FOUR-SECTION ACT. The so-called Four-Section Act of April 4, 1895, allowed the sale and lease of a maximum of four sections of school, asylum, or public lands in all Texas counties except El Paso, Pecos, and Presidio. The act was an extension of laws made as early as 1887 allowing settlers to purchase four sections of pastureland from the public domain. A law passed in 1881, which allowed the purchase of as much as seven sections of grassland in certain localities, had been modified in 1883, after an orgy of land speculation, by an increase in the price of school lands from one dollar to two dollars an acre. According to the 1895 act the sales were directed by the commissioner of the General Land Office, and three-year residence and improvements were required. Although the object of the law was to attract ranchers to unsettled regions, many farmers moved into the western plains and started wheat farms. The law was later modified and extended, particularly by the Eight-Section Act.
Hans Peter Nielsen Gammel, comp., Laws of Texas, 1822–1897 (10 vols., Austin: Gammel, 1898). General Laws of the State of Texas Passed by the Thirty-eighth Legislature at Its First, Second and Third Sessions, 1923 (Austin: Secretary of State, 1923). Revised Civil Statutes of the State of Texas (Austin: Baldwin, 1925).
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Jeanne Dibrell, "FOUR-SECTION ACT," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ugf01), accessed February 08, 2016. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history everyday,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles