Witness Tree

Witness Tree (HM23DQ)

Location: Snyder, TX 79549 Scurry County
Country: United States of America

N 32° 43.139', W 100° 55.158'

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Across the street, 100 feet north of this site, is the stump of a hackberry used in early land surveys as a "witness" tree. By Texas custom (based on Spanish law), at least 2 objects were used to witness land boundaries, measured in varas, cordels, and leagues. Land corners were pointed out formally, with grantee being told "in a loud voice" that he was vested with the property; he responded by throwing stones, shouting loudly, shooting guns and making other noises.

When land at this site was first surveyed for the grantee, Houston & Great Northern Railroad, on May 29, 1873, it was in Jack County. (Scurry County was created in 1876.) "Witness" points were stakes in the prairie, an 8-inch mound, and Culver (Deep) Creek. This was hostile Indian country. Surveyors had rifles on one shoulder, transits on the other. Frontier lands had to be surveyed, as payment for state obligations.

Before this hackberry tree was marked with the "X" in 1881, buffalo hunters had killed the animals that were the "walking commissary" of the Indians. Strong campaigns by Gen. R. S. MacKenzie and the U.S. 4th Cavalry had sent the Indians to reservations. The MacKenzie Trail was mapped. Surveys also spoke of the Snyder Store, for which this town was named.
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HM NumberHM23DQ
Year Placed1966
Placed ByState Historical Survey Committee
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, December 2nd, 2017 at 10:02am PST -08:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)14S E 320126 N 3621762
Decimal Degrees32.71898333, -100.91930000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 32° 43.139', W 100° 55.158'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds32° 43' 8.3400000000002" N, 100° 55' 9.4800000000001" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)325
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1938-1998 23rd St, Snyder TX 79549, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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