First homestead

keepitlow(6)January 1, 2010

It was on this day in 1863 that Daniel Freeman filed the first claim for a homestead under the Homestead Act. Abraham Lincoln had approved the act in May of 1862, making it possible for anyone who was at least 21 years old or the head of a household to file a claim for a homestead of 160 acres outside the 13 colonies. It only cost $18 worth of fees, as long as you lived on it for five years, built a house, and farmed at least 10 acres.

Daniel Freeman is generally accepted as the first person to file a claim. The law went into effect on January 1, 1863, and Freeman convinced someone in the local land office to let him file a claim at 12:10 a.m. He claimed his land near Beatrice in south-central Nebraska.

In 1864, he began exchanging letters with a woman named Agnes from LeClaire, Iowa. Agnes had been engaged to Daniel's brother James, but James had died when both brothers were fighting for the Union in the Civil War. So Agnes and Daniel started exchanging letters  initially, they addressed each other as "Miss Agnes" and "Brother Dan," but soon they started calling each other "Friend Agnes" and "Friend Daniel." After months of letter-writing, they were married, and Agnes came to live with Daniel on his homestead near Beatrice. They had eight children, some of whom built their own homes on the original 160 acres.

Writer's Almanac

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

great piece of history, very enjoyable reading

    Bookmark   January 1, 2010 at 9:25PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Inactivity on this forum...?
Like I said in an earlier has been 6 years...
Need help with a ground cover grass that is fast growing
I'm looking for some input on what kind of wild grass...
lice and ticks on goats
I noticed the other day that my goats have developed...
Water Well Question
I have an old water well on my property. It was originally...
ducks mating with chickens???
I went to our local co-op today to gather some supplies...
Sponsored Products
Medium Bird Girl Statue
$279.00 | FRONTGATE
Van Teal First in Class White Linen Floor Lamp
Euro Style Lighting
Daydreaming Girl Outdoor Sculpture
Grandin Road
Acanthus Arch Address Plaque
$129.00 | FRONTGATE
Emsco Dackers Garden Border Section - 12 Pack - 2090DS
$34.99 | Hayneedle
Modern Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: Kaleen Rugs Nomad Navy 5 ft. x 8 ft. NOM01-22 5
Home Depot
Elegant Lighting Pendant Lights 5 Light Chandelier Golden Shadow Finish Golden
Home Depot
Catnapper Deluxe Leather Wall Hugger Recliner - 4427-4 1203-08/3003-08
$629.00 | Hayneedle
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™