Surveyor’s Journal Entry Thirteen
General Assembly Appoints First County Surveyor to Meet Local Land Needs
As federally deputized surveyors set the parameters for the granting and sale of government land across Ohio, the clarification of local land titles and property boundaries was the duty of the county surveyor.
When Ohio was founded in 1803, the General Assembly enacted legislation that created the position of “county surveyor” that was to be appointed by the Court of Common Pleas to guide land development. Specific tasks involved subdividing the land for settlement and community growth; recording land plats, titles, transfers, and deeds; replacing early wooden survey stakes with stone monuments; the layout of public thoroughfares; and representing the Board of County Commissioners in land and roadway issues.
Joseph Vance was appointed as the first Franklin County Surveyor. He set property lines for many of the county’s earliest settlers and worked closely with Deputy Surveyors Lucas Sullivant and Samuel Smith in the establishment of the first roadways from Franklinton to Worthington , Springfield, and Lancaster. During the War of 1812, he was a Captain in the Franklin Dragoons.