Marks-Miller Post and Pole found its beginning in 1974 as Marks Post and Pole.
Gary Marks, who grew up in Clancy on the family ranch, started producing and selling fence posts as a sideline while attending vocational technical school. Realizing the need to supplement his income and also supply posts for the family ranch, Gary and his father got the opportunity to purchase a homemade post peeler from a nearby rancher and post supplier. Late summer of 1975, Gary obtained a contract to provide posts for a Montana Department of Highways job and needed help to fill the order. Gary hired Darrell Miller, who is married to his wife’s cousin, to help him. In January of 1976 he asked Darrell if he would like to become a partner and Marks-Miller Post and Pole was formed.
Luckily, Gary’s wife Debbie and Darrell’s wife Karen each had a job that enabled them to provide food and clothing for their families. As a result, Gary and Darrell were able to build the business by putting any profits back into the business. Many years went by with Gary and Darrell drawing very little in wages. Growth was slow but steady and after a number of years Marks-Miller had enough assets to begin borrowing operating funds.
In the beginning Gary and Darrell did everything, including all of the maintenance and fabrication. They cut posts in the winter with chainsaws and hand loaded them onto a 2 ton flatbed. In the early spring they would peel the posts on a homemade peeler and stack them to dry. When dry enough they would manually put them in baskets and soak them in a tank of preservative. As time went on they began to purchase raw fence posts from Gyppo post cutters.
(A gyppo logger is a lumberjack who runs or works for a small scale logging operation that is independent from an established sawmill or lumber company)
Growth was slow but steady and equipment and employees were added to keep up with the growing demand for posts and rails. Debbie and Karen became an active part of the business early on, and helped with bookkeeping, environmental stewardship and safety culture, which all played a key role in the success of the business. Marks-Miller now employs 20 full time and 1 or 2 summer employees. Many of the employees that were hired over the years are still here today.
From day one, Gary and Darrell operated the business in an environmentally conscious manner. their management process has generally stayed one step ahead of the game in this constant state of change in the regulatory world. Both individuals played key roles in establishing and participating in trade organizations. Through these organizations they lobbied for new realistic regulations, with the purpose of protecting human health and the environment, while at the same time ensuring that the general public can still obtain the products they need at an affordable price.
On February 28,2014, after 38 years in the post business, Darrell and Karen Miller made the decision to retire. Gary Marks chose to remain in the business and purchased Darrell’s shares of Marks-Miller Post and Pole Inc.
Marks-Miller’s goal has always been to produce a high quality product at an affordable price. As a result, Marks-Miller has gained the reputation as one of the premier post and pole businesses in Montana and surrounding states.
We are all committed to giving our customers the best service possible.