Measuring Progress Since 1924

Phone: 503-284-5896



PLSS – Public Land Survey System

image of townships and sections from the National AtlasOrdinance of 1785 – provided for townships six miles square

Act of 1796

Section 1 – provides for the appointment of a Survey General

Section 2 – rule for numbering sections was established and is still practiced today

Section 9 – established navigable rivers as public highways

Act of 1800 – original set public land corners held to be true

1812 – General Land Office established

1815 – Tiffen’s survey instructions – interior section lines to be 80 chains. Meridional lines run straight for six miles

1849 – Department of Interior established

Survey instructions of 1855 – subdivision of fractional sections into 40 acre lots

Survey instructions of 1881 – townships six miles square. Section lines (north-south) on true meridian.

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Who Is W.B. Wells?

In 1924, after graduating from Stanford University, Willard B. Wells founded W.B. Wells & Assoc. Inc in Portland, Oregon. Willard’s philosophy was to provide a quality product for a reasonable fee. We still follow Willard’s philosophy today.
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