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GENERAL HOMESTEAD LAWS.
Rights of way over homestead claims.
Sec. 2288. Any bona fide settler under the preemption, homestead, or other settlement law shall have the right to transfer by warranty against his own acts any portion of his claim for church, cemetery, or school purposes, or for the right of way of railroads, telegraph, telephones, canals, reservoirs, or ditches for irrigation or drainage across it; and the transfer for such public purposes shall in no way vitiate the right to complete and perfect the title to his claim. (As amended Mar. 3, 1905, 33 Stat., 991.) Persons entitled to claims.
Sec. 2289. Every person who is the head of a family, or who has arrived at the age of twenty-one years, and is a citizen of the United States, or who has filed his declaration of intention to become such, as required by the naturalization laws, shall be entitled to enter one quarter section, or a less quantity, of unappropriated public lands, to be located in a body in conformity to the legal subdivisions of the public lands; but no person who is the proprietor of more than one hundred and sixty acres of land in any State or Territory shall acquire any right under the homestead law. And every person owning and residing on land may, under the provisions of this section, enter other land lying contiguous to his land, which shall not, with the land so already owned and occupied, exceed in the aggregate one hundred and sixty acres. (As amended Mar. 3, 1891, 26 Stat., 1098.) Mode of procedure.
SEC. 2290. That any person applying to enter land under the preceding section shall first make and subscribe before the proper officer and file in the proper land office an affidavit that he or she is the head of a family, or is over twenty-one years of age, and that such application is honestly and in good faith made for the purpose of actual settlement and cultivation, and not for the benefit of any other person, persons, or corporation, and that he or she will faithfully and honestly endeavor to comply with all the requirements of law as to settlement, residence, and cultivation necessary to acquire title to the land applied for; that he or she is not acting as agent of any person, corporation, or syndicate in making such entry, nor in collusion with any person, corporation, or syndicate to give them the benefit of the land entered, or any part thereof, or the timber thereon; that he or she does not apply to enter the same for the purpose of speculation, but in good faith to obtain a home for himself, or herself, and that he or she has not directly or indirectly made, and will not make, any agreement or contract in any way or manner, with any person or persons, corporation, or syndicate whatsoever, by which the title which he or she might acquire from the Government of the United States should inure, in whole or in part, to the benefit of any person, except himself, or herself, and upon filing such affidavit with the register or receiver on payment of five dollars, when the entry is of not more than eighty acres, and on payment of ten dollars, when the entry is for more than eighty acres, he or she shall thereupon be permitted to enter the amount of land specified. (As amended Mar. 3, 1891, 26 Stat., 1098.)
Residence and cultivation.
Sec. 2291. No certificate, however, shall be given, or patent issued therefor, until the expiration of five years from the date of such entry; and if at the expiration of such time, or at any time within two years thereafter, the person making such entry; or if he be dead, his widow; or in case of her death, his heirs or devisee; or in case of a widow making such entry, her heirs or devisee, in case of her death, proves by two credible witnesses that he, she, or they have resided upon or cultivated the same for the term 'of five
immediately succeeding the time of filing the affidavit, and makes affidavit that no part of such land has been alienated, except as provided in section twenty-two hundred and eighty-eight, and that he, she, or they will bear true allegiance to the Government of the United States; then, in such case, he, she, or they, if at that time citizens of the United States, shall be entitled to a patent, as in other cases provided by law. (Amended by act of June 6, 1912 (37 Stat., 127), infra, p. 44.) Rights of infant children.
SEC. 2292. In case of the death of both father and mother, leaving an infant child or children under twenty-one years of age, the right and fee shall inure to the benefit of such infant child or children; and the executor, administrator, or guardian may, at any time within two years after the death of the surviving parent, and in accordance with the laws of the State in which such children, for the time being, have their domicile, sell the land for the benefit of such infants, but for no other purpose; and the purchaser shall acquire the absolute title by the purchase, and be entitled to a patent from the United States on the payment of the office fees and sum of money above specified. Persons in military or naval service.
