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Gasconade County Surveying Information from expert local surveying company


Paul Dopuch, the Gasconade County Surveyor of record has some information that is very useful when surveying parcels in this county specifically.  For your reading and learning enjoyment.  If questions feel free to call Paul and speak first hand to the author. 

Per Paul, "Previously I alluded that my next update would be regarding the acceptance (or rejection) of existing survey markers.


Above all else, United States law dictates that the original government positions must remain unchanged. This applies to section corners and quarter section corners (half mile markers) of the United States Public Land Survey (USPLSS). These corners were originally established in Missouri in the early 1800's. Position(s) of these original corners is the "gold standard" for all property boundary establishment. This is true even if the actual measurements are different from those shown on the original government plat. These surveys were performed by United States Surveyors working with primitive instruments and under harsh conditions.


After the US Surveyors, then it became the responsibility of the County Surveyors to preserve these positions, and to subsequently perform additional surveys for further divisions of land. The Missouri Land Survey Program (and Gasconade County) have been proactive in restoring and protecting these original positions through corner restoration programs.


Gasconade County now has approximately 1000 Corner documents filed through this restoration program*.


Much case law, derived from Missouri Statutes, exists regarding the acceptance of existing survey monumentation. Generally, if a marker or monument was set by a County Surveyor, in accordance with statute, then it must be accepted.


A recent MO Appellate Court decision stated that even though a marker may not be in the exact mathematical position (according to statute), but if it was set with the intent to be at the statutory position, then it must be accepted. 


However, what about markers that were set without regard of the statutes? Many years ago, as a practical matter, some surveyors merely "stubbed" in corner markers. "Stubbing" means that markers were set using only a assumed bearing and perhaps a guesstimate of the quarter or half mile distance. This was acceptable (as a property corner) only if the adjoining landowners agreed to this method, and accepted the resulting corner position.


Recently, we have been questioned regarding our reestablishment of a corner position that differed from a previous position. The "previous position" was noted as being shown on numerous prior surveys. We rejected this position since it had no origin or record of establishment according to statute. There is no survey law that says that numerous "wrongs" make a "right". 


And another recent similar instance** resulted in a lengthy judgement supporting our position that if a monument has no legal origin, it may be rejected. These decisions are finally giving prudent Surveyors some guidance. No longer is practicality or convenience being accepted over the law with today's modern methods.


In summary, the following guidelines may be of use when deciding to accept an existent corner marker:


1. If the marker was set not in accordance with statutory procedure, then it may be rejected, even if it has been used by numerous previous surveyors.

"Stubbing" or just plain non-compliance would be reasons these markers came to be. Also land owners may have just decided that's where their land corner is, without regard for survey procedure.


2. If a marker was set with the agreement of the adjoining property owners, then it may be accepted as a "property corner", but not as a position of the USPLSS. 


In the past property owners have placed markers and even some Surveyors have set markers in conflict with the statutes.

Thorough research and proper measurement must be used to validate the origin and pedigree of these positions.


Merry Christmas to you and yours,


Paul G. Dopuch, PLS

Gasconade County Surveyor


107 E 4th St,

Hermann, MO 65041

(573) 486-2879

* see

** 2015 Franklin County Circuit Court Case NO. 10AB-0000339, decreed that a monument of questionable origin may be rejected and that the "Dopuch" position, reestablished by proper statutory procedure was the "gold standard".


If you are looking for land or farms in the Missouri, please give Donna Joerling a call at 314.808.1712 and let's talk about the wants and needs you have in the purchase of real estate, homes, business, farms, dairy farms, agricultural producing land, recreational hunting and fishing land and the like.


The information above is provided as a service to the general public but not guaranteed or warrantied by The Joerling Group.

The Joerling Group