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Bedroom of 2 Lovers

2/14/2004:

It’s Valentines Day, so here’s a romantic love story. In 1899, Mary Glover staked a claim on land near Edgeley. It adjoined the claim of a man named Hollingsworth, and the two fell in love. Married women couldn’t file land claims, but single women could. And, according to law, they were allowed to marry while proving up, so the couple got hitched. Homesteaders were required to improve their land and live on it for six years, so the couple built a house that spanned the line dividing their claims. They centered the bedroom directly over the line, and did the same with their bed, so that each could fulfill the law by sleeping on their own claims at night.

Unfortunately, when it was Mary’s turn to gain clear title, a man named Rasmussen contested it because she was married. Mary took the case as far as the Secretary of the Interior, but in the end, the bad guy was allowed to stake claim to the land she had worked for six years.

Too bad neighborly love isn’t as great as romantic love.

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm