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Geo. A. Ogle and Co. / Standard atlas of Manitowoc County, Wisconsin
(1921)

Analysis of the system of United States land surveys,   pp. I-II PDF (2.5 MB)


Page II


ththe Mer)dian.
,ith the Meridian.
cated by Roman                 DIAGRAM
01es Rauge III.,                     A              2
Sof the Meridian              Wut II
ted as Township
is followed both
or T&Owships are
six mile division
he same plan is
,r "South" (the
nent Townships."                                      K
escribing a piece 0                .
given, by merely
he 5th Principal
Meridian.
                                     C.                0
                       K
       OWNSHIPS are the largest sub-
       divisions of land run out by the
       United States Surveyors. In the
       Governmental Surveys Township
Linesarehe flrsttoberun, and a Township
Corner is established every six miles and
marked. This is called "Townshipping."
After the Township Corners have been care-
fullylocated,the ection and Quarter Section
Corners are established. Each Township is
s             . and contains 23,040 acres,
or 36 square miles, as near as it is possible
to make them.     This, however,"is fre-
quently made impossible by. (1st) the pres.
ence of lakes and large dtreams; 12nd) by
State boundaries not falling exactly ou
Township Lines; (3rd) by the convergence
of Meridh'ns or curvature of the earth's
surface; and (4th) by inaccurate surveys.
    Each Township, unless it is one of the
exceptional cases referred to, is divided
into 86 squares, which are called Sections.
These Sections are intended to be one
mile, or 320 rods, square and contain 640
acres of land.    Sectionr are nuimbered
consecutively from 1 to 36, as shown on
Diagram 4. Beginning with Section 1 in
the Northeast Corner, they run West to
6, then East to 12, then West to 18, and
so on, back and forth, until they end with
Section 36 in the Southeast Corner.
    Diagram 4 shows a plat of a Township
vs it is divided and platted by the govern-
ment surveyors.     These Townships are
called Government Townships or Congres-
sional Townships, to distinguish them from
Civil Townships or organized Townships,
as frequently the lines of organized Town-
shipý do not conform to the Government
Towuship lines.
SECTIONS OF LAND.
r
11
Ill
L
'I  I  IBASL IIIMJ!I I I~s TJIN~  I~
I                           o
:1
:1
FRACTIONAL PIECES OF LAND.
ONGRESSIONAL Townships vary
      considerably as to size and boundaries.
      Mistakes made in surveying and the
      fact that Meridians converge as they
run North cause every Township to vary
more or less from the 23,040 acres which a
perfect Township   would   contain.  See
Diagram 4. In arranging a Township into
Sections all the surplus 0r deficiency of land
is given to, or taken from, the INorth and
West tiers of Sections. In other words, all
Sections in the Township are made full-
640 acres--except those on the North and
West, which are given all the land that is
left after forming the other 25 Sections.
    Diagram 4 illustrates how the surplus or
deficency is distributed and the Sections it
P.ýcects. It will be seen that Sections 1, 2,
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 18, 19, 30 and 31, are the
"Fractional Sections," or the Sections
which are affected if the Township overruns
or falls short. Inside of these Fractional
Sections, all of the surplus or deficiency of
land (over or under 640 acres) is carried to
the "forties" or I"Ieighties" that touch the
Township Line. These pieces of land are
called "Fractional Forties" or ""1Fractional
Eighties," as the case may be. Diagrams 4
and 6 show the manner of marking the
acreage and outlining the boundaries of
these "Fractions."
    Diagram 6 illustrates how the surplus or
deficiency of land inside of these Sections is
distributed and which "forties"or "eighties"
IIý
15 illustrates how a sectioii
subdivided, although the
n only gives a few of the
mbdivisions into which a
)e divi,'ied. All Sections
nal Sections) are supposed to be 320 rods, or one mile, square and therefore
es-a number easily divisible. Sections are subdivided into fractional parts
to suit
of the owners of the land. A half-section contains 320 acres; a quarter-section
res; half of a quarter contains 80 acres, and quarter of a quarter contains
