"The problems of boundary lie at the foundation of all surveying, for one must know where a line is before he can measure it, and the solution of these problems calls for the same powers of accurate observation and of consecutive and logical thought that are demanded for successful work in any branch of modern science. It is needless to say that the successful surveyor must be accurate in his instrument work and in his computation; yet, if he would really succeed, he must go beyond this. He must add to this the patience to collect all the evidence which can be found bearing upon the case in hand, together with the ability to weigh this evidence to a nicety and to determine clearly the course pointed out by the balance of probability. If, in addition, he posesses enough imagination to cast pleasant lights across the desert of dry details, he should be successful indeed.
The watchwords of the Surveyor are Patience and Common Sense.
The vocation of the Civil Engineer has always been invested with a dignity of its own. But it seems to me that of late years, in paying him the honor which is his just due, we are apt to fix a little too wide a gap between him and his humbler brother, the Surveyor. We give engineering the chief attention in our technical schools, but surveying we are wont to relegate to the Freshman class. Yet the profession of the Surveyor deals with one of the oldest and most fundamental facts of human society - the possession and inheritance of land. Fire, flood and earthquake wipe out the greatest works of the engineer, but the land continueth forever.
Curiously enough the Surveyor is isolated in his calling, and therein lie his responsibility and his temptations. The lawyer comes nearest to understanding the work, yet of the actual details of a survey most lawyers are woefully ignorant. The business man who can judge to a hair the fulfillment of a contract has no eye for the for the shortened line or the shifted landmark. To the skilled accountant of the bank the traverse sheet is a closed book. Dishonesty in ordinary buisness ife cannot long be hid and errors in accounts quickly come to light, but the false or faulty survey may pass unchallenged through the years, for few but the Surveyor himself are qualified to judge it. I maintain that in the hands of the Surveyor, to an exceptional degree, lie the honor of the generations past and the welfare of the generations to come;in his keeping is the Doomsday Book of his community, and who shall know if he is false to his trust? Therefore I believe that to every Surveyor who values his honor and has a full sense of his duty the fear of error is a perpetual shadow that darkens the sunlight.
Yet it seems to me that to a man of active mind and high ideals the profession is singularly suited; for to the reasonable certainty of a modest income must be added the intellectual satisfaction of problems solved, a sense of knowledge and power increasing with the years, the respect of the community, the consciousness of responsibility met and work well done. It is a profession for men who believe that a man is measured by his work, not by his purse, and to such I commend it."
Boundaries and Landmarks By A.C. Mulford 1912