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"Ohio Lands - A Short History"

Jim Petro Picture

The makers of Ohio's Constitution recognized the position of the Auditor of State in the executive branch of government as a functional necessity. They ascribed great importance to the Auditor because of the weighty duties of being the "Watchdog of the Treasury."

As Auditor of the State of Ohio today, one of my responsibilities is to maintain the inventory and deed records of state-owned real property. This booklet provides a short history of the original land subdivisions and federal land grants in Ohio.

The history of the Office of Auditor of State began on April 15, 1803 when the responsibility, along with all duties held by the Territorial Auditor, were bestowed upon the Office of the Auditor of State. Another one of those duties required the Auditor to keep a list of taxable lands, which are the early tax duplicates found in the State Archives at the Ohio Historical Center.

Through the years, Ohio's legislature added land-related duties to the Auditor of State, authorizing him to prepare: tax deeds in 1824; school land deeds in 1827; canal land deeds in 1834; and to prepare and deliver all state deeds in 1877. This office still prepares and delivers these deeds with the exception of tax deeds, which are handled by county auditors.

In 1877, the Auditor of State also became the Custodian of Public Land records. All the federal land surveys, field notes, and tract and entry books concerning Ohio were placed in the Auditor's care. In that same year, all the instruments which show any right, title or interest in state-owned land, except highways, were required to be filed with the Auditor.

All of these records are available either at the Auditor of State's Land Office or at the State Archives. Our office is proud to be the repository for land titles of all state agencies, for Governor's deeds, and for files of any land sold by the state.

"Ohio Lands - A Short History" was written to assist researcher and students, but can provide valuable information to any Ohioan.

Best Regards,

Jim Petro
Auditor of State

Copyright 1994 by the Ohio Auditor of State All Rights Reserved.
FOR FREE DISTRIBUTION ONLY. Researched and written by
Thomas Aquinas Burke, Internet Address F491.3 B86 1994 977.1
Eighth Edition - September 1996

"Ohio Lands - A Short History"
ReTyped & Graphics Rescanned December 1997
by Maggie Stewart-Zimmerman
Email at Maggie Stewart

This booklet is available on the Auditor of State home page under
Publications at: http://www.auditor.state.oh.us/

Ohio Lands - A Short History Quick Index
OHIO-LANDS Mailing List | Table of Contents | Introduction |
| Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 Part 8 |
Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12

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