40 acres,
%ch piece of land is described according to the portion of the section which
it
le N4ortheast quarter of Section 10; or the Southeast quarter of the Southeast
ýion 10. Diagram 5 shows how many of these subdivisions are platted,
and also
of designatingoand describing them by initial letters as each parcel of land
on the
,ked with its description.
ady been stated,all Sections (except Fractional Sections which are explained
else-
eosed to contain 640 acres, and even though mistakes have been made in surveying,
the case, making sections larger or smaller than 640 acres, the Government
recog-
on, but sells or grants each regular section as containing 640 acres "more
or less."
-nment Surveyors are not required to subdivide sections by running lines
within
usually establish Quarter Posts on Section Lines on each side of a section
at the
A. B. C. and D. on Diagram 5. After establishing Township corners, Section
                                  Lines are the next to be run, and section
cor-
                                  ners are established. When these are carefully
DIAGUAX        5-                 located the Quarter Posts are located at
points as
                                  nearly equidistant between Section Corners
as
-                                possible.  These corners when established
by
                                 bovernment Surveyors cannot be changed,
even
                                 though it is conclusively shown that mistakes
                                 have been made which cause some sections
or
             N. E. 1/4            quarter sections to be either larger or
smaller
                                 than others. The laws, however, of all the
                                 States provide certain rules for local surveyors
                                 to follow  in dividing Sections into smaller
               160 A.parcels of land than has been outlined in the
       1        1800G-overnmental surveys. For instance, in divid-
                                 ing a quarter section into two parcels,
the dis-
         N." 1/2 of S.F14         ance between the Government Corners
is care-
                                 fully measured and the new post is located
at a
                8   .point equidistant between them. This plan is
         .M ofS. .ollowedi in running out "eighties," "forties,"
         of SE. Y S.F.%           "twenties," etc. In this way,
if the Govern-
           (20sA.) of S.,E.'/j  ment division overruns or falls short, each
         Sos.f S.W                portion gains or loses its proportion.
This is
             A,)      40 A.       not the case, however, with Fractional
Sections
   Aalong the North or West sides of a Township,
   I   GA SECTION.or adjoining a lake or large stream.
s the North or West Township Lines, the Southeast Quarter r.ay
quarter of the same Section may be much larger or smalr.
' or "eighties" are lotted as shown in Diagram 6. They are
of land, as the "fractional S.W. j of Sectionu6," etc. Of course
ch are not affected by these variations are described in the usual
6. As a rule Townships are narrower at the North than at the
gitude (which run North and South) convergeas they run North
* begin at the Equator with a definite width between them and
tat the poles. Now, as the Range lihes are run North and South,
ergence of Meridians will cau-- every- Uonuressional Township
wer at its North than at its South side, as stated. See Diagram
s of measurement are constantly and almost unavoidably made
;s
                      DIAGRA1XI 6.
           i LOT 4.  LOT 3.     LOT 2.     LOT 1.
           d          45      1  42.5    P   40.5
           2.23.5AC. ?ACRES.  2ACRES.      ACRES.
d
*          LOT S.
         29 AC.                   80 ACRES.
         * '~       ACRES.h
            '58 R.    s      oR.
          LOT 6.                     160 Rods.
e        -32 AC.       UC
          O4TR.                   160 ACRES,
-e                     0
         -7 AC.        OD
.          74 R.     80 Rods.         160 Rods.
n          PLAT OF A FRACTIONAL SECTION.
ongress at Washington, D. C.
0
I al
Ilm 1  1 F--l- ;i--H  m  F---l -1 -1 1 j
OV VM P.)OL A R"OU XABT OF $?MEM_       A
mom-
,A
A 8ý00 BAST OF $= P-I&
Congress at Washington, DA C.
I


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