The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931 Page: 4
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
counties. After a tract was opened for settlement the first person
to file on a particular section after the expiration of the lease
received permission to settle.
By 1897 there were many settlers on hand to file on each section
of school land opened. Fred Horsbrugh, manager of the Espuela
Land and Cattle Company, Limited (the Spur Ranch), wrote on
September 9, 1897:
"I hear that an army of nesters are in the Matador range;
[there are] over a hundred filings on leased lands; others [ranch-
ers] are in the same fix. In fact, the late law has been the cause
of a regular Oklahoma rush into all the ranch properties that had
school lands leased and are north of the line designated. I hear
that on one desirable section of land in the Matador pasture there
are eight claimants filed upon it. Some of the ranges north [of us]
are not fit to look at after the nesters have finished running over
them. It will be our turn next to look for trouble."
A few days later the same ranch manager wrote: "There is
such a 'hullabaloo' and rush to file on state lands that it makes
forfeiture an acceptable bid for popular favor and vote; officials are
not slow to take advantage of it."' A year later Horsbrugh wrote:
"There is a line of would-be settlers waiting and longing for the
time when we forfeit land and they get our pastures. There will
be a great rush."8 So great was the flood of applications for
school lands that the Land Office was far behind with its routine
business and was in a state of confusion.
Applications for land were filed with the county clerk of the
county to which the newly opened tracts were attached. At many
courthouses chutes were built running from the outside of the
building into the clerk's office. The first application for any par-
ticular section of land coming down the chute after the moment
the land was officially on the market got the land. Men camped
in the courthouse yards, and stayed in line for months in order to
be first to get their applications in the chutes.'
Notwithstanding the fact that settlers were scrambling among
themselves for the possession of land, all of them had in the back-
'Spur Records, X, 303.
'Spur Records, VIII, 230.
'Spur Records, VIII, 240.
sSpur Records, VIII, 426.
DCorder to Holden, December 26, 1926.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931, periodical, 1931; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101091/m1/8/: accessed November 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.