150th Anniversary of the Homestead Act
September 7 – November 23, 2013
The Homestead Act of 1862 was one of the most significant and enduring events in the westward expansion of the United States. The Atkins-Johnson Farm and Museum welcomed this traveling exhibit from the National Parks Service. Signed into law after the secession of the southern states, the Homestead Act turned over enormous amounts of the public domain to private citizens. By granting 160 acres of free land to claimants, it allowed nearly any man or woman a chance to live the American Dream. Four million people from five different continents filed claims on 270 million acres or 10 percent of the area of the United States, and an estimated 93 million current US residents are descendants of homesteaders. Rare items were on loan from Fort Osage and Missouri Town 1855 to help tell the exciting story of the American homesteader.