Just sharing one of the documents, because I think it's really cool. Everyone that went through this process had to have someone that they knew vouch for them after the 5 years were up, stating that they had acted in good faith. That's what this document is. But it also gives me a glimpse into the life he had, and how he lived. It reads:
"We, Edward Boyle and Joseph Merkle, do solemnly swear that we have known Anthony Maguire for 5 years last past; that he is the head of a family consisting of 6 members and a citizen of the United States; that he is an inhabitant of the SW 1/4 of section No. 10 in township No. 117 of Range No. 27 and that no other person resided upon the said land entitled to the right of Homestead or Pre-emption.
That the said Anthony Maguire entered upon and made settlement on said land on the 6 day of March, 1863 and has built a house thereon 1 1/2 stories high, 18 by 24 feet, shingle roof, two doors, five windows, two floors, a good and comfortable home to live in, and has lived in the said house and made it his exclusive home from the 6 day of March, 1863 to the present time, and that he has since said settlement ploughed, fenced, and cultivated about 30 acres of said land, and has made the following improvements theron, to wit: Dug a well, Built a stable and chicken house." -- dated 22 Oct 1868.
I wish I could go visit the land, but the Winsted Airport lives there now...
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