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A brave man named, Solomon (Sod) Collier packed up his wife and four of their seven children in the midst of economical devastation, with only 15 cents in his pocket, and headed west to lay claim on remnants of the fertile acres along the Buffalo River through the Homestead Act of 1862. After a week of traveling in the harsh winter of February 1928 they arrived. Three years after arriving, the Collier family secured a forty-acre tract of land at Tyler Bend and under the Homestead Act they began to make the required improvements to the land. They first built a storage building to provide shelter for their family. They began to cultivate the land, built fences and outbuildings to include a barn and smokehouse, and fenced in their yard. The Collier family became rightful owners of the land by 1937, after putting backbreaking work into the requirements to make their own. They built a three room home and led the life of a farmer, raising hogs and cattle and growing corn, oats, cane, apples, peaches, and other produce. Sod also, hunted/fished and in his spare time acted as a river guide on the Buffalo River for anglers. The Collier family led an honorable life built on fine character, determination, drive, with an appreciation for the things they had. They worked hard and were able to enjoy the fruits of their labor. We have a lot to learn from Mr. Collier and his family. Visit this historic homestead yourself via the Buffalo River Trail at Tyler Bend. For more information, see the link below.
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