Plats of about 1903 with Claimants and Lessees
At the bottom of this page are links to pictures of plats of the townships that include all but a northern portion of the Con. 8 area as it developed later. They are in two pictures: (1) 3N/18 W and that part of 3N/19 W lying east of the river, and (2) 4N/18 W and that part of 4N/19 W lying east of the river.
About the Plats
The plats are copied from a poster in the Kiowa County Clerks Office. It is not known who prepared it or the criteria for listing the claimant. From the names that appear here when compared in a few cases with other records and other features represented such as the early post offices, it probably represents the claimant in the period of late 1902 to late 1903. I refer to it as the 1903 plat.
The minimum time to “prove up” a claim was five years (that would be in 1906). It was possible to delay the final proof for several years beyond that, and from limited reviewing of file details, was very often the practice as a cash payment of $1.25 per acre was required to obtain the patent which transferred the land from public to private ownership. It was probably practically impossible to obtain a patent before late 1907.
Many and perhaps most of the claimants shown on the 1903 plat obtained their claim by purchase of a relinquishment. This was a process by which the claim rights could be transferred to another person in consideration for a payment for improvements apparently negotiated directly by the principals. Most of this action occurred in 1902 as those with no intent to keep the land in the first place and those who had rapidly found the situation undesirable made arrangements to obtain some cash from their good fortune in the lottery. The claimants tended to be more stable after that first year. A few claims were abandoned (or perhaps they were “jumped” while the claimant was absent for sometime). This process produced the same effect as the relinquishment except that there was no payment to the original claimant.
The circles indicate School land and the names there are those who lease the land.
In the townships 4N/18&19 W, there are a large number quarter sections claimed by the native Kiowa in the process whereby tribal members had a first choice of claims prior to the lottery. Elk Creek had long been a favorite camping ground for the Kiowa and many choose land along its banks. This land could not be sold for 25 years; but it could be leased in a way that also involved the Bureau of Indian Affairs as an intermediary. These were called Indian Leases, and unlike the school land the map does not indicate the Lessee or whether there is one or not.
Depending on your browser, the image may first show in reduced size. The names are more easily read at regular size obtained by clicking the pop-up button superposed on the image.
Link to 3N/18&19W : This will include the land from the river on the south and west up to a mile south of present highway 19.
Link to 4N/18&19 W . This will include land north of present highway 19 to what was called locally “The Correction Line”. At the time of this plat, the area north that line was part of the Little Pasture, which was leased by the Land Office to cattlemen until 1906.