The United States Congress formed by the Articles of Confederation adopted The Land Ordinance of 1785 on May 20th.This document is not only significant to the history of Indiana, but to the history of our nation as well. Based upon an earlier version by Thomas Jefferson, the Ordinance laid out the foundation, cornerstone by cornerstone, of a new concept of land policy in this country. It also established a way to fund public education, rewarded war veterans with land and provided for the first time a federal limitation on the expansion of slavery.
So, based on Jefferson’s new concept of surveying called the Public Land Survey System, the government appointed a Surveyor General who contracted the work out to Deputies.
The Deputy U.S. Surveyors who surveyed in Wells County before its formation in 1822-1823 were P.F. Kellogg, T. G. Noble, J. T. Worthington, D. Hillis, R. J. Riley, C.Carter.
Wells County was granted organization by the Indiana General Assembly . The Governor of Indiana appointed all county surveyors at that time for an unspecified term length, then
The power of appointment was placed in the hands of the Board of County Commissioners, then The Circuit Court was granted the power of appointment and the term of office.
The Indiana Constitution of 1851 as amended in 1852 officially established the Office of County Surveyor as an elected office with a term of two years without any limit to the number of terms that may be served. With the changing of the Indiana Constitution in 1952, the length of the term for County Surveyor was changed to 4 years.
The County Surveyor’s Serving “Wells County”: