In 1862 Lincoln signed the Homestead Act. Between 1879 and 1886, more than 100,000 people settled in northern Dakota Territory. To claim 160 acres of free land, a man or woman had to be head of a household and 21 years old. The homesteader paid an $18 filing fee and lived on the homestead for five years. The law required them to build a house, measuring at least 10' x 12', and have at least ten acres of land under cultivation. Immigrants from foreign lands were required to become U.S. citizens in order to claim land.
Finding Aids on Settlement in North Dakota:
612 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
State Museum and Store: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F; Sat. & Sun. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
We are closed New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
State Archives: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F, except state holidays; 2nd Sat. of each month, 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
State Historical Society offices: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F, except state holidays.