On January 15, 1884, Antoni Tarnowski received his Land Patent under the Homestead Act. Seven years earlier, he had prepared an Application for homesteading a specific piece of land. He also completed an Affidavit that he was over 21 years old and had submitted his Declaration of Intention to become a Citizen of the United States. In return for an application fee of $14, he received a Receipt.
After applying for land under the Homestead Act, Antoni had to live on the land, improve it, build a home on it, and farm the land for five years. In April of 1883, Antoni filed his Second Papers – his Petition for Naturalization.
The Second Papers, filed on April 4, 1883, show that two witnesses named S. J. Thompson and M. Sepak vouched that Antoni Tarnowski was a man of good character, had lived in the United States for at least five years, and had lived in the State of Minnesota for at least one year. The Second Papers further show that Antoni, himself, stated that he had lived in the United States for at least five years and in the State of Minnesota for at least one year, and that he renounced allegiance to any foreign power, especially the Emperor of Germany. Finally the Second Papers show that Antoni had filed a Declaration of Intention on November 4, 1876.
That task completed, Antoni filed his Proof of Claim, including his own testimony and that of two witnesses on June 30, 1883.
The Homestead Proof shows that on June 30, 1883, Antoni Tarnowski swore that he lived on his Homestead Claim of the South Half of the Southeast Quarter and Lots 3 & 4 of Section 17 in Township 52N of Range 14W 4th PM since February 15, 1877.
The Claimant’s Testimony shows that Antoni Tarnowski, in support of homestead entry No. 1396, declared that he was 52 years old with a PO Address in Duluth, St. Louis Co., Minnesota. Antoni stated that he was a naturalized citizen of the United States, that he established residence on the land on February 15, 1877, and he built a good log home and barn, and had cleared and cultivated about 8 acres of land. His family consisted of himself, his wife, and five children. He mentioned that he lived continuously on the land and raised crops for six seasons, leaving only to obtain provisions and to earn extra money working on the docks in Duluth. The longest period of time he was away from the claim was three months.
The testimonies of the two witnesses state virtually the same details as the testimony of the claimant. However, the witnesses also add that Antoni settled on January 15, 1877 and established residence on February 15, 1877.
Furthermore, Antoni and Stanslaw Koslakowicz didn’t mention the name of the town, but the witness Martin Lipak mentioned that the town was named Gnesen. Both witnesses stated that they had no interest in Antoni’s claim and they thought that he had acted in good faith.
Tomorrow: Antoni publishes a notice in the newspaper that he intends to file Final Proof in support of his homestead claim and Antoni’s homestead claim is approved.
Copyright © 2006 by Stephen J. Danko