Why did the homesteaders want the unassigned land when it was bad?
The homesteaders wanted the unassigned land because the Homestead Act of 1862 had given them the right to claim about 160 acres public land. The act was one of the United States federal laws. Go to http://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/l/la014.html for more details.
It wasn't bad. It just needed work. They wanted their own life.