Would you like to “own” 160 acres of land in the United States for just $18.00? Not per acre, not per day, not per month, not per year. Just $18.00 total sale price for 160 acres.
what’s the catch? Well, there was no catch, at the time. The Time? If you had filed for your land between 1862 and 1974, you could be the proud owner of 160 acres of land that is YOURS. Not the banks, not a real estate company, not anyone else but you…HAD you known about it.
Unfortunately, I am bringing you this news too late. My apologies. However, why didn’t anyone else mention this to you? Like the United States Government? To be honest, they did tell us in the Homestead Act of 1862, and that was it.
You could file for your 160 acres in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California and Alaska until 1974 with the exception of Alaska which was extended to 1986.
How did it work? The following is a brief summary of all you had to do to be a land owner:
The Filing Process
People interested in Homesteading first had to file their intentions at the nearest Land Office. A brief check for previous ownership claims was made for the plot of land in question, usually described by its survey coordinates. The prospective homesteader paid a filing fee of $10 to claim the land temporarily, as well as a $2 commission to the land agent.
With application and receipt in hand, the homesteader then returned to the land to begin the process of building a home and farming the land, both requirements for “proving” up at the end of five years. When all requirements had been completed and the homesteader was ready the take legal possession, the homesteader found two neighbors or friends willing to vouch for the truth of his or her statements about the land’s improvements and sign the “proof” document.
After successful completion of this final form and payment of a $6 fee, the homesteader received the patent for the land, signed with the name of the current President of the United States. This paper was often proudly displayed on a cabin wall and represented the culmination of hard work and determination.
Homestead Act of 1862 is recognized as one of the most revolutionary concepts for distributing public land in American history. Repercussions of this monumental piece of legislation can be detected throughout America today, decades after the cry of “Free Land!” has faded away.
Homestead Act of 1862 in its entirety.