Homesteaders Find Free Land in Kansas

Susan Lahey explains how fifty families found free land in Kansas, a free building lot to build a home with the promise of living there for a year to help populate the town of Marquette, Kansas.

| January/February 2007

The author shares the story of fifty families who found free land in Kansas from watching a television ad. 

Marquette, Kansas — Tammy Young was watching television at her home near Riverside, California, about an hour east of Los Angeles, when she saw an ad about a town in Kansas that was giving away land. Young, her parents, and her daughters, ages 11 and 13, got in the car and headed for the Smoky Hills of south-central Kansas.

The town is Marquette, a village of brick storefronts and old homes where a big Saturday night event means the stores stay open until 9 p.m. and somebody wins a $100 gift certificate.

Young and her family are among about 50 families that have responded to the offer of free land in Kansas, a free building lot for anyone who would build a home and live in it for at least a year.

The land giveaway, a takeoff of the 1862 Homestead Act that brought about a million settlers to Kansas, has increased Marquette's population from 527 people in 2000 to nearly 700 now. And it has brought a whole lot of attention to the town.

"We've gotten oodles of publicity," says Mayor Steve Piper. "I've done some 20 television interviews and been on national TV six times. For a town this size, that's unheard of."
5/15/2018 9:45:37 PM

I used the plans at WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG to build my own – I highly recommend you visit that website and check their plans out too. They are detailed and super easy to read and understand unlike several others I found online. The amount of plans there is mind-boggling… there’s like 16,000 plans or something like that for tons of different projects. Definitely enough to keep me busy with projects for many more years to come haha Go to WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG if you want some additional plans :)

Lynne Walker
11/4/2011 1:15:59 PM

I clicked on the link provided in your article, "There's still Free Land Out West". They must have taken the website down because it wasn't there. I was very disappointed because I need a place to go.

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: September 14-16, 2018
Seven Springs, PA

Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on modern homesteading, animal husbandry, gardening, real food and more!