Land Cruising - Prospecting:
Introduction To Land Cruising

Land Cruising And Prospecting

The Compass

Examining And Locating

Early Surveys

Corner Marks

Prospecting For Gold, Etc.

Sampling Ore

How To Locate A Claim

# Early Surveys

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

The cruiser will, in looking up land, find corners and posts that do not have to do with his work in finding land, that is directly, and we will here explain them how they came there and what they are there for.

CORRECTION LINES. To correct the convergency of the meridians as they approach the north pole, correction lines are run every 24 miles north and south of the base lines. They also serve to correct errors that may have been made on the principal meridian.

GUIDE MERIDIANS. Guide meridians are lines connecting the base lines and correction lines at intervals of 48 miles. They start on the base line and close on the first correction line. The convergency of the meridian being here corrected, they start anew on this line and close on the second correction line and so on all parts marking the closing lines. These corners are made same as section corners but marked C-C, meaning closing corners, and the marking of the starting points north are called and marked S-C or standard corner. These two corners are sometimes called double corners.

FRAME WORK. Principal Meridians, Base Lines, Correction Lines and Guide Meridians form the frame work of our land surveys in tracts 24 x 48 miles in size and then this frame-work is laid out into township sections and quarter sections and the corners and the proper posts established, the townships running east and west and the range running north and south. I mention this in passing so the young cruiser will understand the closing corners and frame-work of our U. S. land system, which he will have little to do with in looking up land, but still will meet with the corners and double posts and get puzzled by them. We will have more to say later on double corners or posts.

MARGINAL LOTS. Townships, on account of the convergency of the meridians as above stated, are seldom six miles square and the excess or deficiency are always thrown into the last 20 chains on the north and west side of the township and this makes the fractional 40 acre tracts and are called "lots" and are numbered consecutively in each section separately. The numbers, areas, length in chains and links of boundaries of these lots are always given on the township plats and diagrams, whichever you buy from the U. S. land office plats are the best, altho they cost a little more.

The hunter, trapper or cruiser who has settled on a piece of land in a new country is frequently called on to establish lost corners or to locate other settlers on their claims as well as real estate dealers who buy land. These people could not find their own land any more than the man in the planet Mars, even if they do own it, and the cruiser can turn many an honest penny at this business at from \$5.00 to \$15.00 per day. If you are called upon to establish lost corners Uncle Sam is very particular and has his rules to go by and you must go by them or your work wont stand law. As the work has to be done by surveyors' measure and only links and chains are used at that, it is well for the cruiser to understand it, also how it compares with linear measure, as yards, inches and feet. One link is 7-92/100 inches; one chain is 100 links or 66 feet or 22 yards; 80 chains or 1,760 yards are a mile; 1,000 double or cruiser paces are one mile (approximately) and it is estimated that the average pace is 30 inches.

We have already shown how to find one's self on the map, also your land, but if you are to do any new or original work for any settler or the town authorities, you will have to proceed differently.

In the first place procure the field notes of the original survey or the United States survey and make sure of this. Under an old law some of these have been transferred to the state authorities to whom application will have to be made for such copies of the original plats and field notes as you may need.

For Alabama, apply to Secretary of State, Montgomery.

For Arkansas apply to Commissioner State Lands, Little Rock.

For Illinois, apply to Auditor of State, Springfield.

For Indiana, apply to Auditor of State, Indianapolis.

For Iowa, apply to Secretary of State, Des Moines.

For Kansas, apply to Auditor of State and Register of State Lands, Topeka.

For Michigan, apply to Commissioner of State Land Office, Lansing.

For Mississippi, apply to Commissioner of State Lands, Jackson.

For Missouri, apply to Secretary of State, Jefferson City.

For Nebraska, apply to Commissioner of Public Lands and Buildings, Lincoln.

For Ohio, apply to Auditor of State, Columbus.

For Wisconsin, apply to Commissioner Public Land, Madison.

In other Public Land States the original field notes and plats are still retained in the office of the Surveyors General, Washington, D. C., to whom you must apply for such plats and notes as you need. Get them, put them in your pocket and keep your mouth shut for these originals hold over everything, even if they are wrong. It has been so decided by the U. S. Supreme Court. Now here is what your township corners, section corners and quarter section corners must look like if properly made and they must certainly be made so or not at all, for Uncle Sam is a very strict boss although a very just one.

Now here is what Uncle Sam says :

"Township sections or mile corners and quarter section or one-half mile corners will be made by planting a post at the place of the corner, to be formed of the most durable wood at hand. The posts must be set in the earth two feet deep and be rammed with earth and stone, if any are at hand. The portion of the post that is above ground must be squared off smooth enough to receive the marks which are to be made by marking irons indicating what the post stands for. The sides of the township posts should square four inches and must not be under two feet above ground. The sides of the section corner posts should square three inches. The quarter section posts and meander corner posts should be three inches wide and be flattened on two sides and all to be two feet above ground at least.

TOWNSHIP CORNER POST. A post, common to four corners should be set on the corner as shown in Fig. 1 i. e., diagonally. On each surface of the post is to be marked the number of the particular township and its range which it faces. These are not only to be distinctly but also neatly cut in the wood at least one-eighth inch deep and red chalk applied to all marks.

SECTION CORNER POSTS. Posts of this kind are to be the same as township corner posts where they represent four section corners and are to be marked, the number of the section on the flat surface faces, also on one side are to be marked the number of its township and range and the figures and letters to be marked in with red chalk.

Figure 2 represents a mound common to two townships or two sections only and lettered and numbered for the township it faces on the section. In every township there are twenty-five four section corner mounds as per Fig. 1, the rest being as per Fig. 2. A quarter section post is to have no other mark but 1/4 S or quarter section.

NOTCHING CORNER POSTS. Township corner posts common to four townships are to be notched with six notches on each of the four edges of the square as per Fig. 3. (Hence you can always tell when you are on a township line, both by the size of the post and its notches.) All mile or section corner posts on township lines must have as many notches cut into the two opposite angle edges as they are distant in miles from the township corners. Each of the posts at the corners of interior sections of a township must indicate by its notches on four edges* directed or looking to its cardinal points, the corresponding number of miles it stands from the outlines or edges of the township lines (Fig. 2) the four faces of the post will indicate by figures and letters the number of the section they face. Should a tree be found at the place of any corner it will be notched and numbered as above and the kind of a tree and its diameter given in the field notes of the surveyor.

BEARING TREES. The position of all corner posts or trees of whatever description that may be established is to be evidence in the following manner, from such post or tree the course must be taken and the distance measured to two or more trees in opposite directions as nearly as may be, and these are called "Bearing Trees." They are to be distinguished by a large smooth blaze and a notch at its lower end facing the corner. In the blaze is to be marked the number of the range, township and section, but at a quarter section corner only 1/4 S need be marked. The letters B-T (Bearing Tree) are to be marked on a smaller blaze directly under the large one and near the ground as practical.

At all township corners and at all section corners on range or township lines, four bearing trees are to be marked in this manner. Each in one of the adjoining sections, at interior section corners, four trees, one to stand within the four sections, as above, are to be marked in the same manner if such can be found. A tree sup-plying a corner post is to be marked in the same manner as for posts, but if the tree be a beech tree or other smooth bark tree the marks may be made on the bark and the tree notched. Vor quarter sections and meander corners two bearing trees are to be mailed, one within each of the adjoining sections.

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