Galloway Homestead

Learn more about Walter Galloway's Homestead Cabin

The Homestead Act was passed by President Lincoln in 1862 and put into effect on January 1, 1873. It is one of the most impactful laws in American history. It allowed the federal government to sell land to individuals, assisting farmers in acquiring good land at low prices. Before the arrival of the railroad to the Pikes Peak Region in 1871, settling and farming out West was challenging because supplies, equipment, and crops were difficult and expensive to transport. Walter Galloway, an immigrated U.S. citizen, originally from Scotland, arrived in Colorado Springs in 1867 at the age of 37. He built the original homestead cabin but could not file for his 160-acre homestead until the land was surveyed–in 1871. He was a day laborer in Colorado City and lived on the property for the next three years. In November 1874, he travelled to the Pueblo County Land Office and purchased the 160 acres outright for $200 ($1.25/acre). Right away, he sold the land to Robert Chambers for $1,400. At the Galloway Homestead, we interpret for visitors what the daily routine would have been like for those pre-railroad settlers. Food was cooked over an open fire because stoves were too heavy to transport in a wagon, laundry was washed by hand with homemade soap, and gardening was accomplished without the assistance of large farm equipment. Every member of the family was responsible for completing essential work around the homestead. Children would have spent their little free time learning school lessons and playing with simple handmade toys.

Homestead Document

Below you can see the receipt for Walter Galloway’s Homestead. He registered his homestead at the Pueblo Land Office on August 1st 1871 after the land was surveyed. He sold his homestead to Mr. Chambers on November 9th, 1874.

Homestead Purchase Receipt

Here you can see Walter Galloway’s certificate of purchase of his 160-acre homestead. He purchased it for $1.25 per acre, totaling $200. 

The Homestead Act

CHAP. LXXV. —An Act to secure Homesteads to actual Settlers on the Public Domain.

"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That any person who is the head of a family, or who has arrived at the age of twenty-one years, and is a citizen of the United States, or who shall have filed his declaration of intention to become such, as required by the naturalization laws of the United States, and who has never borne arms against the United States Government or given aid and comfort to its enemies, shall, from and after the first January, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, be entitled to enter one quarter section or a less quantity of unappropriated public lands, upon which said person may have filed a preemption claim, or which may, at the time the application is made, be subject to preemption at one dollar and twenty-five cents, or less, per acre; or eighty acres or less of such unappropriated lands, at two dollars and fifty cents per acre, to be located in a body, in conformity to the legal subdivisions of the public lands, and after the same shall have been surveyed: Provided, That any person owning and residing on land may, under the provisions of this act, enter other land lying contiguous to his or her said land, which shall not, with the land so already owned and occupied, exceed in the aggregate one hundred and sixty acres..."

The Homestead Act of 1863 was enacted by President Abraham Lincoln to provide land to more working-class American people. The goal was to populate the West and relieve the burden of overcrowding on cities back East.


What Happened While the Cabin Lived

Elsie Chambers wrote an historical account of the Homestead Cabin in 1885. Her account features the most we know about Mr. Walter Galloway and what he did while living in Colorado. A quote from her account describes him:

"Mr. Galloway was a plain, plodding day laborer but exemplified what persistence can do in securing a come in his own name by staying in one place and cultivating the regulation patch of garden demanded by Uncle Sam, while earning the greater part of his living by day’s labor wherever it could be secured."

Click the link below to read the entire account:

Homestead Deed

Below you can see the deed for Walter Galloway’s Homestead. He sold his homestead to Mr. Chambers on November 10th, 1874.for fourteen hundred dollars, seven times the amount he had paid for the land himself.

Galloway Homestead Land Boundaries

Here you can see the original land boundaries of Walter Galloway’s Homestead Cabin. 


Translate »
Skip to content