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Madison Public Schools (Wis.); Instructional Materials Center / The early history of the Madison area
(1960s)

What is a town?,   p. 6


Page 6

 
WHAT IS A TOWN? 
The terms town and township are often misunderstood. 
A town in Wisconsin is a political subdivision of a county. In theory, town
government was designed to provide local government services in rural areas.
A township in Wisconsin is a government surveyor's unit consisting of 36
square 
miles or "sections". It is an area 6 miles square, thus containing
23,040 acres. 
     Standard numbering system of "sections" within any township.
The United States Congress, eager for revenue from the sale of lands in the
Northwest Territory, adopted the Ordinance of 1785 providing for orderly
rectangular surveys into mile-square units called "sections". These
were to be 
sold at auction at a minimum of $1 per acre. 
The boundaries of towns and townships frequently coincided in early times.
Even then, however, smaller odd shaped towns usually occurred along the 
state's boundaries, and much larger towns became standard in the northern
part 
of the state where the countryside continues to be sparsely populated. 
References to sections are used in Student Information sheets on towns of
Blue Mounds, Deerfield and Dunn. 
6 
654321 
789101112 
18 17 16 15 14 13 
19 2021 22 2324 
3029 282712625 
31 32 33134135136 


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