Topographic, Inc. and Its Companies Volume 9, Issue 4 Fall, 2005
The Public Land Survey System
Contributed by Lynn Bezner the original thirteen colonies used this Sale of the Lands of the United States
system to describe property. in the Territory Northwest of the River
In a previous article we dis- Once the United States Federal Ohio, and Above the Mouth of the Ken-
cussed the history of property own- Government was established there was tucky River.” This act provided for the
ership. In the early days of our coun- a great demand to settle the open land appointment of a Surveyor General who
Address Correction Requested try, the desire to own land or prop- or public domain. In 1784 Thomas would engage Deputy Surveyors. This
Oklahoma City, OK 73116 erty was one of the driving forces Jefferson was appointed chairman of a act provided certain township interior
for immigration to America. In or- committee to prepare a systemized plan corners to be marked or monumented
6709 North Classen Blvd. der to own or convey property the to dispose of public domain where the but not all corners. Only alternate lines
Corporate Office property must be described in a man- profits could be used to pay the public were run or measured marking each
ner that will distinguish it from all debt. The Continental Congress on May mile. This resulted in the exterior of
Topographic, Inc. other land. In the original thirteen 20, 1785 passed an ordinance entitled each 4 mile square to be marked and
colonies and several other states this “An Ordinance for Ascertaining the each lot would have three corners actu-
was done by a “metes and bounds” Mode of Locating and Disposing of ally marked or monumented. Also un-
description. Lands in the Western Territory.” This der the act of 1796 the lots were changed
The term metes refers to a was the beginning of the Public Land to Sections and the Sections in each
series of distances and directions that Survey System we see today. township were numbered beginning
would encompass the property. The The 1785 ordinance provided with Section 1 in the Northeast corner
term bounds means the subject prop- for the division of land into townships and proceeding West and East alter-
erty is bounded by another distinct 6 miles square. It stipulated the first nately until Section 36 in the Southeast
tract. A description such as “bounded meridian to begin on the North bank of corner.
on the North by A. B. Jones farm, the Ohio River at a point due North of The Acts of March 1, 1800 and
on the East by C. D. Smith property, the Southern Boundary of the State of May 10, 1800 initiated the principle that
on the South by Chicken Creek and Pennsylvania. Each township was to be corners regularly set by the original
on the West by the Thompson farm” divided into 36 lots of 1 mile square, public land surveyor in the field were
would be a good and complete prop- creating a square area of 640 Acres. Lots to be held as the true corners even
The Oklahoma around the state with their To p o g r a p h i c Steve Banks recently
erty description as long as there was were numbered 1 to 36, commencing though later surveys might show they
City office enjoyed the be- families and all reported a would like to welcome the placed 13 th out of 118
no other tract bounded by the same with 1 for the Southeast lot and con- had been placed incorrectly. These acts
ginning of Summer with a good time. Between the following employees to our contestants in the Pro-
people or features. One problem is tinuing from South to North in each row also initiated the important principle that
summer swim party at Peli- food, the wave pool, the newest office in Granbury, fessional Walleye Trail
the adjoining property could come with 36 being the Northwest lot. The all discrepancies due to convergence of
can Bay in Edmond, OK lazy river, and the slides, Texas: Michael Brown, fishing tournament held at
under different ownership and it 1785 ordinance also provided that the meridians and errors would be placed
on June 25th. Employees there was lots to do! James Squires, Hallie Bull Shoals Lake, AR, May
would be difficult to determine pre- geographer of the United States was to in the North and West tiers of sections
were in attendence from Wiggins, Rick Perez, and 11-13. Steve fished with the
vious owners or particularly the direct the surveyors. Another ordinance in a township. The acts also specified
Phillip Harris. This pros for three consecutive
owners at the time the bounds de- passed in 1788 did not change the sys- that all section lines be run and marked
office will concen- days and caught enough fish
scription was prepared. For this rea- tem but made more specific require- in the field.
trate on land sur- to bring home a plaque and
son a combination “metes and ments concerning record keeping. An act of March 3, 1803 pro-
veying and drafting $1000 worth of prizes. The
bounds” description was used. All of An act was passed on May 18, vided for the disposal of lands south of
services in this rap- tournament will be televised
1796 entitled “An Act Providing for the the State of Tennessee and the appoint-
idly growing area of this fall on The Outdoor
Texas. We are glad Channel. Congratulations!
you are here!
