History of 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 length of the term of office was set at four years, but unlike many other County Elected Officials, there is no limit to the number of terms that may be served.

Past Surveyor's


St. Joseph County was first surveyed by Deputy Surveyor's William Brookfield, Thomas Brown, and Thomas Henderson between 1827 and 1832. The following have held the office of St. Joseph County Surveyor:
  • William Brookfield, 1830-1831
  • William Clark, 1831-1832
  • Tyra Bray, 1832-1836
  • Thomas Bulla, 1836-1856
  • Milton Stokes, 1856-1864
  • William Bulla, 1864-1867
  • William Whitten, 1867-1869
  • Milton Bulla, 1869-1873
  • William Whitten, 1873-1875
  • Arthur Stace, 1875-1881
  • William Whitten, 1881-1888
  • Ben Walderf, 1888-1892
  • William Graves, 1892-1894
  • George Leslie, 1894-1900
  • F. W Keller, 1900-1904
  • Titus Kinzie, 1904-1908
  • Ralph Keller, 1908-1912
  • Henderson McClellan, 1912-1920
  • P. R. Gillin, 1920-1926
  • Raymond Lang, 1926-1928
  • P.R. Gillin, 1928-1930
  • Earl Feldman, 1930-1934
  • Ralph Keller, 1934-1936
  • Grover Malone, 1936-1938
  • Thomas Dumont, 1938-1942
  • Ralph Witt, 1942-1942
  • Clement Fiwek, 1942-1944
  • Frank Miller, 1944-1946
  • John DeGrove, 1946-1948
  • Robert Hajzyk, 1948-1952
  • Bert McClellan, 1952-1964
  • Jerome Ewald, 1964-1968
  • Forest Schneider, 1968-1972
  • John McNamara, 1972-present