In 1871, the internal format of Oklahoma, then the Indian Territory,
began to take shape. Based on Thomas Jefferson's standard United
States public land survey system of townships, ranges, sections and
quarter sections, an Initial Point was selected and a grid work of
north-south and east-west lines was established.
From this "bearing
point," situated one mile south of Fort Arbuckle and eight miles
west of present day Davis, the entire Indian Territory was surveyed.
The field notes kept by these surveyors are on deposit in
the state's Archives and consist of 235 volumes and
nearly 8,000 microfiche.
These field notes offer detailed descriptions of
vegetation, bodies of water, soil types, and markers established during
survey operations. From these notes, cartographers were able to
construct a plat for each township surveyed. There are approximately
2,000 plats on file.
reproductions of surveying data show government lots, topographical
details, railroad routes, trails, Indian and military reservations and
some existing buildings.
The State Archives has also been home to over 80,000 corner monument records filed by surveyors from across
Oklahoma. Plats are also available online through the Bureau of Land Management.
For additional information, contact Linda