Survey System in Ordinance of 1785
Parcels of land were odd sized and shaped, with boundary
lines marked by streams, trees, rocks & other natural markers which may or
may not remain in place.
Land claimed was the best land, however irregular in
shape it might be which left odd, irregular patches in between which
remained the property of the state but had very little value.
Ordinance of 1875 set up a system of survey and sale of
the Northwest Territory.
The land was to be divided
north-south in tiers was called ranges.
rows called townships
squares called townships
square was divided into 1-mile squares called sections.
Sections could be divided into fourths, eighths, etc.
When the land was sold, a whole piece section, quarter
section, etc. was sold.
The buyer had to take the bad with
Fewer boundary disputes
No left over patches of land of
little value left in the hands of the government.
ORIGINAL SURVEY OF BUFFALO COUNTY -
On the establishment of Fort Kearney
in 1848, the war department ordered a military reservation of ten miles
square surrounding the fort to be surveyed and established. Accordingly the
Fort Kearney military reservation was surveyed in 1848, this being the first
survey of record in the county, and it appears that the lines thus
established were recognized in all future surveys in both Buffalo and
In 1866 the second and third standard
township lines in the county were surveyed
standard was the present north line of the county
standard the line between townships eight (8) and nine (9).
In 1866 range lines 13, 14, 15, 16,
17 and 18 were run
In 1866, the township and section
lines in ranges 13, 14, 15 and 16 were run
In 1868 the township and section
lines in ranges 17 and 18 were run
completed the original survey of the county.
1848 Survey of Fort Kearny military reservation
1866 All range lines (the north-south lines) were surveyed
between townships 8 & 9 the countys north boundary were surveyed
section lines for Ranges 13-16 were surveyed
1868 - Township and section lines for Ranges 17 & 18 were surveyed
Precincts - Townships
1875 each six-square-mile parcel was called a precinct.
Precincts in Buffalo
County in 1875 were
Crowellton Odessa in 1877
Western later Elm Creek
1883 State law regulating organization of townships
County Board adopted the act and set
up all townships in Buffalo County except Collins and gave them all names.
Collins formed from Riverdale in 1917
(some counties never changed the term "precinct" even though they divided
their counties into "townships" as the law described.)
Settlement Pattern in Buffalo County,
Along trails following Platte
Gibbon Homestead colony along the
Wood River and up Buck Eye Valley.
Along the Loup River
Along Cedar Creek in east
Along Beaver Creek
Townships in Buffalo County
Buffalo County has 6 columns of Ranges and 4 tiers of Townships, each 6
miles square, except for the bottom tier which includes those parts of the
next township which are north of the Platte which is our southern boundary.
Every so often an extra column of sections is added to a range to adjust for
the curvature of the earth. One was added on the west side of range 16 so
each township is 7 sections wide instead of 6.
-----------Range 13 (east edge of county)
CHERRY CREEK TOWNSHIP--TOWN NO. 12, RANGE NO. 13
Named for one of the creeks in the township
GARDNER TOWNSHIP--TOWN NO. 11, RANGE NO. 13
Named for George L Gardner, who claimed a homestead there
SHARON TOWNSHIP--TOWN NO. 10, RANGE NO. 13
SHELTON TOWNSHIP--TOWN NO. 9, RANGE NO. 13
Shelton & Sharon were originally called Wood River
Name probably changed when Wood River Center name was
Welsh letter in 1873 to Postmaster General:
"Washington, D. C.
You are hereby notified that the name
of this post office has been changed from Wood River Center to
Shelton and you will govern yourself accordingly."
Dont know when the two townships split.
PLATTE TOWNSHIP--TOWN NO. 8, RANGES 13 AND 14
East half, below Shelton Township was called Island
Assessors book 1882 Format of this book was different.
Asked for more than animals, wagons & household furniture.
Crops raised were mostly wheat and corn along with some
oats, and one 15 acre field of barley.
Also asked for number of fruit trees and forest trees. Four were listed:
| Forest trees
This man had seven acres of land, 3 in
oats and 4 improved [must be where the fruit trees
were] He also had 2 horses, 1 beef, 400 lb of hogs, 1 wagon, 1 sewing
machine, $10 worth of tools, $10 worth of household goods, and $100
value of improvements.
GARFIELD TOWNSHIP--TOWN NO. 12, RANGE NO. 14
Contains Ravenna & Poole
SCHNEIDER TOWNSHIP--TOWN NO. 11, RANGE NO. 14
Named for Dr. Schneider, native of Saxony, who came in 1873
and left in 1874
VALLEY TOWNSHIP--TOWN NO. 10, RANGE NO. 14
GIBBON TOWNSHIP--TOWN NO. 9, RANGE NO. 14
When the railroad was built, a siding was placed at what is
now the town site of Gibbon and named Gibbon Siding
in honor of Gen.
John Gibbon, who served in the Mexican and Civil War
BEAVER TOWNSHIP--TOWN NO. 12, RANGE NO. 15
Named for Beaver Creek
CEDAR TOWNSHIP--TOWN NO. 11, RANGE NO. 15
Named for Cedar Creek where first settlers lived
THORNTON TOWNSHIP--TOWN NO. 10, RANGE NO. 15
Named for S. W. Thornton one of the first settlers, came in
CENTER TOWNSHIP--TOWN NO. 9, RANGE NO. 15
Also as much of town No.
8, range No. 15, as is in Buffalo County.
(The range with the extra column of sections)
LOUP TOWNSHIP--TOWN NO. 12, RANGE NO. 16
Named for the Loup River which flows on its southern
RUSCO TOWNSHIP--TOWN NO. 11, RANGE NO. 16
Named for W. Rusco, who settled there in 1876.
DIVIDE TOWNSHIP--TOWN NO. 10, RANGE NO. 16
RIVERDALE TOWNSHIP--TOWN NO. 9, RANGE NO. 16
Also as much of town No. 8, range No. 16, as is in Buffalo
Collins Township Town No. 8, Range 16, Sections 24-26
and as much of town No. 8, range No. 16, as is in Buffalo County was
formed after 1917.
SARTORIA TOWNSHIP--TOWN NO. 12, RANGE NO. 17
Township government organized in 1884
Sartoria & ½ of Scott were first called Taylor Township
SCOTT TOWNSHIP--TOWN NO. 11, RANGE NO. 17
Named for Benjamin Scott who filed the first claim in 1873
Scott township was formed from three rows of sections in
Sartoria township and
Grant in August 1887.
GRANT TOWNSHIP--TOWN NO. 10, RANGE NO. 17
Named for William Grant who came in 1874
ODESSA TOWNSHIP--TOWN NO. 9, RANGE NO. 17
Also that portion of town No. 8, range No. 17, within
Odessa was originally called Crowelton
--------------Range 18 (west edge of county)----------------
HARRISON TOWNSHIP--TOWN NO. 12, RANGE NO. 18
ARMADA TOWNSHIP-TOWN NO. 11, RANGE NO. 18
Named for the town of Armada
LOGAN TOWNSHIP--TOWN NO. 10, RANGE NO. 18
Original name was Buffalo
Assessors book, 1876 - All odd numbered sections were
owned by the UP.
No one else owned any land in the township yet.
According to Bassett there were two homestead claims filed in 1878 and one
14 names listed with property
assessed. Totals for the township were
no value for household furnishings.
ELM CREEK TOWNSHIP--TOWN NO. 9, RANGE NO. 18
Also that portion of town No. 8, range No. 18, embraced
within Buffalo County.
Elm Creek was Western