Shot at, cussed at, starved

Shot at, cussed at, starved

La Plata County families drawn by 150-year-old act remain

Shot at, cussed at, starved

In this family photograph, Pat Greer’s oldest sister, Allie Jane Greer, is a newborn in 1922 with their parents Frank and Hattie Greer in front of their home in southwestern La Plata County. The home, which also housed the Marvel post office for many years, burned down in 1961, and Pat and Lila Greer rebuilt on the exact same spot.
The homestead patent being held by sisters LaVina Mars, left, and Barbara Jefferies was filed in 1883 by their great-grandmother Elizabeth Wommer. The land is near the Forest Lakes subdivision in the Pine River Valley. The family eventually owned several homestead patents, or deeds.
Pat Greer’s father, Frank, homesteaded in Marvel in 1903 at what is now called Greer Corner. While a new house has been built where the original once stood, several buildings on the property still stand more than a century later, including the smokehouse, seen here, and two barns.
Henry and Emma Ludwig were among the early homesteaders in Barbara Jefferies’ and LaVina Mars’ family. Henry Ludwig killed himself after being involved in an altercation over water with another homesteader named Abner Lowell. Ludwig killed Lowell and shot Lowell’s son.
Homestead Act facts

In its original version, the Homestead Act of 1862 allowed anyone at least 21 years old who was a head of household to file for 160 acres. Easterners, immigrants, former slaves and women all homesteaded.

The homesteader had to build a

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