Grayson County TXGenWeb
 

The Sherman Register
December 14, 1887

THE HOMESTEAD LAW

Every person 20 years of age or the head of a family, a citizen of the United States, or one who has declared of becoming a citizen can claim the benefit of the law.

Full citizenship is not required of the immigrant to enable him to participate in the benefits of this law.  The only thing he must do after his arrival in America is to declare his intention of becoming a citizen.

Everything that is raised, and all improvements on the land, will belong to the settler.

The immigrant has no expense except some small fees to government officers, which amount for 160 acres (according to location) to eighteen or twenty-two dollars all for land worth $1.25per acre; or twenty six or thirty four dollars for land worth $2.50 per acre.

An immigrant can take 160 acres under the homestead law as a gift, and can purchase 160 acres more, if he so desires, at from $1.25 to $2.50 per acre.  This will give him 320 acres.

Then, under a law passed June 14, 1878, entitled the “Forest Law”, he can take up 160 acres (or 40 acres as he may elect), of land naturally devoid of timber.  One-sixteenth part of the land must be planted in young forest trees, seeds or cuttings, and the trees must be kept for eight years in good growing condition.

That is, if 160 acres are taken under the “Forest Law” , five acres must be plowed the first year, cultivated the second year, and planted the third year; and five more acres must be broken second year and cultivated the third year and planted the fourth year.

If 80 or 40 acres are taken up, it is only necessary  to plant 5 or 2 acres respectively, as above explained.
After the expiration of eight years, or within thirteen years, and after the planter has proved by two witnesses that he has complied fully with the provisions of the “Forest Law”, the government gives him a patent for the land. 
Persons that take up land under the “Forest Law” need not reside on it, and may at the same time take up and possess lands under the Homestead Law.

The settler can make his choice from any of the governmental lands, but must report his selection to the United States Land Office, when, after presenting the proof that he has complied with the requirements of the law, he will receive a patent for the land as his individual property.

These lands are free from taxes and cannot be seized for debts contracted before the taking up of the same.
Should the planter die after having made entry, his heirs have the right to fulfill, in his place, its provisions, and after the expiration of eight years to receive the patent for the land.
There is no government in the world that has ever passed laws so wise, so liberal, so beneficial.  They have proved a boon to thousands of poor struggling men.  Any industrious man, with a small amount of means, can avail himself of their provisions, and in a few years become owner of his own farm.

The following is what it costs to enter a homestead:
4 acres, all expenses ~ $18.00
10 acres, all expenses ~ $22.00
20 acres, all expenses ~ $25.00
60 acres, all expenses ~ $30.00




Grayson County History
Elaine Nall Bay

2014

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