In late 1831, Wisconsin still formed a part of the Michigan Territory. At that time, Lucius Lyon, a U.S. Commissioner who was surveying the northern boundary of the State of Illinois, set a post and marked the intersection of that boundary and the Fourth Principle Meridian. This became known as the "Point of Beginning" for the State of Wisconsin. It later became the southwestern most point of Lafayette County, as illustrated in the present lot. Then, in 1832, what was then part of Iowa County, and later became the present Lafayette County, began to be surveyed and divided according to the Public Land Survey System. This was divided into square mile tracts, and section corner monuments were erected every half mile. These segments were further divided into quarter sections or "forties". This, in effect, opened the region up for settlement. To this day, all land descriptions for Lafayette County—and, indeed for the state of Wisconsin—are mapped from the Public Land Survey System and the Point of Beginning.
Lucius Lyon was born in Shelburne, Vermont, where he studied engineering and surveying. In 1821, Lyon moved to Bronson, Michigan, where he became a land surveyor. He eventually served as Deputy Surveyor General of the Michigan Territory.
Micajah T. Williams was a politician and Surveyor General of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan & Wisconsin and Iowa, in 1833. He remained in that office for 13 years, and was an important business figure in the development of the West.
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