Jefferson County Online
A part of the IAGenWeb and USGenWeb Projects
U. S. Government Land Measure

The following is a chapter from "The History of Jefferson County, Iowa", Pages 287-288, published by the Western Historical Company of Chicago in 1879.



A township -- 36 sections each a mile square.

A section -- 640 acres.

A quarter section, half a mile square -- 160 acres.

An eighth section, half a mile long, north and south, and a quarter of a mile wide -- 80 acres.

A sixteenth section, a quarter of a mile square -- 40 acres.

The sections are all numbered 1 to 36, commencing at the north-east corner.

The sections are divided into quarters, which are named by the cardinal points. The quarters are divided in the same way. The description of a forty acre lot would read: The south half of the west half of the south-west quarter of section 1 in town ship 24, north of range 7 west, or as the case might be; and sometimes will fall short and sometimes overrun the number of acres it is supposed to contain.

The nautical mile is 795 4-5 feet longer than the common mile.

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