The 1862 Homesteading Act guaranteed free farmland to heads of households with the stipulation that the applicant must stay on the land for five years and make noticeable improvements to the land before the deed was awarded. Women who were single, widowed, or divorced were eligible to apply for land as the head of their household and many headed west into Dakota Territory. Through the reading of letters written by homesteading women and accounts of descendents, their hardships and triumphs are remembered and their perseverance is honored.
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