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Survey of the Public Lands


SURVEY OF THE PUBLIC LANDS. When the public land system was adopted by Con gress it was directed that two lines be run through the particular territory to be surveyed, one called the base line and the other the meridian line. The base line running from east to west, and the meridian line from north to south and intersecting the base line at right angles.

After the base and meridian lines are run, the town ships are surveyed beginning at the intersection of the base and meridian lines. The townships are six miles square, and each township is subdivided into thirty-six sections of six hundred and forty acres each. The townships are numbered with reference to the base line and meridian line. The first township that touches the base line on the north and the merid ian on the west would be township one north, range one west. Townships are numbered from the base line north and south, and from the meridian line east and west. So that if the number of the township is given and you know the location of the base line, the location of the township may easily be found.

After the territory, has been surveyed into town ships six niiles square, each township is subdivided into sections containing six hundred and forty acres ; these sections are numbered consecutively from one to thirty-six, commencing in the north east corner of the township and numbering back and forth so that number seven falls under number six, and number twelve under number one, and so on, number thirty six falling in the south east corner of the township.

The sections are again divided into equal parts by running lines through the center north and south and east and west. A stone or other monument being placed in the center of the section and at each of the corners and at each end of the quarter lines. The outside lines are called section lines, and the cross lines are designated quarter-section lines. These are the only lines actually' run by the surveyors, though the quarter sections may be again divided.

When a plat of the survey is made in the Surveyor General's office, each quarter section is again divided into four equal parts by drawing lines through the center north and south and east and west. The quar ter sections, containing one hundred and sixty acres each, are designated the northeast quarter, the south east quarter, the northwest quarter and the southwest quarter of each particular section, and the division of the quarter sections are likewise designated as such parts of the quarter section. So that the full descrip tion of a forty-acre strip might be, for example, "The Northeast Quarter of the Northeast Quarter of Sec tion 1, Township 5 North, Range i East of the Third Principal Meridian."

lines, quarter, line and township