1885 Julius Nicoli Family Homesteading Claim Proved

1885 Julius Nicoli Family Homesteading Claim Proved

– Clarence Holm

They came in search of independence,
Dream chasers from the east.
On tracts of land, sustained attendance,
A family’s debt would be released.

With hope so high couple’s sought their fame
On the prairie of Dakota.
They broke the sod and made a claim
A quarter section filled their quota.

The first year flew, so much to do,
There spirits would not weaken.
Another year the hardships grew
Their faith became a beacon.

The third year came, a second child was due
Space had become a problem.
More sod was cut to house the crew
The home began to blossom.

At the end of five the claim was proved,
The family had beaten the trial
Their land was theirs, the debt removed
And the effort seemed worthwhile.

6 thoughts on “Homesteading

    • I got the information for many of my relatives. It’s amazing the information contained including testimonials on their character. I also researched some canadian homesteading records and found them even more information filled, with progress reports on plowing, animals, planting and fencing. really fun stuff. One other great source of records are the WPA files of interviews of early settlers who lived into the 1930’s (written interviews detailing family memories of settling the west.

      • Writers’ Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) interviews (depending on the state) are housed in State Historical Societies, The Library of Congress or special library collections (for example the North Dakota State University (NDSU) has and extensive German/Russian heritage library that also indexes and maintains a collection of these interviews.

        For more information about the national project:

        What I found interesting is the WPA hired these writers to go out an interview anyone who was born before 1875(?) and basically ask them what they remembered along with completing a standard information request listing children, neighbors, people they worked with, who their doctor was, how they got groceries, etc …. The writers also wrote down their observations for instance one of them included remarks that the family being interviewed weren’t being cooperative because they hated Democrats and Roosevelt.

        You might also find it interesting that besides the homesteader interviews, Slave interviews were also conducted.

        When I was an English Major in college I was a kinda a library/research geek so I learned about a lot of research sources

        Normally when I have a question about a family member and it’s a smaller town, I contact the librarian for information on local sources. Always like to talk to librarians – good people to know (just like genealogy people 😉 )

      • Thank you for that info! I’ll have to give that a try. I actually have a few family members who worked on the WPA road and I’ve heard there are records specific to that at NARA but I haven’t requested them yet. I wonder if I have any that would have been interviewed.

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