SEC. 2293. In case of any person desirous of availing himself of the benefits of this chapter, but who, by reason of actual service in the military or naval service of the United States, is unable to do the personal preliminary acts at the district land office which the preceding sections require; and whose family, or some member thereof, is residing on the land which he desires to enter, and upon which a bona fide improvement and settlement have been made, such person may make the affidavit required by law before the officer commanding in the branch of the service in which the party is engaged, which affidavit shall be as binding in law, and with like penalties, as if taken before the register or receiver; and upon such affidavit being filed with the register by the wife or other representative of the party, the same shall become effective from the date of such filing, provided the application and affidavit are accompanied by the fee and commissions as required by law. Proofs and fees.
SEC. 2294. That hereafter all proofs, affidavits, and oaths of any kind whatsoever required to be made by applicants and entrymen under the homestead, preemption, timber-culture, desert-land, and timber and stone acts, may, in addition to those now authorized to take such affidavits, proofs, and oaths, be made before any United States commissioner or commissioner of the court exercising Federal
jurisdiction in the Territory or before the judge or clerk of any court of record in the county, parish, or land district in which the lands are situated : Provided, That in case the affidavits, proofs, and oaths hereinbefore mentioned be taken out of the county in which the land is located the applicant must show by affidavit, satisfactory to the Commissioner of the General Land Office, that it was taken before the nearest or most accessible officer qualified to take said affidavits, proofs, and oaths in the land districts in which the lands applied for are located; but such showing by affidavit need not be made in making final proof if the proof be taken in the town or city where the newspaper is published in which the final proof notice is printed. The proof, affidavit, and oath, when so made and duly subscribed, or which may have heretofore been so made and duly subscribed, shall have the same force and effect as if made before the register and receiver, when transmitted to them with the fees and commissions allowed and required by law. That if any witness making such proof, or any applicant making such affidavit or oath, shall knowingly, willfully, or corruptly swear falsely to any material matter contained in said proofs, affidavits, or oaths he shall be deemed guilty of perjury, and shall be liable to the same pains and penalties as if he had sworn falsely before the register. That the fees for entries and for final proofs, when made before any other officer than the register and receiver, shall be as follows: “For each affidavit, twenty-five cents.
For each deposition of claimant or witness, when not prepared by the officer, twenty-five cents.
“For each deposition of claimant or witness, prepared by the officer, one dollar.
"Any officer demanding or receiving a greater sum for such service shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be punished for each offense by a fine of not exceeding one hundred dollars." (As amended Mar. 4, 1904, 33 Stat., 59.) Record of applications.
Sec. 2295. The register of the land office shall note all applications under the provisions of this chapter, on the tract books and plats of his office, and keep a register of all such entries, and make return thereof to the General Land Office, together with the proof upon which they have been founded. Liability of claim for debt.
SEC. 2296. No lands acquired under the provisions of this chapter shall in any event become liable to the satisfaction of any debt contracted prior to the issuing of the patent therefor. Absence for six months.
Sec. 2297. If, at any time after the filing of the affidavit, as required in section twenty-two hundred and ninety, and before the expiration of the five years mentioned in section twenty-two hundred and ninety-one, it is proved, after due notice to the settler, to the satisfaction of the register of the land office, that the person having filed such affidavit has actually changed his residence, or abandoned the land for more than six months at any time, then and in that event the land so entered shall revert to the Government: Provided, That where there
may be climatic reasons the Commissioner of the General Land Office may, in his discretion, allow the settler twelve months from the date of filing in which to commence his residence on said land under such rules and regulations as he may prescribe. . (As amended Mar. 3, 1881, 21 Stat., 511.) (This section amended by act June 6, 1912, 37 Stat., 123.) Limited to quarter section.
SEC. 2298. No person shall be permitted to acquire title to more than one quarter section under the provisions of this chapter. Commutation.
Sec. 2301. Nothing in this chapter shall be so construed as to prevent any person who shall hereafter avail himself of the benefits of section twenty-two hundred and eighty-nine from paying the minimum price for the quantity of land so entered at any time after the expiration of fourteen calendar months from the date of such entry, and obtaining a patent therefor, upon making proof of settlement and of residence and cultivation for such period of fourteen months, and the provision of this section shall apply to lands on the ceded portion of the Sioux Reservation by act approved March second, eighteen hundred and eighty-nine, in South Dakota, but shall not relieve said settlers from any payments now required by law. (As amended Mar. 3, 1891, 26 Stat., 1098.) Mineral lands not subject to entry.
