Friday, May 15, 2009

Nebraska Homesteading

1862: The Homestead Act gave people an opportunity to own 160 acres of land. Nebraska is one of the 30 states where homesteaded land is located. According to Homestead National Monument records, there were 104,260 successful homesteading claims in Nebraska, responsible for developing 45 percent of the state’s land.

The cutout in this map of Nebraska represents the percentage of land homesteaded in Nebraska.

1867: Nebraska obtains statehood.

1869: Farmers and ranchers begin squabbling over fence-free pasture land and fenced-in farm acreage.

1879: Railroad records indicate that seven coaches of land seekers arrived in Lincoln, Nebraska. In the first three months of that year 600 carloads of household goods arrived for the newly migrated Nebraskans.

1886: Solomon Butcher begins his iconic documentation of homesteading across Nebraska.

1904: The Kincaid Act expands the homestead acreage grant from 160 to 640, a boom for farmers but not ranchers. Ranchers do benefit though as the efforts of the Kinkaiders to farm arid land fails and the ranchers purchase the defunct farms.

The Friends of Homestead National Monument extends congratulations to the Monument for the latest award, the 2009 Blue Pencil and Gold Screen Award, for the film Land of Dreams: Homesteading America, which tells the American homesteading story. The film was selected as being outstanding documentary from a field of 600. This recognition follows winning the prestigious CINE Golden Eagle Award.

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