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Home on the Range according to Wikipedia
In 1871, Higley moved from Indiana and acquired land in Smith County, Kansas under the Homestead Act, living in a small cabin near West Beaver Creek. Higley was inspired by his surroundings and wrote “My Western Home”, which was published in the Smith County Pioneer (KS) newspaper in 1873 or 1874 and republished March 21, 1874 in The Kirwin Chief. Higley’s cabin home is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Home on the Range Cabin. Daniel E. Kelley (1808–1905), a friend of Higley and member of the Harlan Brothers Orchestra, developed a melody for the song on his guitar. Higley’s original lyrics are similar to those of the modern version of the song, but not identical. For instance, the original poem did not contain the words “on the range”. Ranchers, cowboys, and other western settlers adopted the song as a rural anthem and it spread throughout the United States in various forms. In 1925, Texas composer David W. Guion (1892–1981) arranged it as sheet music that was published by G. Schirmer. The song has since gone by a number of names, the most common being “Home on the Range” and “Western Home”. It was officially adopted as the state song of Kansas on June 30, 1947 and is commonly regarded as the unofficial anthem of the American West. On September 27, 1933, Bing Crosby recorded “Home on the Range” with Lennie Hayton and his orchestra for Brunswick Records. At the time, the origins of “Home on the Range” were obscure and widely debated, although it had been published in 1910 in folklorist John Lomax’s Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads. Lomax reported that he had learned the song from a black saloon keeper in Texas who recalled learning it on the Chisholm Trail. Its popularity led to William and Mary Goodwin filing a suit for copyright infringement in 1934 for $500,000. In 1905 the couple had published “An Arizona Home”, similar to “Home on the Range”. The lawsuit initiated a search for the song’s background. As it turned out, controversy and even outright plagiarism have followed the song’s lyrics since their publication. On Feb. 26, 1876, the Kirwin Chief published an article on the front page titled, “PLAGIARISM,” accusing The Stockton News of publishing a nearly identical poem credited to a Mrs. Emma Race of Raceburgh, KS. The Kirwin Chief, which had published the poem Mar. 26, 1874, reprinted the poem below the article. When Samuel Moanfeldt investigated the history of “Home on the Range” on behalf of the Music Publishers Protection Association in response to the Goodwins’ 1934 lawsuit, he found another, similar song, “Colorado Home”. However, within a few months, Moanfeldt determined Higley had written the poem behind “Home on the Range”, and set to music by Kelley. It seemed likely that cowboys on the Chisholm Trail played a role in making the song known throughout several states.