The Scramble for Land

Taken from Alva Pioneer Souvenir Edition, dated January 1904. it was written in regard of the Land Run of Oklahoma Territory, September 16, 1893.

There are peculiar conditions, which make it likely that the coming boom in farm lands will be the liveliest in the history of the West, and prices will no doubt, be pushed up to a higher price than the most sanguine now expect.

The enormous landless population of the Eastern and Middle Western states are all at once waking up to the fact that they now have their last opportunity to own a farm and a home of their own. Farther east prices are so high that a poor man, in the course of a life time, could scarcely hope to make enough to pay for a farm from crops raised on it. This class of people must either be content to remain tenants all their life, paying out all they make to support a wealthy landholder, or they must go west and pick up some cheap land to make a farm out of. The more ambitious and enterprising are already doing this. The movement is increasing in proportions, and we expect soon to see a wild scramble for land, which will be surprising.

Oklahoma affords the only opportunity yet remaining in the United States, where the settlers can pick up good farming lands at low prices. When the cheap lands of Oklahoma are gone, the homeseeker will be confronted with the choice of moving to the health destroying climate of the extreme South, braving the Arctic winters of the Canadian Northwest.

Oklahoma is bounded on the north by Kansas, on the south and west by Texas, and on the south and east by the Indian Territory, occupying a position midway between the extremes of heat and cold, wet and dry. Woods county is the favored section of Oklahoma, and has 46,302 inhabitants, the largest population of any county in Oklahoma; and it is located in the center of what is known as the Cherokee Outlet. Alva, the county seat of Woods county, is located fourteen miles south of the Kansas state line.

This is a great wheat country. Oregon is the only state that beats Oklahoma on wheat. Our wheat made from 18 to 50 bushels per acre. Oats 40 to 103 bushels per acre. Corn from 15 to 40 bushels per acre. Alva has shipped on an average of fifteen cars of wheat a day for six weeks, an average of 250 wagon loads a day. We do not claim to be in a corn country, but can raise enough to do us. You can pay for a farm with one crop of wheat in Oklahoma.

Alva Pioneer 1904 Links
Agitator & Oklahoma Run
U. S. Land Office
Alva Tidbits of 1903
1904 - Early Recollections
1st Bridge & Frame Building
Oklahoma Broom Corn
Oklahoma Beats the World
Scott Cummins, Pilgrim Bard
Tenderfoot Girl in the West
In Oklahoma - Early 1900 poem
Woods Co. Schools - 1904
Alva Pioneer Staff
1st Newspaper
The Scramble for Land
Eagle Furniture Store & Undertaking
1904 Letter to Editor - John Culver
Summary - Annual Report 1903