Application to Make Final Proof


The homestead requirement to make "Final Proof", affirming that all homestead conditions had been satisfied; that there were no impediments to finalizing the respective claim ; corroborated by two witnesses, under oath, was mandatory. The Final Proof was generally filed with the Register & Receiver, Judge or Court Clerk or any officer named by the Commissioner of the General Land Office. After filing for Final Proof, a date was set and a notice was published for six weeks in a newspaper nearest the land. Antonio Soza Application 934 for 160 acres shows Final Proof was filed June 9, 1890, approved June 19, 1890. Antonio's proof testimony was witnessed by Joseph M. R. Acedo, Nicolas Mayer, Leonides Montano, and Pedro Quijada.

The Register of Application to Make Final Proof for Homestead and Desert Land Entries (Box 266) appears to be incomplete as only thirteen (13) families are shown. This is contrasted with the thirty eight (38) families receiving Final Certificates as shown in Boxes 267 to 268

In the Register of Final Certificates (Box 267 to 267), a demographic pattern emerges, with Townships South 6, 7, 9 and 12 through 18, selected by these 38 (38) Mexican finalists.

Townships South 12, 14, and 17 accounted for twenty three (23) settlements. Six (6) Final Certificates were awarded between 1885 and 1889, thirteen (13) between the years 1890 to 1899, and seventeen (17) in the years 1900 to 1908. As for the disparity between these records, it is suggested that some settlers preempted, made a Cash Entry, died, or lost interest in acquiring public lands. Compounding the problem, was the practice of the Register & Receiver mixing Preemption entries with Cash Purchases; and the difficulty of distinguishing one entry from the other.

In one piece of Homestead housekeeping, the General Land Office, Washington wrote the Register & Receiver that they had been lax in obtaining applicant's Final Proof before the expiration of the statutory period, on entries filed under the Desert Land Act of 1877. August 20, 1880. Complete copy writer's possession. Homesteaders were notified that Expiration of the Statutory Period had elapsed and were given 90 days to cure the defect. (Exhibit 20.1 GLO letter "C").

Final Homestead Certificates (Boxes 267 to 268) provide evidence of the homesteader that had made Final Proof and was eligible to receive a patent per the following accreditation; proof was provided, witnessed by two persons under oath; that the homesteader had complied with the homestead requirements; had appeared before an official designated by the General Land Office, to make under oath, his Final Proof. 

Antonio Soza Application 934 received Final Certificate 318 and his witnesses were the same four persons previously named, Joseph M.R. Acedo, Nicolas Mayer, Pedro Quijada and Leonides Montano. Complete copy Homestead Application 934 obtained from National Archives, Washington, D.C. In writer's possession. (Exhibit 21.1 Antonio Soza Patent, 160 acres, January 13, 1891)

On February 9, 1876 from the Florence office, Antonio Grijalba received Final Certificate #68 for 120 acres homesteaded at Pomerene, described as Section 6, Township 16 South, Range 20 East. Based on archival records, this was the only Final Certificate issued to a Mexican homesteader from the Florence office (Boxes 267 to 268). Florence June 1873 to May 18 1877

The Florence Tucson-Phoenix registers show thirty eight (38) Final Certificates Box 268 1900 to 1905 # 1002 to #1456 & #17 to #308 distributed amongst the following:

Township South Entries Township South Entries
6 1    
9 4 15 8
12 10 16 4
13 3 17 6
14 7 18 2

9 4 15 8
12 10 16 4
13 3 17 6
14 7 18 2

Between 1885 and 1908 thirty six (36) Final Certificates were issued during the following periods:

1885 to 1889 1890 to 1899 1900 to 1908
6 13 17

The Register of Patents Delivered (Boxes 228 to 229) Record of Patents Delivered August 20, 1885/January 15, 1910. Entries have the certificate number, name of person, date of patent, and to whom delivered. These records were reconstructed from information from other Boxers. represents the culmination of the long and arduous process, and it identifies the successful Mexican applicants. Discrepancies arise when the results of Register of Patents Delivered (Boxes 228 to 229), The Register of Final Homestead Certificates (Boxes 267 to 268), and the Register of Entries (Boxes 259 to 263) are compared.

The differences becomes more obvious when seventy two (72) original applications are compared with issuance of only twenty (20) patents. The "Mexican homesteader" success rate can be more readily observed by perusing the flow chart shown below:

# Land Law Box(s) Applicants
1. Preemption Boxes 264 72
2. Preemption Eligibility Box 265 A 17
3. Cash Purchases Boxes 255 to 256 18
4. Homestead Entries Boxes 259 to 263 61
5. Apps. for Final Proof Box 266 13
6. Final Certificates Boxes 267 to 268 39
7. Patents Delivered Boxes 228 to 229 20

A partial explanation lies in the lead and lag times between application, completion of requirements, and issuance of patent. Undoubtedly, attrition played a major part in the final number of successful "Mexican Homestead" applicants. There were approximately 21 to 24 entries Cancelled and Relinquished. 

The reasons for cancellation varied from Abandonment, "If homesteader before the 5 year period - leaves property, changes residence or abandons the land for more than 6 mores, the land reverts to the Government." Cancelled by Relinquishment, Failure to Make Final Proof, GLO letter "C" dated November 14, 1898 Affidavit of Contest, or Illegality. 
(Exhibit 23.1 Concepcion Gonzales) 
(Exhibits 23.2, 23.3, 23.4 Maps of Arizona Territory)

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