Section Corner Perpetuation

By the late 1700's, accurately marking land boundaries across the country was necessary as white settlers migrated west and claimed land.  The "Land Ordinance of 1785", adopted by the Continental Congress, called for a Rectangular Public Land Survey.  The first rectangular survey in Indiana was done in 1797 by Israel Ludlow; Montgomery County was surveyed between 1819 and 1822.

Maps of the old corners and surveying notes, as well as all subsequent ones, are kept in the County Surveyors office.  The notes detail who did the survey, when it was done, and any reference points used to locate the corner.  Montgomery County has approximately 1,600 corners.

Today, as in the past, the section corners are critical reference points for accurately delineating landownership.  Without solid, accurate points, the whole fabric of ownership in the county comes apart.  Lost corners result in inaccurate land surveys, which in turn, are the cause of property disputes.  When land surveyors cannot count on finding accurate corners, they have to re-create them.  This raises the cost of the work, a cost that is passed on to the client, or absorbed by the surveyor.

In an effort to maintain accurate land boundaries, in 1965, the Indiana General Assembly passed the Perpetual Corner Records Act (IC 36-2-7-10).  The act requires the County Surveyor to locate five percent (5%) of the section corners each year, with replacement of the markers when needed.  

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