Satellite Recovery and GPS Topo Notes
Public Land Survey System Safety First by Evergreen Calendar, Birthdays and
Consulting Company Anniversaries
Employees and family members enjoy the wave pool at Pelican Bay.
4 Topo Times ♦ Fall, 2005
The Public Land Survey
Satellite Recovery with GPS Safety First
ment of a Surveyor General with the same functions as those of the Several Topographic employees like to mix busi- his Magellan SporTrak Map GPS receiver, Tom was able Contributed by Charles Smith
Surveyor General Northwest of the Ohio River. ness with pleasure on occasion. Some use their own GPS to park within a half mile of the indicated location of the Evergreen Consulting Company
An act of March 26, 1804 was administrative only, provid- receivers to assist in hunting and fishing expeditions. Some satellite. Using the compass function of his GPS, he walked
This quarter field employees will have completed training in H2S,
ing that the authority of the Surveyor General prevailed over all use their knowledge of surveying and map-reading to help through the mesquite brush, closing in on the coordinates.
Respiratory Protection, Personal Protection Equipment, Lifting/
Public Domain North of the Ohio River and East of the Mississippi in travel and personal projects. Tom Miller, GIS Project As he walked out of the thick mesquite into a clearing,
Back Safety and Discrimination/Harassment. “Myths and Facts”
River. This act also provided that land could be sold in full sections, Manager in OKC, recently discovered a new past time us- Tom looked up and there was the satellite. The parachute
taken from Top Health newsletter.
half sections or quarter sections. ing his handheld GPS receiver – satellite recovery! cord was tangled in the branches of a mesquite tree about
Congress passed an act on February 11, 1805 which speci- First, here is a little background information. six feet off the ground.
fied that all public land surveys be up to the same relative status of Space Data Corporation, in Chandler, AZ, launches com- “It was a real thrill to find this first satellite. Until
Healthful Myth Busters
completion. The survey of some of the lands which were under pre- munication satellites using weather balloons from several you make that first find something in the back of your mind Shedding extra pounds is easy...burn more calories than
vious acts had not been completed and this act prompted their locations in the Midwest. These satellites float at an eleva- tells you that this whole thing is a hoax or that someone you take in. Try keeping count of the calories you consume for a
completion. This act also stipulated the method of dividing sections tion of approximately 100,000 feet for several days, trans- else has already found it or you have the wrong coordi- day. You might be surprised.
into quarter sections. mitting signals that provide wireless services for industrial, nates or something,” Tom Myth: Eating grapefruit burns fat.
An act passed on March 3, 1811 applied to lands in Louisi- business and consumer users in locations and geographies related from his experience. Fact: No food can burn away fat, either in its natural state or in a
ana. It authorized deputy surveyors to survey tracts adjacent to any that are not served or are poorly served by existing wire- After finding the SOG, the pill.
river, lake, creek, bayou or watercourse to be 58 poles (957.00’) less providers. Once the satellite has moved out of its use- next step is to return the sat-
frontage and 465 poles (7672.58’) in depth. This permitted more ful range or has reached the end of its battery life, a signal ellite for payment or what Myth: Electric muscle stimulators trim fat.
parcels to have frontage on the water than the regular public land detaches the satellite from the balloon and it floats back to could be called a bounty. Fact: Study after study says no, and the FDA has labeled these
pattern would allow. earth on a parachute. The cash payment is not infomercial mainstays “vanity-type quackery.”
An act passed by congress on April 25, 1812 created the This is where Tom’s adventure begins. The SOG substantial but it at least
Myth: Fasting can lead to permanent weight loss.
General Land Office in the Treasury Department with the Chief (Satellite On Ground) transmits a GPS signal back to its covers the expenses of driv-
Fact: Fasting almost never results in sustainable weight loss. After
Officer called the Commissioner of the General Land Office. This base. The general coordinates for these SOGs are then ing to the remote locations.
initial loss of water and minerals, you do lose body fat, but you
act gave the Commissioner authority to oversee all aspects of sub- posted on an internet web site. Tom and other GPS hunters The real prize is in the
also lose muscle. Then your body’s energy production slows down,
dividing public lands. Since the Commissioner of the General Land request specific SOGs to search for and are given the exact search and the adventure of
slowing the rate of fat loss.
