Homestead National Monument: Its Establishment and Administration
July 20, 1876, page 2, column 4. The same claim appeared in the December
28, 1876 Issue of that newspaper on page 2, column 4. Microfilm copies
of this newspaper are in the Nebraska State Historical Society
(indicated hereafter as NSHS). The same claim appears in A. T. Andreas,
History of the State of Nebraska (Chicago 1882), 896.
2"The First Homesteader"
(unpublished manuscript being prepared by the Bureau of Land Management,
Washington, D. C.).
News, January 10, 1885, page 2, column 3. Files in the NSHS.
4Chapman Bros. Portrait
and Biographical Album of Gage County, Nebraska (Chicago 1888),
521-523. According to the records of the General Land Office, only three
persons filed claims at the Brownville Land Office on January 1, 1863.
Unpublished manuscript, Bureau of Land Management.
5James T. Dubois and
Gertrude S. Mathews, Galusha A. Grow, Father of the Homestead Law
(Boston 1917), 284.
News, January 10, 1885, page 2, column 3. Files of the newspaper are
in the NSHS. The U. S. Land Office Tract Book, Nebraska City, located in
the NSHS, shows on pages 144-145, that Young, whose entry was number
one, dated January 1, 1863, received his certificate (No. 1590) November
4, 1873, and his patent March 20, 1874. Before railroads adopted
standard time in 1883, various localities kept their own mean time.
Brownville is located at 957deg; 39' 30" longitude; Nebraska City,
957deg; 51' 20"; Vermillion, South Dakota, 967deg; 56' 00". If Freeman
and Gore (another claimant of a midnight filing) filed at midnight on
December 31, 1862 and Gore's claim was effective at that time, then
Freeman's claim would be about 44 seconds ahead of Young's and 5 minutes
and 12 seconds ahead of Gore's entry in Vermillion.
News, January 18, 1918, page 3, column 5.
July 11, 1901, page 1, column 5; August 29, 1901, page 1. Originals on
file at the University of South Dakota, Vermillion.
9Letter, Mahlon Gore to
Franklin Taylor, May 29, 1901. Original in the South Dakota State
Historical Society, Pierre. General Land Office records show that Gore
was the only one to file at Vermillion on January 1, 1863. The busiest
land offices on January 1, 1863 were at Humboldt, Kansas, where 70
entries were recorded; Traverse City, Michigan, with 50; Minneapolis,
Minnesota, with 60; La Crosse, Wisconsin, with 55; and St. Cloud,
Minnesota, with 39. Unpublished manuscript, Bureau of Land
Republican, August 29, 1901. Gore's entry was cancelled January 11,
1868 (memorandum from the Assistant to the Director to the Director,
Bureau of Land Management, May 18, 1961).
11Dubois and Mathews,
loc. cit; Congressional Record (1897), Vol. 29, Part II,
12A. E. Sheldon,
History and Stories of Nebraska (Chicago 1911), 111; James C.
Olson, History of Nebraska (Lincoln, 1955), 166.
News, January 18, 1918.
14Ferd J. Goodfellow,
"South Dakota's Early Surveys," Vol. V (1910), South Dakota
Historical Collections, 360-362; Doane Robinson, Encyclopedia of
South Dakota (Pierre 1925), 326. One South Dakota newspaper, the
Big Stone Headlight, was under the impression that the home of J.
Sterling Morton was the first homestead. (Dakota Republican,
August 3, 1901.) It was probably confusing Morton with Freeman.
15Nebraska City News,
January 10, 1885.
17Nebraska City News,
January 10, 1885.
18Beatrice Daily Sun,
February 12, 1909, page 1, column 2; see also editorial in the February
13 issue of this newspaper. Microfilm copies of the Sun are in
60th Congress, 2nd Session, 3,441. House of Representative Bills, 60th
Congress, 2nd Session.
60th Congress, 2nd Session, 3,441.
61st Congress, 1st Session, 1,236.
22Senate Journal of the
Legislature of the State of Nebraska, 32nd Session (Lincoln, 1911),
134, 141-142, 154-156.
23Beatrice Daily Sun,
February 5, 1911; January 28, 1911.
24Newman Grove Reporter,
April 8, 1925.
25Nebraska State Journal,
November 13, 1925.
26Photo in George W. Norris
collection, Library of Congress; Beatrice Daily Sun, May 11,
27Beatrice Sun, September
6, 1927, page 1, column 1.
30Beatrice Daily Sun,
September 9, 1927, page 1, column 5; September 11, 1927, page 1, column
31Beatrice Daily Sun,
September 18, 1927.
71st Congress, 1st Session, 2,217.
34See H. R. 3572, 71st Congress,
1st Session in Edmund B. Rogers, History of Legislation Relating to
the National Park System Through the 82nd Congress.
71st Congress, 1st Session, 2,217.
36Beatrice Daily Sun, May
31, 1929, page 1, column 3.
37Beatrice Daily Sun,
June 7, 1929.
38Beatrice Daily Sun,
June 9, 1929.
39Beatrice Daily Sun,
January 10, 1934.
40Beatrice Daily Sun,
March 25, 1934.
73rd Congress, 2nd Session, 9,552; Beatrice Daily Sun, May 25,
42Beatrice Daily Sun, May
43Lincoln State Journal,
August 23, 1934, page 3, column 2-3. Microfilm copies in the NSHS;
Beatrice Daily Sun, August 22, 1934.
44Letters E. L. Novotny to
Kenneth F. Jones, August 27, 1934; Novotny to George W. Norris, August
28, 1934. Social and Economic Records Division, National Archives,
Washington, D. C., hereafter abbreviated NA.
