LAND DISTRICTS

LAND DISTRICTS. Land districts were surveying districts established for the General Land Office by a law of May 12, 1846, which defined the limits of the counties existing in 1845 as the boundaries of the various land districts. There were thirty-five original districts: Austin, Bexar, Bastrop, Brazoria, Brazos, Bowie, Colorado, Fayette, Fort Bend, Fannin, Goliad, Gonzales, Galveston, Harris, Houston, Harrison, Jasper, Jefferson, Jackson, Liberty, Lamar, Montgomery, Milam, Matagorda, Nacogdoches, Refugio, Robertson, Rusk, Red River, San Patricio, San Augustine, Shelby, Travis, Victoria, and Washington. One surveyor in each district was to function under the General Land Office. The 1846 law discouraged additional land districts, but as the large counties from before annexation were divided into smaller units, the legislature, upon recommendation of the land office, added several by 1856. These were Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, Webb, Nueces, Presidio, El Paso, San Patricio, Cooke, Denton, and Karnes counties. As settlement advanced into central West Texas, the land office again recommended new districts to be formed from previously unorganized territory. In 1874 Palo Pinto, Jack, Clay, Young, and Eastland districts were added; in 1881 Baylor, Wheeler, and Oldham; in 1883 Mitchell, Howard, Donley, and Wilbarger; in 1885 Nolan, Webb (reestablished), and Hardeman; in 1887 Knox, Martin, Scurry, and Crosby; and in 1901, King. In 1853 provision was made for the election of district surveyors when two or more counties were involved. See PUBLIC LANDS.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
Abstract of Land Claims (Galveston: Civilian Book Office, 1852). Hans Peter Nielsen Gammel, comp., Laws of Texas, 1822–1897 (10 vols., Austin: Gammel, 1898).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, "LAND DISTRICTS," accessed October 18, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/mwl01.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...