Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The Julia Opseth Grandmother

Julia Opseth was born on October 24, 1885 in Marshall County, Minnesota. She was the youngest child of Andreas and Hannah Opseth. Her brothers, Olaf and Gust came to America with their parents in 1883, first settling in Georgetown, MN. Her sister, Hilda was born in 1883. Try to imagine being pregnant and coming to America aboard a ship then trekking across the county!

Andreas applied for a land claim in Marshall County under the Homestead Act of 1862. To do so, he had to live on the land for five years, prove he had become a naturalized citizen,and provide two witnesses he had improved the land. Once satisfied, he would recieve a file certificate stating the land was now his.

Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act in 1862. The document stated ten percent of the land was to be allotted for private citizens. A patente was to be twenty one years old. The person was to live on the 160 acres for five years. Improving the land meant building a house of no less than 12' x 14'. If patente wished, he could buy the land for $1.25 an acre after six months. If you wish to learn if your ancestors obtained land through the Homestead Act of 1862, go to Key in your family's name, if they did get their land from the govenment, it will be posted.

Let's talk about the size of the dwelling. As stated, it must be 12' x 14'. Look at your own space. Imagine six people living in that space. What was it like to have a new baby to raise in a sod house? Think about it. Tell Old Trunks and Worn Shoes about it.

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