45Letter Arno Cammerer to
Norris, October 2, 1934, NA. A National Monument normally differs from a
National Park in size. A National Park is usually a superlatively scenic
or scientific area.
46Beatrice Daily Sun,
August 28, 1934.
47Beatrice Daily Sun,
November 12, 1934, page 1, column 1; November 13, 1934, page 1, column
48Beatrice Daily Sun,
November 16, 1934, page 1, columns 2 and 3.
49The Dakota Republican,
December 20, 1934. File in the South Dakota State Historical
50Letter, Norris to Fred W.
Johnson, December 15, 1934. Copy in Region Two Office files, Omaha.
51Letter, Johnson to Norris,
January 9, 1935.
52Beatrice Daily Sun,
January 9, 1935.
53Letter, A. E. Sheldon to
Norris, January 9, 1935. Norris collection.
54Letter, D. S. Dalby to Norris,
January 28, 1935. Norris collection.
55Letters, Novotny to the
President of the United States, January 7, 1935; Novotny to Mrs. Eleanor
Roosevelt, January 8, 1935. NA.
56Beatrice Daily Sun,
January 20, 1935.
57Beatrice Daily Sun,
January 14, 1935.
74th Congress, 1st Session, 745.
59S. 1307, 74th Congress, 1st
74th Congress, 1st Session, 798, 1,101.
61Edmund B. Rogers, History
of Legislation Relating to the National Park System through the 82nd
Congress, Homestead National Monument; letter, Hugo F. Srb to
President Roosevelt, February 11, 1935, NA; Senate Journal of the
State of Nebraska, Fiftieth Session (Lincoln, 1935), 43-344,
62Letter, Norris to Harold L.
Ickes, January 25, 1935.
63Letter, A. E. Demaray to
Norris, February 6, 1935, NA.
74th Congress, 1st Session, 646.
65Calendar No. 379, Senate
Report No. 365, 74th Congress, 1st Session.
74th Congress, 1st Session, 4,682.
68Congressman H. C. Luckey,
"Homestead National Monument of America," Nebraska History
Magazine (January-March 1935), 49.
74th Congress, 1st Session, 4,974.
71Luckey, op. cit.,
72House Report No. 1168, 74th
Congress, 1st Session; Congressional Record, 74th Congress, 1st
73Luckey, op. cit.,
74Letters, Novotny to Norris,
March 8, April 2, March 30, June 17, July 15, 1935. Norris
75Beatrice Daily Sun,
March 31, 1935.
74th Congress, 1st Session, 13,319; Luckey, op. cit., 51.
77Beatrice Daily Sun,
August 16, 1935.
74th Congress, 1st Session, 14,145-14,146; Luckey, op. cit.,
79Beatrice Daily Sun,
September 4, 1935, page 1, column 2.
81Beatrice Daily Sun,
March 6, 1936.
74th Congress, 2nd Session, 3,791.
83Ibid., 3,846, 3,905,
5,411; United States Statutes at Large, 49:1184.
84Clipping in the NSHS.
85Clipping in the NSHS.
86Novotny to Norris, May 16, June
17, 1936; January 28, April 23, May 5, 1937; E. L. Hevelone, February
12, March 10, 1938, Norris collection.
75th Congress, 3rd Session, 2,010.
88Ibid., 2,694, 2,761,
3,180; United States Statutes at Large, 52:88.
90Memorandum, A. E. Demaray to
Secretary of the Interior, March 11, 1938; letters Cammerer to Hevelone,
March 21, 1938; Joseph T. Votava to Attorney General, March 24, 1938,
91Letter, Hevelone to Cammerer,
April 16, 1938, NA.
92Letter, G. A. Moskey to
Hevelone, May 13, 1938; Hevelone to Moskey, May 21, 1938. NA.
93Letter, Demaray to Carl
McFarland, October 28, 1938, NA.
94C. C. Mullady to Mrs. M. Ruth
Bishop, November 18, 1938; Beatrice Daily Sun, October 19,
95Thomas Alan Sullivan, comp.,
Proclamations and Orders Relating to the National Park Service up to
January 1, 1945 (Washington, 1947), 210.
96Monthly Report of the
Superintendent Homestead NM, November 1940, NA.
97Monthly Reports of the
Superintendent Homestead NM, 1940-1941.
98A series of historical studies
by Gibbs based on historical research are in the files of Homestead NM.
Technical coordination of these reports was provided by Acting Regional
Historian Merrill J. Mattes.
99Monthly Reports of the
Superintendent Homestead NM, December 1941 to June 1944.
100Monthly Reports of the
Superintendent Homestead NM, March 1946 to December 1949.
101Monthly Reports of the
Superintendent Homestead NM, January 1950 to December 1953.
The period from 1956 to 1960 was largely one of
planning. In March 1956 Blake transferred and Ralph K. Shaver, Park
Ranger, Great Smoky Mountains NP, succeeded him as Superintendent. As a
part of the staffing under the MISSION 66 program, the Service employed
Donald G. Warman as Historian. Following the transfer of Shaver in April
1959, Warren D. Hotchkiss, Management Assistant, Rocky Mountain NP,
became Superintendent in September of that year. 
102Monthly Reports of the
Superintendent Homestead NM, January to December 1954.
103Monthly Reports of the
Superintendent Homestead NM, May to September 1954.
104Public Law No. 480, 74th
105Monthly Reports of the
Superintendent Homestead NM, March 1956 to September 1959.
106Public Law No. 480, 74th
Last Updated: 02-Nov-2009