Land Cruising - Prospecting:
Introduction To Land Cruising
Land Cruising And Prospecting
Examining And Locating
Points For Homesteaders
Prospecting For Gold, Etc.
How To Locate A Claim
Read More Articles About: Land Cruising - Prospecting
Points For Homesteaders
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
Persons desiring to make homestead entries should fully inform themselves as to the character and quality of the land they wish to locate and cannot enter it until they have visited and examined it. You will have to make oath to this. Information in regard to a piece of land being subject. to entry can be obtained at the local land office. All blank forms and other papers can be obtained at the local land office of the district in which the land is situated. All unappropriated land can be entered if it is not mineral or saline or occupied for the purpose of trade.
Settlement may be made by all persons qualified and you must go personally on the land and improve it and live there five years and by doing this you obtain exclusive rights against all per-sons but the government. When settlement is made on unsurveyed land you must plainly mark the boundaries of the land you claim. Settlement must be made in person and not by an agent and you must live on it all the time.
A married woman cannot homestead land unless she is actually deserted by her husband, or he is down and out by disease and can't earn a living for his family; or her husband is confined in the penitentiary ; or she is the heir of a settler who dies. A married woman can't make an entry under any other conditions. If a homesteader deserts his wife and abandons the land she has the exclusive right to contest. If a homesteader deserts his minor children after the death of his wife and also deserts his claim, the children have the same rights as the wife. If a husband and wife are holding a homestead apiece they must quit one or the other, they can't hold both.
The unmarried widows of soldiers and sailors who served 90 days in any war of the United States or the Philippine insurrection can locate a claim. A soldier serving in the army or navy can locate, if some member of his family. is residing on the claim.
Any person who has entered less than 160 acres, can enter enough more to make 1-4-S. Persons whose original entries have failed through no fault of their own can take another claim. You can't take over 160 acres no matter how much you try, and if you already own that much it is all off and you cannot take any government land. All applicants by soldiers or sailors or their widows must be accompanied by their discharge papers. If a homesteader dies, the land goes to the widow and all the Ring's oxen can't get it away, and if he dies before final proof it goes to the widow also. Our Uncle Sam takes good care of the widows.
No foreign born person can claim any rights as heirs for a homestead unless he has declared his intentions to become a citizen. Minor children of soldiers or sailors can make an entry if their fathers have not, if their mother has died or remarried, but it must be done by their guardian. A continued residence on a claim is required a temporary sojourn or occasional visit don't go any more. No specified amount of cultivation is stated but it must be continuous. You can use the land for pasture if you can prove it is more valuable for this. You must begin improvements within six months after locating or entering or it is all off. This also holds good for widows and minor children.
Leave of absence for one year or less if he can prove failure or destruction of crops, sickness or accident which prevent him from supporting himself and family and if you can show the United States land agent that you need it, you can get away sometimes during the win-ter months to work in cities or factories, lumber camps and mills. Uncle Sam is very liberal to the honest man who means well, but if otherwise, look out, or there will be something doing. The days of stealing land and pine are gone and it is well you can thank a gentleman who wears specs and has lived in Washington, D. C., and is sometimes called "Teddy", the gent who believes every one should have a "square deal" and is trying to make it so, some people to the contrary notwithstanding.
I would say in passing that in the last five years there has been considerable "hot air" handed out about land in Canada and some have been induced to go there. I know that country and will say that some of the land is good, but it is too far north. They get caught by frost about two crops out of three and one spring (1908) the Canadian Government supplied farmers with seed wheat, they had been frozen out the previous fall, and the government is taking a mortgage for the seed.
A fine state of affairs for a country that has been tooted for a great thing for the past four years. They tried to sell it for years and had to finally give it away, and it is dear at that price. I have seen frost every month in the year in northern Minnesota even, to say nothing about Canada which is north of that yet. Still if one is frozen out, one might get a job trimming the Northern Lights winters. There might be something doing in that line.
There is an idea that all the good land is taken here in the United States. Don't believe it. There are thousands of acres of fine homes yet, enough for all if you know how to look it up. Of course there are not whole counties like there used to be, but there are lots of good pieces here and there on the prairies and in the mountains, plenty and to spare. If you want to look it up, get a list from the H-T-T, a good compass and maps and butt in and if you don't get a good farm and home its your own fault. It's there for you if you are a citizen, and if you aren't, you had better get a move on and be one for Uncle Sam is the best man to tie up with that ever came down the pike no other government will use you as well.