Office was established, the general system has remained the same coordinates. Then, the search is on. getting out and enjoying
but instructions or procedures for handling specific circumstances Tom’s first SOG was located near Wichita Falls, some sites you might not Myth: Removing cellulite requires special treatment.
have been issued. TX. After receiving the coordinates via the web site, Tom otherwise see. Fact: Special creams, brushes, lotions, or high-tech massages won’t
The survey of Oklahoma was begun in 1870 and completed plotted the location on This was not Tom’s first ex- Tom Miller shows the location he permanently get rid of cellulite, a non-medical term referring to
in 1900. This survey was begun at the initial point which is a 14" X a USGS 7.5’ quad- perience with GPS by any navigated to in order to find the SOG. dimpled skin. Try good old-fashioned diet and exercise.
14" X 5’ sandstone near Davis, Oklahoma. A line was run North on rangle map. This means. Having worked in processing and mapping GPS
a true meridian, now referred to as the Indian Meridian. All town- helped to identify data since 1993 at Topographic, he has also been an avid Myth: Losing weight rapidly at the beginning of a fad diet is proof
ships east of this line were numbered and designated as East of the roads and terrain fea- geocacher since 2001. Geocaching is an international sport it works.
Indian Meridian (E.I.M.) and those west are designated as West of tures in the area. He where participants use GPS to search for caches hidden by Fact: The rate of weight loss at the beginning of any diet is usually
the Indian Meridian (W.I.M.). Range lines are numbered in sequence then drove from others. The coordinates of these caches are posted on a faster. That’s because the body stores of fat and the carbohydrate
and designated as North or South of this initial point. Oklahoma City to web site (www.geocaching.com) for anyone to use. For glycogen, which contain water, are being depleted. You’re losing
The panhandle of Oklahoma is based on the Cimarron about 9 miles south- Tom and many of Topographic’s employees, GPS, map- water weight.
Meridian, established in 1881, along the western most line of the east of Wichita Falls. ping and surveying are not just their jobs, it is what they There’s always time for safety.
Oklahoma panhandle. All land in Cimarron, Texas, and Beaver Coun- Next, navigating with love to do.
ties are referenced as East of the Cimarron Meridian (E.C.M.).
Birthdays Holidays & Safety Meetings The Topographic Company Anniversaries
August: September: October: Times is a quarterly
publication of Bill Allen 17 Years Tom Howell 20 Years
Jack Fick 7 Trey Chappell 12 Amy Nelson 2 Safety Mtg - Pampa August 17 Topographic, Inc.
Sharon Keating 13 Ricardo Perez 26 Curt Carlson 12 Safety Mtg - Midland August 22 6709 North Classen Boulevard
Dean Crockett 10 Years Bill Norman 1 Year
Ted Brown 16 Jerry Tijerina 28 Eligio Ochoa 12 Labor Day September 5 Offices Closed Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73116 We welcome your Michele Dyson 13 Years Eric Seitsinger 2 Years
Steve Banks 19 Pat Fox 23 405-843-4847 800-654-3219 comments and Dale Dyson 2 Years Julio Silva 12 Years
Columbus Day October 10 www.topographic.com questions. Send all
Lance Mathis 19 Dale Dyson 25 Iuri Galis 5 Years Jesse Sparks 2 Years
Safety Mtg - Pampa October 19 www.locarta.com correspondence Attn:
Jarrod Molloy 21 Klint Buckner 26 Darren Gee 16 Years Kevin Whinery 14 Years
Safety Mtg - Woodward October 24 Kate Burch, Marketing
Diane Waters 24 Virgil Rogers 27 and PR Coordinator, Ralph Heatly 25 Years Sheri Worthington 1 Year
Safety Mtg - OKC October 25 All brands and product names are the
Becky Bogle 25 Rick Lunday 28 Safety Mtg - McAlester October 26 trademarks of their respective inbox
Michele Dyson 25 Rocky Arnold 29 companies. @topographic.com.
Halloween October 31
2 Topo Times ♦ Fall, 2005 Topo Times ♦ Fall, 2005 3