Sec. 2002. No distinction shall be made in the construction or execution of this chapter on account of race or color; nor shall any mineral lands be liable to entry and settlement under its provision. Special provisions in favor of soldiers and sailors.
Revised Statutes sections 2300; 2304 and 2305, both as amended by act of March 1, 1901 (31 Stat., 487); 2306 and sundry civil appropriation act of August 18, 1894, sec. 1 (28 Stat., 397) ; 2307; 2308 and act of June 16, 1898 (30 Stat., 473); 2309. Three-year homestead law.
Act of June 6, 1912 (37 Stat., 123). That section twenty-two hundred and ninety-one and section twenty-two hundred and ninety-seven of the Revised Statutes of the United States be amended to read as follows:
“SEC. 2291. No certificate, however, shall be given or patent issued therefor until the expiration of three years from the date of such entry; and if at the expiration of such time, or at any time within two years thereafter, the person making such entry, or if he be dead his widow, or in case of her death his heirs or devisee, or in case of a widow making such entry her heirs or devisee, in case of her death, proves by himself and by two credible witnesses that he, she, or they have a habitable house upon the land and have actually resided upon and cultivated the same for the term of three years succeeding the time of filing the affidavit, and makes affidavit that no part of such land has been alienated, except as provided in section twenty-two hundred and eighty-eight, and that he, she, or they will bear true allegiance to the Government of the United States, then in such case he, she, or they, if at that time citizens of the United States, shall be
entitled to a patent, as in other cases provided by law: Provided, That upon filing in the local land office notice of the beginning of such absence, the entryman shall be entitled to a continuous leave of absence from the land for a period not exceeding five months in each year after establishing residence, and upon the termination of such absence the entryman shall file a notice of such termination in the local land office, but in case of commutation the fourteen months' actual residence as now required by law must be shown, and the person commuting must be at the time a citizen of the United States: Provided, That when the person making entry dies before the offer of final proof those succeeding to the entry must show that the entryman had complied with the law in all respects to the date of his death and that they have since complied with the law in all respects, as would have been required of the entryman had he lived, excepting that they are relieved from any requirement of residence upon the land: Provided further, That the entryman shall, in order to comply with the requirements of cultivation herein provided for, cultivate not less than one-sixteenth of the area of his entry, beginning with the second year of the entry, and not less than one-eighth, beginning with the third year of the entry, and until final proof, except that in the case of entries under section six of the enlarged-homestead law double the area of cultivation herein provided shall be required, but the Secretary of the Interior may, upon a satisfactory showing, under rules and regulations prescribed by him, reduce the required area of cultivation: Provided, That the above provision as to cultivation shall not apply to entries under the act of April twenty-eighth, nineteen hundred and four, commonly known as the Kinkaid Act, or entries under the act of June seventeenth, nineteen hundred and two, commonly known as the reclamation act, and that the provisions of this section relative to the homestead period shall apply to all unperfected entries as well as entries hereafter made upon which residence is required : Provided, That the Secretary of the Interior shall, within sixty days after the passage of this act, send a copy of the same to each homestead entryman of record who may be affected thereby, by ordinary mail to his last known address, and any such entryman may, by giving notice within one hundred and twenty days after the passage of this act, by registered letter to the register and receiver of the local land office, elect to make proof upon his entry under the law under which the same was made without regard to the provisions of this act. (But see next below, from sundry civil appropriation act Aug. 24, 1912.]
“Sec. 2297. If, at any time after the filing of the affidavit as required in section twenty-two hundred and ninety and before the expiration of the three years mentioned in section twenty-two hundred and ninety-one, it is proved, after due notice to the settler, to the satisfaction of the register of the land office that the person having filed such affidavit has failed to establish residence within six months after the date of entry, or abandoned the land for more than six months at any time, then and in that event the land so entered shall revert to the Government: Provided, That the three years' period of residence herein fixed shall date from the time of establishing actual permanent residence upon the land: And provided further, That where there may be climatic reasons, sickness, or other unavoid