I will elaborate on my long question(s).
Last night I was watching Legends of The Fall (Great movie) and Hopkins’ character had a large “ranch” in the Upper Northwest Territory of the US in 1913. Now, back then I know people claimed large amounts of land for themselves, since there was plenty of it.
But once things began to get modernized and more and more people started to move into these areas, what would stop another family from moving to …say…the valley a thousand yards away from your house ON YOUR spread? I mean, back then, it was a free for all. Did these people who own large spreads hire surveyors to come out and “legalize” their acreage? Did people go to “war” over land.
Like for instance
Original Land Owner: “hey, I own this part of land, you can’t move your family here unless you pay me.”
Person moving into area: “Oh yeah, well I don’t see any property stakes or a deed showing you own this land legally, so piss off.”
How did they decide when enough land was enough land? Who decided where the property lines stopped once people started moving to the area? Who decided that?
Did ranches just get smaller when another cattle broker moved close to another man’s ranch? Who decided who owned which pieces of land and how did that work out.
I know it’s a long question(s) and I hope you understand what I’m trying to say. Thanks. I mean, what’s to stop someone back then from saying “I own a million acres in this area.”