State of Nebraska - Genealogy Trails




Soldiers’ Homesteads



The old law allowed soldiers who had been service ninety days, a homestead of 160 acres within railroad limits, where other persons could get only 80 acres.


The new law of April, 1872, gives homesteads to soldiers and their unmarried widows, or minor orphans, sooner than others can get them.


It deducts from the five years residence required for perfect title of other homesteaders, all the time, up to four years, that a soldier, or sailor, has been in the United States service.


I a soldier was discharged by reason of wounds or disability, or died in the service—his whole term of enlistment is deducted.


In the case of soldiers now enlisted, service is constructive residence.  Actual residence must follow within six months after the date of entry.


If a soldier’s homestead, already taken, is less than 160 acres, he may enter enough more to make up that quantity, if any public land remains contiguous to the tract embraced by his first entry.


A claim may be filed by an Agent invested with a Power of Attorney, as well as in person, and the improved by the soldier at any time within six months.


There are no homesteads remaining in Southern Iowa, along the line of the railroad; but in Nebraska, say 75 miles west of Lincoln and beyond, desirable homestead lands, within railroad limits and adjoining railroad lands, are yet to be had, though they are being rapidly taken up.


The United States Land Offices in Nebraska are at Lincoln, which is the State Capital, Beatrice, Grand Island,

Dakota City, Lowell, and West Point  Upwards of 12,000 homesteaders have filed claims at Lincoln alone—3,163 of them during the year 1871, and 2,482 in 1872.



Iowa and Nebraska lands for sale by the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad Company

Maps – Nebraska – January 1, 1873