The Homestead Act, 1862

The Homestead Act, 1862


Daniel Freeman becomes first Homesteader

  • Brownville, Nebraska

The Homestead Act became active on January 1, 1863. The story goes that Daniel Freeman submitted his land application at 12:10 am on January 1st at the Land Office in Brownville, Nebraska. Freeman thus became the first person in history to apply for and receive land under the Homestead Act. Freeman succeeded in settling his land grant and lived there until his death in 1908. Today, the Homestead National Monument of America sits on the site of the old farm where many come to honor their pioneer ancestors who started out as homesteaders.[1]

[1] Information taken from; accessed Sept 15, 2008.

    I think it worthy of consideration, and that the wild lands of the country should be distributed so that every man should have the means and opportunity of benefiting his condition.—Abraham Lincoln, February 12, 1861

      The author of the homestead act was Galusha A. Grow. He fought Congress for 10 years and the Homestead Bill was passed five times but never in both the Senate and the House. Although he did not get along with Lincoln, this was one Act they finally agreed was good to bond the Union more firmly.