“I am strong and hearty, and as willing to work as any man,” Katie Prehm wrote in a letter to the White House in 1878. The Traer, Iowa, girl was only 11 years old and hoped to receive 160 acres for a farm through the Homestead Act. Her older brother and dad were already in Kansas working a farm; and Katie promised they would help break up the land in her plot of land, if the government granted it. She planned to fence it all in with willows. And she had a half peck of maple seeds that she could use to establish a big grove on the land.