This noble Moses P. Kinkaid

On April 28, 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt signed a bill sponsored by Moses P. Kinkaid of O’Neill, which allowed homesteaders to claim 640 acres of land in certain parts of western Nebraska where smaller farms were impractical. Most of the new farmers, called Kinkaiders, had higher hopes than they ever had profits. “The Kinkaider Comes and Goes,” the title of a 1930 article by Mari Sandoz, telegraphs the end of the story. Still, the Kinkaid Act brought many people and and some permanent settlement to the Sandhills.

Plant Trees, Get Land for Free

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.

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