I thought I should briefly mention the process I used to find these records in the first place. I started at the website for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), General Land Office (GLO) Records. You can find that site here.
I had no idea what I was looking for at the time, so I figured I would just start at the left and work my way to the right, going through the different land record groups available. Fortunately, in the first group of records (Land Patents) I hit paydirt. See how I made that little pun there?
I knew my ancestor's name and the state. So, I did a search for "Lanctot" in "South Dakota" (I also wanted to see if there were any other relatives in the area). I found two: Zenophile and his brother, Philippe. This is what I saw when I clicked on Zenophile's name:
All the information needed to request the land patent records from the National Archives is on this page: township, range, section, county, issue date, and document number. In some cases, they have digital images of the records, but I wasn't so lucky.
So ... back to the records ...
The second page (chronologically) in the land records I received from NARA is a receipt from the land office for the fee to file his Declaratory Statement (which I assume is the bottom portion of the document). The receipt is dated September 3, 1884.
Land Office at Yankton, D.T.
September 3, 1884
Mr. Zenophile Lanctot has this day paid two dollars, the Register's and Receiver's fees, to file a Declaratory Statement, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged.
[Jos.? G.? Chandler] Receiver.
Mr. Zenophile Lanctot having paid the fees, has this day filed in this Office his Declaratory Statement, No. 7583 for North West* section 13 township 99, of range 67, containing 160 acres, settled upon August 1, 1884, being offered.
Under the provisions of the Pre-emption Laws, the time within which final proof is required to be made on offered lands expires in thirty-three months from date of settlement, or from date of filing of township plat in District Land Office in case of settlement on unsurveyed lands, and on offered lands in twelve months from date of settlement; and under act of March 3, 1879, notice of intention to prove up must be given by publication in a newspaper, to be designated by the Register, for a period of thirty days, or in five consecutive issues of said paper, which notice must also contain the names of the witnesses by whom the necessary facts will be established.
Notice is, therefore, hereby given that this pre-emption filing expires on May 1, 1887, after which date the tract will be subject to the claim of any other qualified party.
[G.A. Witter?] Register.
* I wasn't sure if this was a mark made on purpose or not. It sure looks like a "4" to me, which I would take to mean the northwest quarter/quadrant. I compared it to Zenophile's brother's land records (from 3 years later), and "quadrant" and "quarter" are spelled out. So ... no idea there. This is the description provided by the Bureau of Land Management:
It is clearly referred to as the NW1/4 ... so I'm guessing it's a "4."
As I was looking at this document, I also noticed the teeny-tiny writing along the right-hand side, which I thought was quite interesting:
Timber land embraced in a homestead, or other entry not consummated, may be cleared in order to cultivate the land and improve the premises, but for no other purpose.
If, after clearing the land for cultivation, there remains more timber than is required for improvement, there is no objection to the settler disposing of the same. But the question whether the land is being cleared of its timber for legitimate purpose is a question of fact which is liable to be raised at any time. If the timber is cut and removed for any other purpose it will subject the entry to cancellation, and the person who cut it will be liable to civil suit for recovery of the value of said timber, and also to criminal prosecution under Section 2461 of the Revised Statutes.I did a little digging and think perhaps this was a sort of reference to the Timber Culture Act of 1873 (later repealed in 1882).
Incidentally, on the BLM website I also found the original plat map for township 99, range 67 of Charles Mix County, Dakota Territory. I have indicated Zenophile's claim by the big red square. I thought that was pretty cool.