History of the Surveyor

Origins


The Land Ordinance of 1785, as adopted by the Continental Congress, signaled the commencement of the Rectangular Public Land Survey System as a means of dividing federally owned land for transfer of ownership to the public. After the United States granted title to a parcel of land, jurisdiction on that land passed to the States. 

Where the lands were in private ownership, it became a function of County and Local Surveyors to restore lost corners and subdivide the sections. It is this system, which the St. Joseph County Surveyor continues to perpetuate and maintain today.

Elected Office


The Indiana Constitution of 1851, as amended in 1852, officially established the County Surveyor as an elected position. The term of office is set at four years, but unlike many other County Elected Officials, there is no limit to the number of terms that may be served.
Our current County Surveyor, John McNamara took office in 1972.