The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944 Page: 208
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
begin the road on the bank of the Trinity River, not more than
fifteen miles below the mouth of the Elm Fork, and to extend it
to the south bank of Red River, opposite the Kiamichi-or, in
our terms, from central Dallas County to a point approximately
one hundred and thirty miles distant in northwest Red River
County. Three of the five commissioners lived less than thirty
miles from the new town of Paris," and Paris was also the post
office of Major George W. Stell, named by the act to survey the
road. The time-worn field notes in the Land Office are in Major
Stell's own hand.
Slightly less than two months after the bill was approved,
the surveying crew, headed by Major Stell, began its work at
a certain cedar tree4 on the bank of the Trinity River, some-
where in what is now central Dallas County, and thirty days
later the enterprise was concluded in the Red River bottom
in the northwest corner of Red River County."
In spite of the excellence of the field notes, difficulties are
found in following their exact path. In the first place, the cedar
tree in Dallas County is gone, and, secondly, there are certain
mathematical considerations that make for slight ambiguities
in applying the notes.' Also, Major Stell admitted the possibility
that he had made some minor errors in transcribing his data.
Fortunately, some information within the notes, and some
additional facts that have been discovered, limit the possible
errors to a relatively small range. A county-line survey, made
in 1850, fixes the National Road at a point ten miles and twenty-
four chains (or ten and three-tenths miles) south of the north-
east corner of Dallas County. A similar survey made of the
west Hunt County line in the same year shows that the Na-
tional Road was nine miles and 74.57 chains (or 9.93 miles)
:The commissioners named in the act were Jason Wilson and William
M. Williams of Lamar County, John Yeary of Fannin County (who lived
four miles south of the site of Honey Grove), Rowland W. Box of Hous-
ton County, and James Bradshaw of Nacogdoches County.
4Field Notes, 1.
5Field Notes, 1, 5. The surveyor and crew began operations on April
26, 1844, and completed their survey on May 26, 1844.
"Surveying, as usually practiced, is imperfect to the extent that two
surveys begun at the same point and following the same field notes would
not likely follow the same exact path for any great distance unless there
were recognizable landmarks--stakes, rocks, witness trees, etc.-against
which to check the course. The fact that surveying is done on the earth,
which is spherical, and platted on maps, which are flat, further compli-
cates one's difficulties in following, on maps, a route surveyed on the earth.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944, periodical, 1944; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146054/m1/239/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.