Only unending work allowed homesteaders to fulfill the obligations of acquiring the deed to their land. In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act and created opportunity for the 372,000 families that poured onto the prairies. The families came for many reasons – a hunger for land, a vision for the future, a longing for adventure, or an interest in profit. Some failed. Some scraped by. Some succeeded and, in the process, put down roots that shaped the region as we know it.
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