• Look for the Homestead Quarter starting February 2015.

    Homestead

    National Monument of America Nebraska

Homesteading Legacies

Freeman_A,180

First Homesteader, Daniel Freeman Banner

HNM Image

The Homestead Act became the law of the land on January 1, 1863. it remained in effect until 1976, when the Federal Land Policy and Management Act repealed it (though a ten year extension through 1986 was authorized in Alaska).

Over the entire 124-year history of the Homestead Act, four million people filed for 160-acre parcels of the public domain. Of these four million, about 1.6 million (approximately 40 percent) were successful, fulfilling all the requirements of the government and earning the title to their property. Every single one of these four million, regardless of success or failure, had a personal story.

Homestead National Monument of America exists today to tell those stories and commemorate the accomplishments and memories of all homesteaders. The Monument is currently involved in a project to identify well-known figures in American history that have or had personal connections to the Homestead Act. Some of those identified thus far include: Willa Cather (author); George Washington Carver (scientist, educator); Virgil Earp (frontier lawman); Jeannette Rankin (first woman elected to congress); Laura Ingalls Wilder (author); and Lawrence Welk (entertainer). Each of these people was touched by the Homestead Act and made significant contributions to the world in which he or she lived. Through a generous grant from the Gage County Foundation, Banners have been produced featuring each of these individuals. The banners hang outside the Education Center at the Monument. The banners can be seen in the photo album [slide show] above. Links to the stories of some prominent descendents of homesteaders can be found below. If you are a descendant of someone who filed on a homestead you story is important too, go here to learn more about telling your story.

 
RachelCalof,108

Rachel Bella Calof

HMN Image

Rachel Bella Calof
Yiddish Autobiographer, Homesteader
1876-1952
Devils Lake, North Dakota

 
Carver

George Washington Carver

HNM Image

George Washington Carver
Inventor, Educator, Homesteader
1865(?)-1943
Beeler, Kansas

 
Cather

Willa Cather

HNM Image

Willa Cather
Author, Pulitzer Prize Winner, Daughter of Homesteaders
1873-1947
Red Cloud, Nebraska

 
Deardorff

Kenneth Deardorff

Hnm Image

Kenneth Deardorff
Farmer, Busness Owner, Carpenter, Fur Trapper,
Vietnam Veteran, Homesteader
1944 -
Stony River, Alaska

 
Ivan Doig

Ivan Doig

HNM Image

Ivan Doig
Ranch hand, Novelist, Historian, Grandson of Homesteaders
1939-
Broadwater County, Montana

 
Virgil Earp

Virgil Earp

HNM Image

Virgil Earp
Wells Fargo Shotgun Guard,
Deputy Marshall-Shootout at the OK Corral, homesteader
1844-1905
Prescott, Arizona

 
Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg

HNM Image

Whoopi Goldberg
Comedian, Actress, Winner of Grammy, Tony, Emmy, and Academy Awards Great-Great-Granddaughter of Homesteaders
1955-
Alachua County Florida

 
Amy Heidemann

Amy Heidemann

HNM Image

Amy Heidemann
Member of the band Karmin, Singer, Songwriter, Musician,
Great-Great Granddaughter of Homesteaders
1986 -
Seward, Nebraska

 
John Hubbell

John Hubbell

HNM Image

John Hubbell
Trader with the Navajo Indians (Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site), Homesteader
1853-1930
Gando, Arizona

 
Chet Huntley

Chet Huntley

HNM Image

Chet Huntley
Radio Announcer, Journalist, Newscaster (The Huntley-Brinkley Report,
NBC News), Resort Developer, Son of Homesteaders
1911-1974
Cardwell, Montana

 
Jewel

Jewel Kilcher

HNM Image

Jewel Kilcher
Musician, Author, Actress, Granddaughter of Homesteaders
1974-
Homer, Alaska

 
Thomas Kleppe

Thomas Kleppe

HNM Image

Thomas Kleppe
Mayor, Member of Congress, Director of Small Busness Administration, Secretary of the Interior (Ford Administration), Son of Homesteaders
1919- 2007
Kintyre, North Dakota

 
Walter Knott

Walter Knott

HNM Image

Walter Knott
Farmer, Agricultural Developer, Restaurateur, Theme Park Innovator, Homesteader
1889 - 1981
Buena Park, California

 
William McKnight

William McKnight

HNM Image

William McKnight
Businessman, Industrialist, Head of 3M corporation, Son of Homesteaders
1887 - 1978
White, South Dakota

 
Enos Mills

Enos Mills

HNM Image

Enos Mills
Naturalist, Father of Rocky Mountain National Park, Homesteader
1870-1922
Estes Park, Colorado

 
Forest Ray Moulton

Forest Ray Moulton

HNM Image

Forest Ray Moulton
Astronomer, Mathematician, Son of Homesteaders
1872-1952
LeRoy, Michigan

 
Bill Nelson

Bill Nelson

HNM Image

Bill Nelson
State Legislator, State Insurance Commissioner,
U.S. Congressman, U.S. Senator, Astronaut, Grandson of Homesteaders
1942-
Brevard County, Florida

 
Al Neuharth

Al Neuharth

HNM image

Al Neuharth
Businessman, author, and founder of USA Today, The Freedom Forum, and the Newseum, Grandson of Homesteaders
1924-2013
Eureka, South Dakota

 
Tom Osborne

Tom Osborne

HNM Image

Tom Osborne
Educator, College Football Coach (University of Nebraska),
U. S. Congressman, Grandson of Homesteaders
1937-
Hastings, Nebraska

 
Steve Owen

Steve Owen

HNM Image

Steve Owen
All-Pro Football Player, Professional Football Coach (New York Giants),
Son of Homesteaders
1898-1964
Cleo Springs, Oklahoma

 
Jeannette Rankin

Jeannette Rankin

HNM Image

Jeannette Rankin
First Woman Elected to Congress, Peace Advocate,
Daughter of Homesteaders
1880-1973
Missoula, Montana

 
Evelyn Sharp

Evelyn Sharp

HNM Image

Evelyn Sharp
Aviator, Pilot for Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS) and
Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) in World War II,
Daughter of Homesteaders
1919-1944
Ord, Nebraska

 
Wa_Gi_Ma_Wub

Wa gi ma wub

HNM Image

Wa gi ma wub
Boise Forte/Ojibwe Indian Chief, Homesteader
1835-1937
Vermilion Lake, Minnesota

 
Lawrence Welk

Lawrence Welk

HNM Image

Lawrence Welk
Musician, Entertainer, Son of Homesteaders
1903-1992
Strasburg, North Dakota

 
Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder

HNM Image

Laura Ingalls Wilder
Author of Little House on the Prairie Series, Daughter of Homesteaders
1867-1957
De Smet, South Dakota

Did You Know?