before, it is hard work digging post-holes on upland farms and I would advise the upland farmers to go to Nebraska for post-holes. The badgers dig holes in the sand, the wind blows the sand away and leaves the holes sticking up into the air from ten to thirty feet, you can chop them down and saw them up to any desired length, drive them into the ground and have post-holes that will last for years. Some people use them for stove pipes.”

Can any one top that tall tale?