March 3: On this date in Nebraska (and U.S.) history the Timber Culture Act became federal law. The 1873 provision allowed homesteaders to acquire 160 acres of land by planting 40 acres of trees and tending them for 10 years. Nebraska Senator Phineas W. Hitchcock introduced the bill. “The Tree Planters’ State” became Nebraska’s official state name some twenty-two years later.
Portrait of Phineas W. Hitchcock, Omaha, Nebraska