Boundaries of Freedom

Boundaries of Freedom (HMW1I)

Location: Beatrice, NE 68310 Gage County
Country: United States of America

N 40° 17.087', W 96° 49.629'

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The fenceless plains were vast and open when early homesteaders first came here. But the very nature of homesteading - the possibility of an individual owning 160 acres - meant that somebody had to legally divide and define limits for the land.

The Land Ordinance of 1785 determined that land should be surveyed before settlement in a rectangular survey system. The basic unit was a township, a 36-square-mile area, that is further subdivided into sections and acres.

The Freemans homesteaded a quarter section, 160 acres, the number of acres specified under the Homestead Act of 1862. You are standing at the South-east corner of the Southwest quarter of the Northeast quarter of Section 26, Township 4 N, Range 5 E.

To homesteaders the boundaries created by surveyors were signs of freedom in a bountiful country that made a way for an ordinary family to own a piece of land.

[Regarding the background map on the marker]
Aerial views clearly show the United State Rectangular Survey System. Can you identify a section? a half section? a quarter-quarter section?

Notice the Freeman homestead is an odd shape. Homesteads could be any shape desired as long as each quarter-quarter section shared a side. In what other shapes could a homestead be made?
HM NumberHMW1I
Placed ByNational Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 at 3:07pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)14T E 684708 N 4461631
Decimal Degrees40.28478333, -96.82715000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 17.087', W 96° 49.629'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 17' 5.22" N, 96° 49' 37.74" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)402
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 24383-24503 SW 75th Rd, Beatrice NE 68310, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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