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1540-002 1 of 2

PUBLIC LANDS COMMISSION

The 94th General Assembly faced an unusual dilemma. Large amounts of public land were available for state use, but there was so much uncertainty as to the precise boundaries of the tracts, eventual disposition of the land was impossible. Thus, in 1913, the Legislature created the Public Lands Commission.1

Initially, the Commission was to ascertain the location of the lands in question, and then to have each tract surveyed, plotted and duly recorded in the appropriate county’s Recorder of Deeds office. Once recorded, they were then to divide the lands into tracts of less than fifty acres each, and were empowered to then sell them to interested parties. As a sideline to their general caring for the public lands, they were to supervise the sale of any material growth (hay, lumber, etc.) from these lands and to deposit said proceeds into the state treasury. When it was deemed advisable, the Commission was to oversee the placing of public roads through the lands.2

In 1929, the duties and functions of the Commission were transferred to the State Highway Department (RG 1540).3

1540-002 2 of 2

PUBLIC LANDS COMMISSION

1 27 D.L., ch. 5

2 Ibid

3 36 D.L., ch. 2

jrf/March 28, 1988