Passed on May the Homestead Act accelerated the settlement of the western territory by granting adult heads of families 160 acres of surveyed public land for a minimal filing fee and 5 years of continuous residence on that land.
Homestead Act of 1862 -- President Lincoln signs the Homestead Act. Thousands of families head to the plains with dreams of building a home, but find trees to be sparce on the plains. pictured homesteaders taken in central Nebraska)
Thousands of women took advantage of the Homestead Act that offered free land in the American Great Plains.My Gramma told me about her aunt that was a homesteader! Never knew her name - last name Hatch - but WOW!