Martin Ford Ox Barn
This barn is a mortis and tenon building in the Intermountain barn style, and is built with pegs instead of nails. A barn like this would be built in a barn raising. The wood to build with would be gathered during the winter months, sometimes taking years to collect. In the spring, the farmer would call his neighbors together and they could build the barn as quickly as 1-3 days.
Martin Ford was a second-generation Mormon pioneer, his own father having crossed the plains in the late 1850s. He was an ox trainer from Wallsburg, UT. His grandson, Dixon Ford said: “You can make oxen from any breed of the bovine family,” he said. “You can make an ox from any… bull, cow or steer. Steers are preferred. It has to have horns to hold the yoke on, and when it turns 4 years old, if it’s trained to the extent identified as ‘handy,’ you call it an ox.”
Most cattle don’t get to be oxen “because they’re not trained,” he said. “It’s an honorary title. It’s like doctor, lawyer or chief. They have to go to school.”