Government Lots

As Clay County was being settled the government had areas surveyed so the land could be homesteaded. By 1880 the entire county had been surveyed and the Government Survey of Clay County was recorded December 30, 1880. The Government Survey shows the layout of sections, townships and ranges, and various other information related to the land.

Section Measurements
A standard section is 1 square mile. A standard quarter section is 1/4 of a mile square. A standard quarter-quarter is 1/8 of a mile square. Any quarter-quarters that were more than 40 acres or less than 40 acres were named as government lots.

Government Lot Names
Always use the government lot name to describe such parcels. It is easier to find information when the proper legal description is used. The Clay County Recorder’s Office has search software capable of correlating government lots with quarter-quarters.

As an example, the northeast quarter of the northeast quarter would be legally described as Government Lot 1 of Section 1, Township 137, Range 44 when the Government Survey of Clay County was recorded on December 30, 1880.

Helpful County Maps
To view a map of Clay County that includes townships, as well as other Clay County maps, see Maps Online on the Clay County GIS webpage.