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Solomon D. Butcher, born in 1856, came with his family to the plains of Nebraska in 1880 and filed a homestead claim. He soon discovered homesteading wasn't for him, although he admired those with the determination to survive and prosper on the plains. Needing a way to support his family and having previous experience as a photographer, he set out to create a photographic history of pioneer life. Between 1886 and 1912 Butcher generated a collection of more than 3,000 photographs that literally paint a picture of the era's homesteading. Butcher's collection is maintained and administered by the Nebraska State Historical Society and is available online at the American Memory portion of the Library of Congress website.
Did You Know?
While plowing 1 acre of ground, the homesteader walked 10 miles. So to plow the required 10 acres for his homestead, the homesteader had to walk a minimum of 100 miles.