1982 - Volume #6, Issue #6, Page #05[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Free Land Puts Life In Dying Town
Here, according to a report in the Minneapolis Tribune, is why the families came:
"Jim and Frances Murry came because they had lost all they owned in a house fire in New Hampshire. Mike Ellis, a welder, left a good job in Salt Lake City to start his own business with his sons. Frank and Margie Navarett came to raise goats, which they couldn't do in Los Angeles. All had reasons.
"All have proved up their land, too: fences, wells, houses hauled in by flatbed truck, or mobile homes. All have found work.
"Counting all the parents and kids, more than 60 newcomers have descended upon Antler, which had had just 100 people."
"This is a good place to live, a friendly place," says Kissner. "If the school had closed, Antler would have just passed away. Without a school, little towns like this wither and die. I've seen it happen. It was going to happen here."
Kissner had no children but he had land. He decided to give away 42 acres of it, worth about $500 an acre, to put new life into his dying home-town. The "giveaway" involved three 9 acre plots and three 5 acre plots. Homesteaders' will obtain title to their land in five years if they "prove up" by enrolling their children in the Antler school, staying on the land and improving it with a shelter.
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