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Local History

Cheap Land

“One of the reasons why emigrants [sic] come west is the cheap lands. Southwest Missouri has thousands of acres of such land waiting for someone to occupy it. There is a vast amount of government land subject to homestead left and also a large amount that can be purchased from individuals at a small amount. The amount of government land subject to homestead in Southwest Missouri is divided among the counties as follows:

Total...486,000 acres

“This land is rapidly being taken up and in a few years will be gone. Missouri has increased its population 650,000 in the last eight years and will make a larger increase than this in the next eight. There is no reason for emigrants settling elsewhere than Missouri on account of cheap lands.” Springfield Leader December 6, 1888

If your family purchased land in the west from the Federal Government, you can find their purchases and land descriptions at the Bureau of Land Management General Land Office Records.

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