Missing Records

Do you have a record in your files that you believe should lead you to more records? That’s my case with a Woodson County, Kansas deed for Thurston K. Wells.

Woodson County Kansas

Book G, Page 324 Image 12 on FS film 1428638

United States of America
Homestead Certificate No 1316
Application 2986

To all to whom these presents shall come Greeting:
Whereas there has been deposited in the General Land Office
of the United States a Certificate of the Register of the Land Office at Inde-
pendence Kansas whereby it appears that pursuant to the act of
Congress approved 20th May 1862 to secure homestead to actual
settlin on the public domain and the acts supplemental thereto
the claim of T K Wells has been established and duly consummated in
conformity to law for the North half of the North East quarter of Section
twenty two in Township twenty four South of Range Fifteen East in
the district of land subject to sale at Independence Kansas containing
eighty acres according to the official plat of the survey of the said land retu
rned to the General Land office by the Surveyor General. Now Know
Ye that there is therefore granted by the United States unto the said
T. K. Wells the tract of land above described to have and to hold
the said tract of land with the appurtenances thereof unto the said
T K Wells and to his heirs and assigns forever.
In testimony whereof I Ulysses S Grant President of the United
States of America have caused these letters to made patent and the
seal of the General Land office to be hereunto affixed
Given under my hand at the City of Washington the fifteenth
day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred
and seventy six and of the Independence of the United States the one
hundred and first.
By the President U.S. Grant
By D. D. Cone Secretary
Recorded Vol 3 page 241 S W Clark Recorder of the General Land Office
Filed for Record Oct 13 1877 at 5 pm
Isaac S Jones
Register of Deeds

Since this deed refers to a homestead, I decided to search the Bureau of Land Management records for the patent. A search for Thurston Wells in Kansas did not locate the patent.

A search for land in section 22 of township 24 south, range 15 east only turned up one record — and it is not for Thurston Wells.

A search of the first landowners database for township 24 South of Range 15 East only shows Friend Bailey.

A search for the WELLS surname in Woodson county turns up a Thomas W. Wells with land in section 22 of township 23 S 16 W.

While both the BLM patent and the Woodson County deed are for section 22, the deed has the township and range numbers written out. This makes it hard to claim a transcription error with the land description. In addition, the deed is for the

North half of the North East quarter

Since the Thomas Wells homestead is in the soutwest quarter, these are clearly two different land transactions.

Having seen lots of notices in the Dodge City papers regarding ‘proving’ a homestead, I searched the Woodson county papers for a similar notices for Thurston Wells. I was able to locate some homestead notices but none for Thurston K. Wells.

Yates Center News (Yates Center, KS), 2 Jun 1881 page 2 on Newspapers.com

Even though I have a deed transferring land from the United States to Thurston K. Wells, I am puzzled that I have not been able to locate supporting documentation.

While the deed makes it appear that Thurston K. Wells homesteaded land in Woodson County, Kansas, I have not located any of the other sources to support his being an homesteader.