For me the mystery to be solved was whether Fred and Tena took over her father’s (Rolf Habben) homestead or if they established their own. So began the search. When nothing showed up through the BLM General Land Office Records (http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/) I knew if I was going to find anything I would need to travel to Sidney, Nebraska where the Cheyenne County records are filed. Not wanting to go to the wrong place for the records I had emailed ahead to the County Clerk. I received the following email:
“Terri: The County Clerk/Register of Deeds is the correct office to check for homesteads and land patent records. If you enter our courthouse on the north side (Jackson Street) we are the first office on your left. Sounds like you need to look in our Grantor/Grantee index which is alphabetical. This process usually doesn't take much time. We'll be happy to get you started with your search. You can also obtain copies of any of the records that you find. Our land records are not on computer so you're searching will be done from books.
Have a safe trip and see you soon. Bonnie-Cheyenne County Clerk's Office”
Monday morning I headed to the Cheyenne County Court house. I was filled with excitement as I headed down 10th Street but, I also was preparing myself for disappointment if no records were to be found. I kept telling myself if I didn’t find anything here I would try North Platte sometime in the future. My reasoning here was because North Platte was where Tena’s father had filed his homestead papers and I knew his homestead was in this area also. Each step I took into the Court house was filled with trepidation. As I stepped up to the counter I was greeted by none other but Bonnie, who asked if she could help me. When I told her my name and began stating what I was wanted she beamed with a big smile and invited me back into the records room. She had already done all the look-ups for me and had the book pulled and the Land Patent marked for Frederick Nelk. Oh my gosh – now you know why I say Nebraskan’s are the kindest people in the country! What a thrill it was to see the huge document dated November 16, 1897!
“To all to Whom these Presents shall come, Greeting:
Wheras, There has been deposited in the General Land Office of the United States a Certificate of the Register of the Land Office at Sidney, Nebraska whereby it appears that pursuant to the Act of Congress approved 20th of May, 1862, “To secure Homsteads to actual settlers on the putlic domain,” and the acts supplemental thereto, the clain of Frederich Nelk has been established and duly consummated in conformity to law for the Northwest quarter of Section twenty-eight in Township Sixteen, North of Range Forty-eight west of the South Principal Meridain in Nebraska; containing one hundred and sixty acres. According to the official plat of the survey of said land returned to the General Land office of the Surveyor General.
I have done the “happy dance of joy” before when I’ve found records online, but I can say that the thrill of seeing, touching and reading the actual document is beyond words!
Join me as the adventure continues with more good news....