Daniel Freeman and the First Homestead Claim
Daniel Freeman (RG4367-1)
Daniel Freeman is credited as the first person in the nation to file a Homestead Act claim. As the story goes, Freeman persuaded an official to open the land office at Brownville, Nebraska Territory, shortly after midnight on January 1, 1863, the day the law took effect. Freeman, a Union soldier on furlough, claimed land near Beatrice, Nebraska. Freeman's homestead is preserved as Homestead National Monument, administered by the National Park Service.