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 William Midis Blake

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William Midis Blake

  • Birth 30 Sep 1843 Louisa County, Iowa, USA
  • Death 26 Aug 1911 Hillsdale, Garfield County, Oklahoma, USA
  • Burial Hillsdale, Garfield County, Oklahoma, USA
  • Memorial ID 19199407

William M. Blake was the younger brother of John Beale Blake. They grew up in Oakland Twp. of Louisa Co., IA at the fork of the Iowa and Cedar Rivers. William married Elizabeth Almira Johnston in IA and had 2 sons, Harrison Tyler & William Bertram, before moving west to settle their "new land" on the Kansas prairie. In 1877 the Blake's came into Kansas on the crest of the cattle boom & settled in Silver Creek Twp., Harper Co., KS. Although William and Elizabeth homesteaded and became a part of the cattle business, they were from the good rich soil of the river bottom in Iowa. The cattle business had its first "bust" with the drought of 1885. Cattlemen were over-stocked on the range and when the rain failed to fall, grass and water dried up and cattle died by the thousands. Two years before they left KS their only daughter, Eva Arvilla, was born 4 Jan 1885.
In 1893 The President and the Secretary of the Interior were making provisions for free land to be allotted in the present State of Oklahoma, but which was then known as OT (Oklahoma Territory) and IT (Indian Territory), which included the Cherokee Outlet. The President provided for four land offices in four land districts where land would be claimed and registered. The four Districts were Perry, Enid, Alva and Woodard, OK. Each of the four land office buildings was sixteen feet wide and thirty two feet long and contained two rooms. The Land Office at Enid, OK is the only original land office still existing in the U.S. The homestead act provided that a citizen (or one who had declared his intention of becoming a citizen) who was 21 years of age could have 160 acres after he had "resided upon or cultivated the same for the term of five years." The first step in the process was the actual settling of the land, which accounts for the system of "staking" a claim. Within a reasonable time, the settler went to the land office to register his claim and to pay the land office fee, about $14.00. The settler could not abandon the land for more than six months at a time. On 16 Sep 1983 people poured into Enid, IT to lay claim to free government land. William entered the Cherokee Strip 1 Dec 1893. On 20 May 1895 William paid $14.00 to register his land at the Enid Land Office. The legal description of his land was 160.32 acres (a long quarter); lot 3 & 4; the east one-half of the southwest quarter of Section 30 in Twp. 25 and north of Range 7 west of Indian Meridian. William lived with his family on the land for five continuous years making improvements described as: frame house, stable, fencing, orchard, 2 wells, wind mill, corn crib, granary, and cistern---valued between $1,000 & $1,200. Land was not completely free. The claimant was charged $1.50 an acre, which totaled $240.48. On 6 Nov 1902 William was granted his final Homestead Proof in the Clerk of the District Court in Pond Creek, Grant Co., OT. In Grant Co. on 19 Nov 1908 at 1:35 P.M. William's Homestead Patent was recorded in Patent Book 5, p.352. President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Patent. When the land was settled by other claimants, William was situated 1/2 mile from the school in Grant Co. just one mile north of the Garfield Co. line and this town became Hilldale, Grant, OK. (Info. taken from "The Last Free Land" by Ruth Blake Burns and the Homestead Papers of William M. Blake recorded in the Grant Co. Court House at Medford, Grant, OK.)

From "The Enid Event", Enid, OK Thurs. 7 Sep 1911. No headlines; in with other Hillsdale, OK news. Page 5; col. 5 & 6: Mr. Blake died at his home three miles north of here Saturday. The funeral services were conducted at the Congregational Church Sunday afternoon at 3 o'clock by Rev. Grantham and the order of I.O.O.F. of which Mr. Blake was a member. Burial in Hillsdale cemetery east of town.


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  • Created by: Aaron J. Blake
  • Added: 3 May 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 19199407
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Midis Blake (30 Sep 1843–26 Aug 1911), Find A Grave Memorial no. 19199407, citing Hillsdale Cemetery, Hillsdale, Garfield County, Oklahoma, USA ; Maintained by Aaron J. Blake (contributor 46884564) .