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Kansas Rancher Builds 60-Ton Concrete Buffalo
Ray Smith and his brother Charles spent more than 2,500 hours building a 15 1/4-ft. tall, 60-ton, "concrete" buffalo overlooking the Circle 3 Buffalo Ranch near Langford, Kan.
"I thought about the buffalo for a couple of years," Ray explains. "I wanted some way to pay tribute to the great North American buffalo. I kept pretty quiet about it but then one day I mentioned the idea to a friend. He gave me $5 and after that, I started getting so many contributions I had to start building it.
"I patterned the concrete buffalo after a big bull in my buffalo herd. It took 31 tons of rock, 121 bags of cement, sand, 144 ft. of railroad ties and steel reinforcing rod to build. I figure it weighs 60 tons," Ray says.
It ended up 15 1/4 ft. tall, 23 ft. long and 7 1/2 ft. across at the shoulders. A special feature not found on most buffalos are three lightning rods. "At first we didn't have them on," Ray states, "but lightning struck it four weeks after it was built and blew a chunk off of one of the legs."
"We had lots of people here including the governor and attorney general, when we dedicated the buffalo. Now we average about 5,000 visitors a year," he adds.

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1983 - Volume #7, Issue #4