During the 1880s and the early part of the 1890s the cattle companies were continuing to hire ranch hands to prove up homesteads around water holes. At the same time the early farmers began to appear in the northeast, but not in the form of the sodbusters who were to later swarm over the highland llanos during the early part of the twentieth century. The early farmers were not labeled "nesters," which was the derogatory term coined by the stockmen for the people who turned small parcels of the grassland into fields and began erecting fences over the plains. The first pioneer homestead families were located in the canyons and in the areas not covered by the prime grasslands. These settlers moved into the northeastern plains from a few locales in the west. After they had established their settlement areas and acquired the land and water rights to support themselves, the rush of farmers onto the upland grasslands was just beginning. These homesteaders, who came from the east, blanketed the remaining lands of the northeast that could be farmed.
Williams, Jerry L.. "Peopling the Northeast Plains." (2020). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/homestead_pubs/7