"...that I am over 21 twenty One year of age native born citizen of the United States."
Even though the writing was not the neatest, it was relatively easy to transcribe. Ekke Behrens indicated in an affidavit of 2 November 1886 that he was a native born citizen of the United States. There is just one problem.
Ekke was not a "native born citizen" of the United States. Census and other records indicate he was born in Germany and his homestead application even includes a naturalization record to prove his citizenship.
This is the only document in the entire homestead application for Ekke that uses the phrase "native born." It seems likely that the use of the phrase was simply an error.
Which is why one never wants to look at only one piece of information or record. Any one record can be wrong.
Source: This affidavit was obtained in Ekke Behrens' completed homestead file for the northwest quarter of section 8 in township 15 North 47 West in Cheyenne County, Nebraska.