Iowa Lands are Surveyed

Time Frame: Early 1800's

Land in Iowa was surveyed and divided into organized sections in the early 1800s.
      Next Iowa Railroad Land Company Advertisement, 1871 Image
“The Prairie Pioneers,” The Iowa Heritage: Program # 4, Iowa Public Television, 1977.

Return to Iowa Railroad Land Company Advertisement, 1871



Little bit more. Little bit more. Little east. That’s good.

Land in Iowa was surveyed and by law was to be laid out in an orderly system of congressional townships. A township was defined as an area six miles on each side. Each township was divided into sections of one square mile and sections were numbered from one to 36. Usually a section was broken down and sold by the ½ section, ¼ section or even smaller unit. When compared to settlement of the East and the South, this system of townships was orderly. Farms and fields in New England had been surveyed by individual settlers, which left a number of irregular tracks that no one owned.


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