The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 20, July 1916 - April, 1917 Page: 6
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
lands could be used for gathering stock or holding for shipment
for a period of one week. Holding a longer period without a
lease was an offense.1l
Again in 1889 the law was changed. The lease for ten years
was changed to six years south of the Texas Pacific Railway and
west of the Pecos River. All university lands in Andrews,
Gaines, Terry, and Yoakum counties could be leased for ten
years. At the end of the lease opportunity must be given for
sale. Any improvements put on leased lands were property of
the lessee and could be removed within a period of sixty days
after the expiration of the lease.
Changes concerning what lands could be leased were again
made in 1891. The minimum rent was placed at three cents per
acre. Much of the semi-arid land in western Texas was opened
to settlers. In 1895 the minimum price of grazing land was re-
duced from two dollars to one dollar per acre, while agricultural
lands were reduced from three dollars to one dollar and fifty
cents per acre. Payments were allowed to run forty years bear-
ing interest of three per cent.
Summing up, we find that certain counties of Texas are abso-
lute lease districts, not open to settlers during the period of the
lease. Other lands are open to settlers at all times, but the
lessee must be repaid if he has advanced rent and is permitted
to remove his improvements. A prospective lessee can have a
ninety days' option to find a water supply. It is unlawful to
fence public lands or herd by line riding without a lease. The
penalty is a fine of from $100 to. $1000 and a jail sentence of
from three months to two years. Each day such a fence is main-
tained constitutes a separate offense.16
The income from these lands is divided into- four funds, ac-
cording as the lands are classified. There are public school
lands, county school lands, land for asylums (deaf, dumb, blind,
orphan and lunatic) and university lands. The university lands
by several grants reached the total of 2,289,682 acres in 1883.
The regents became dissatisfied with the yield from these lands
and the control of them passed from the state land office to the
board of regents. The revenue rose from $8,800 in 1894 to
1"House Report, 58 Cong., 3 sess., no. 189, p. 38.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 20, July 1916 - April, 1917, periodical, 1917; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101070/m1/12/: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.