how the Oklahoma land rushes actually worked


I get the premise. At noon a shot is fired and everyone runs to claim their plot of land like a prehistoric Black Friday, but if it’s plots of 160 acres, how did the government prevent people from unknowingly claiming the same sections? Or was it already sectioned off by a fence or some other divider? How did they prevent Joe Settler from putting his stake down and then Bob Settler unknowingly putting his stake on the same section of land 20 acres away?

In: 29

The actual plots were subdivided beforehand by surveyors. The government had soldiers sweep the area for people trying to hide out early.

As for claiming land 160 Acres is only 1/2 mile square. People would ride to a plot, drop down a tent, and pop up a flag on the nearest corner so they could be considered as being there first and yell at anyone else who got there to get of their lawn. You can see pretty far on flat ground. 1/2 mile isn’t all that much.

But yes there was a lot of chaos, and a lot of but “I was here first I swear”. With the ’89 rush there were over 5000 contested claims, which is pretty close to half of the 12000 available claims.