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Homesteader's pre-emption

There was a definite reason for the checkerboard pattern of settlement that you observed (The Miner-Journal, April 30: Graphic Confirmation). When a settler registered a claim for a quarter section of land under the Homestead Act, he could also claim a adjoining quarter of land, called a pre-emption. This reserved the second quarter until he had gained title to his homestead by breaking 10 acres per year for three years, building a house and stable, and living on the land for six months of each year. At the end of three years, he would get title to his homestead and could then pay a registration fee of \$10 and improve his pre-emption in order to get title to it.
There was never any intention to spread out an ethnic group. Until 1896, the government preferred block settlement of ethnic groups to help them work together.
Jim Millham
Esterhazy, Sask.

Jim Millham

Verified Circulation Canadian Comunity Newspapers Association Saskatchewan Weekly Newspapers Association
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