KOSCIUSKO COUNTY — State law requires county surveyor’s offices to reset at least 5 percent of a county’s section corners per year. In Kosciusko County, there are more than 2,000 section corners.
Recently while looking for a section corner in Clay Township, Jim Moyer, assistant county surveyor for Kosciusko County, also found a section corner marker of historical significance.
This particular section corner is located off CR 400W, a gravel road with not a lot of traffic on it, near the intersection with CR 800S, southwest of Claypool. It is located in the corner of a wooded area surrounded by farm fields.
Moyer knew the section corner had been established in August 1859 by surveyor A. Kist and his chainmen Abraham Rhoads and George Miller at the request of landowners who wanted to have their property corners determined. Kist used notes from the original government surveyors to establish the section corner and according to his notes, a stone was set to mark the section corner. Nearly 160 years later, there was no record anyone had attempted to reestablish, or find, the corner since the 1859 survey.
When Moyer, who said he does more than 300 section corners per year, went to the area where he thought the corner was located, he cleared some leaves and found a couple of stones. But he was able to find the exact stone set by Kist in 1859 when he located a stone with “30” chiseled on one side and “19” on the other side. Those numbers indicate the marker was set between sections 30 and 19 in the township as shown in Kist’s notes.
“Stones are usually difficult to find because they are buried,” Moyer said, noting this particular stone was “kind of sticking up out of the ground.” But he described the area as being relatively protected and the section corner marker had never been disturbed.
“Finding markings on stones is somewhat rare in our county,” he said, noting using stones is an old form of marking section corners.
Those who work in county surveyor’s offices are typically interested in local history because they need to be familiar with how and where section corners were located and marked in the past. And sometimes, as in the case with the section corner located by Moyer, those corners have not been looked for in excess of 100 or more years.