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Old Plat Maps

 
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roger.pape
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Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 383
Location: Liverpool, NY

PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:31 pm    Post subject: Old Plat Maps Reply with quote

(Originally posted March 1, 2009)

Check out the new posting that overlays some old plat maps of the Concordia vicinity on top of current maps or aerial photos. This feature can be accessed from a link on the 'Sources' page of the website.

Google Maps and Google Earth are powerful tools for displaying map information for any selected area. After looking at some early plat maps of the Concordia area, I got the idea that it would be interesting to overlay these old maps over current displays of the same location. If you own property in the area and are curious who used to own the land or if you are just wondering where the old homesteads were, the plat map overlay can show this.

I was able to locate two different sets of plat maps. One set of maps for the area was made in 1877. Rather than try to track down copies of these maps from some state or county agency, I scanned the pages that were included in Loberta Runge's Frerking Family History. They only cover a limited area because Loberta was interested in showing where the old Frerking farms were located. A set of 1930 plat maps for most of Missouri is located in the Univ. of Missouri Digital Library. The set for Lafayette County can be found at the following link: Plat Books of Missouri.. To keep the file sizes reasonable, I only copied those maps that were close to Concordia.

Google provides a set of tools that make it relatively easy to put overlays on their maps and display them on a website. However, some of the features are undocumented and subject to change. The other problem is that not all browsers work consistently with the same data. Even though I ran a compatibility test on the page and it checked out 100% compatible with current Web standards, that doesn't guarantee that it will work with all systems. I use Firefox and the displays seemed to work reasonably well on it; however, when testing it on MS Internet Explorer (version 7), I noticed that some of the features did not function in the same way. So I hope that this page works on the particular version of browser that you use. If there are problems, let me know so that I can try to fix them.

As for the legibility of the overlays, I used the best images that were available to me. If you have better copies or maps from some other date, I would be glad to add them to the page. After experimenting with different colors for the overlays, I finally settled on red because that seemed to show up best on the different types of maps, particularly the darker satellite photos.

Hopefully, people will have no trouble locating the area that they are interested in. I wasn't sure which type of display was easiest to use, so I included them all. Note that the Google Earth display does not show the plat maps. It's a little more difficult to generate larger map overlays for this type of display. However, I included it mainly because it's fun to play with.

Let me know what you think of the displays and how well they work on your system. As always, they work better with a high speed Internet connection. The best way to develop a good working system is to get some feedback.


Last edited by roger.pape on Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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roger.pape
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Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 383
Location: Liverpool, NY

PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:41 pm    Post subject: Putting Things Together Reply with quote

(Originally posted March 6, 2009)

Having access to a wealth of data via the Internet makes it possible to associate various pieces of information and put together a picture of the by-gone days. The following is an example of a tidbit of information that I discovered by rooting through various records.

It began when I was testing the plat map overlay feature now available on this website. While looking at various properties around Concordia, I decided to check out the land where my cousin Myrna and Wendell Olson currently live. I remembered that property as "Runge's Woods". In the fall, we would join Uncle John Runge to help clear the brush and then had a big bonfire, followed by a wiener roast and toasted marshmallows. While in the Boy Scouts, we would also camp there occasionally.

Zooming in on the Olson home with the satellite display in Google Maps (at Old Hwy 40 and Runge Rd), I then turned on the 1930 plat map overlay. Sure enough, the property was shown as being owned by John Runge. I then switched to the 1877 map and it showed the owner as H. D. (Henry) Bruns. The Bruns were some of the earliest settlers in Freedom Township and purchased a considerable amount of property in the area.

Note that 1877 was only about 30 years after the original settlement of the Concordia area. Many of the properties shown on that map include those of the early pioneers. Going to the Bureau of Land Management website (see the Sources page) and entering Missouri and Bruns brought up a list of original land patents for the property purchased by the Bruns in the 1840s and 1850s. If you switch back to the plat map, you can see the section numbers and boundaries. You then have to think like a surveyor and figure out which quarter or half of which quarter fits the description of the land. (Most of the purchases were 40 or 80 acres.) Document 18991 seemed to be the best match but it lists Section 33 rather than 32. Was there an error in the patent (unlikely that the numbering changed) or did the property change hands? A title search such as included in the abstract to the deed could possibly resolve the issue.

Next, I began search the Federal census records for H. D. Bruns and found an interesting entry in the 1870 census.



Excerpt from 1870 Freedom Township Census

Because of the amount of land he owned, H. D. had a number of hired hands living with the family through the years. Notice the one entry, John Runge, a 23 year old young man who had come to the US from Hannover in 1867 (based on later census records.) John, Sr. was the father of Ed, Adolph, and my uncle John M. People will remember the Runges living west of Concordia, along Old Highway 40 and along what is now called Runge Rd. They might also be remembered for running Pine Ridge Camp along Old 40.

Notice also the young daughter of H. D. Bruns, Mathilde. Switching to the St. Paul's Church records and bringing up the list of marriages, there it was. Johann Runge married Mathilde Bruns on Aug. 7, 1874. So I assume that John eventually acquired some of the property from his father-in-law Henry and that is how the land became part of the Runge estate.
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roger.pape
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Location: Liverpool, NY

PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:30 pm    Post subject: Map changes Reply with quote

A few changes have been made to the map display page. It now has its own tab in the navigation bar at the top of the various website pages. This was done to make them easier to access.

If you have tried using the maps, you've probably noticed some check boxes that have been added over the map display window. More information about them is provided in the User Guide forum.

If you check the Wikipedia box, you may see some markers with a W in the marker box (depending on the map area you currently have selected). This indicates that there is information on the Wikipedia website that has been tagged with a location within the current map area. Clicking on the box brings up a balloon with some summary information. There is a link within the balloon to display the full article. You will notice these markers for each community in the area.

The second Wiki DE check box is similar except that, when you drag the map over Germany, the information will be displayed in German.

The third box is used to enable markers for photos on the Panoramia website that have been posted with locations within the map area. You may see a few of these around Concordia. Click on the small thumbnail for an expanded view of the photo.

Finally, the fourth box will bring up markers for any YouTube postings that have been geotagged and are in the map area. Check the Higginsville or Sweet Springs area for examples. Click on the snapshot to play the video.

Try them. They're fun to play with.
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roger.pape
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Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 383
Location: Liverpool, NY

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:33 pm    Post subject: Small lots Reply with quote

I was just looking at the old plat maps and noticed an interesting phenomenon. Take a look along the various creeks in the area, particularly along Panther Creek heading southeast from Concordia. There are a large number of small lots, many 10 acres or less. This is also true along Peavine Creek about where the lake is now and also along Davis Creek to a lesser degree.

Were these wood lots or does someone have another explanation?
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roger.pape
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Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 383
Location: Liverpool, NY

PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:50 pm    Post subject: More Old Plat Maps Reply with quote

State archives include a number of early plat maps of Lafayette County besides those that were previously loaded to the Maps page of this website. So more of these maps have now been added to the page. This includes those from 1897, 1914 and 1974. The approximate 20 year spacing between the earliest (1877) and the 1930 map give a good picture of the progression of farm ownership over that period of time. Comparing the earliest map with the 1974 map also gives an indication of those farms that remained within the same family for 100 year, i.e. the Century Farms.

Take a look at the Maps page to see which farms you recognize. Note that copies of each of the maps can also be downloaded from the Sources page.
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