Last, it is difficult, if not impossible to write about abstract plants and abstracting of land titles, and at the same time ignore title insurance; particularly for a man whose background and experience has been primarily in that field. Besides, a grave injustice would be done many readers if I failed to comment on the anomalous position which the abstracter and the owner of the abstract plan and business find themselves today.


Since about 1908, the abstract business has been engaged in a vigorous, sometimes bitter competition with title insurance. To many this has seemed a struggle for survival. In more populous counties such as Bexar, Dallas and Harris, and possibly Tarrant, title insurance has largely prevailed. In at least three of those counties it is estimated that about 95% of the real estate transactions closed on any title evidence are closed under the protection of title insurance." .........


......"To complicate the problem of the abstract plant owner and the abstracter-agent, we find ourselves well in the midst of a movement by lawyers to enter the filed of title insurance, both at the level of the abstracter-agent, and that of the underwriter, even before the transition from the abstract business to the title insurance is fully accomplished. But that complication is one beyond the scope of this book."


Frank A. Stamper

January, 1966

"A Handbook for Texas Abstracters and TItle Men"

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Reply by Deward Karl Bowles on July 12, 2013 at 7:50am

"Rule 4-1(c)(4). By Prescription

Since an easement will confer upon the public all the rights essential for the use of right-of-way as a street, an easement rather than a vesting of fee is acquired by prescription, and the title in the roadway remains in the owner of the adjoining land. (District of Columbia v. Robinson, 180 U.S. 92. 45 L. Ed. 440, 21 @. Ct. 283 (1901); Johnson v. Roberton, 156 Iowa 64, 135 N.W. 585 (1912))."

Skelton on The Legal Elements of Boundaries & Adjacent Properties Second Edition, Highways And Streets As Boundaries, Page 247

Reply by Deward Karl Bowles on June 25, 2011 at 3:36pm

"On May 1, 2002, certified surveyor Keith Koppen prepared a survey drawing of the property for Higgins.  Koppen followed up with a topographic survey on May 21. Both the survey drawing and the topographic survey contained a legal description of the property, a statement attesting that Koppen has surveyed the property, and Koppen’s “Wisconsin Land Surveyor” seal.  Koppen testified that he was never directed by Higgins to actually survey the property."


See the group "Wisconsin Surveyors"  on LSU for the case summary this is from.

Reply by Deward Karl Bowles on June 20, 2011 at 10:42am



"Our conclusion is that we agree with Curt 100 percent that it is a poorly defined benchmark," Lund said. 

 He added the agency is committed to correcting the data but emphasized the issue of subsidence is still an occurring problem in the valley. Neilson took issue with Lund's position.

He said anyone practicing as a land surveyor must be licensed by the state, and it takes several years of college, apprenticeship and testing to earn that license. He told Lund that he is a geologist and not a surveyor. He then asked the board to recall the study from the district's website because of the inaccuracies until it could be certified by a licensed surveyor.


Reply by Deward Karl Bowles on June 15, 2011 at 12:39am
Michael Crapnell, owner of Crapnell Land Surveying in Davenport, said it would usually cost a property owner $250 to $475 to have a land survey done by a licensed surveyor. Licensed surveyors can’t just locate the pin for the property owner, they have to do a full survey to make sure the pin placement was accurate, Crapnell said.

“Anybody can drive a pipe in the ground,” he said.
Reply by Deward Karl Bowles on June 3, 2011 at 2:20pm

The only weapon a Land Surveyor possesses is the truth and the only shield he carries is his work.


Deward "Karl" Bowles

Reply by Deward Karl Bowles on May 24, 2011 at 8:58am

Rule 663.9 (c) states “The public shall be provided every reason for relying upon the surveyor's seals, signatures, or professional identification on all documents, plats or maps, surveyor's reports, plans, or other surveying data on which they appear as a representation that the surveyors whose seals, signatures, or professional identification appear thereon, have personal knowledge thereof and that they are professionally responsible therefore.”


Texas Administrative Code.

Reply by Deward Karl Bowles on May 18, 2011 at 5:43pm

"There is a story circulating in Greensboro, North Carolina, about a lawyer who practiced there for a number of years but decided to move to a less stressful atmosphere in the mountains. Soon after he got there he took on a boundary dispute case and went with his client to view the disputed line. The opposing landowner mistook the lawyer for the client and shot him. In Greensboro the moral of this story is that lawyers should always let surveyors look at disputed lines and confine their activities to the courthouse and the office."


Skelton on The Legal Elements of Boundaries & Adjacent Properties, Second Edition

Reply by Deward Karl Bowles on May 16, 2011 at 11:05am
7.2 Intention of Parties: This is the retracement surveyor's primary quest. The intention is not a state of mind of those making any type real estate transaction. The intention must be derived by examining the transaction document's words and what was actually done in respect to that document. Regarding the land's location, the words and phrases must be analyzed and weighted in the light of the times the description was written. This does not call for a creative imagination. No words should be added and none subtracted. In livingston Oil & Gas Co. v. Shasta Oil Co., 114 S.W.2d 378 (1939), the court said that the intention of the parties as to the boundary line intended is to be ascertained on the face of the grant, read in the light of surrounding circumstances. And where there is only an office survey, the intent of the parties must be determined from the terms of the document itself, considered in the light of all surrounding facts and circumstances, per Staurt v. Coldwell Banker & Co., 552 S.W.2d 904 (1977). Therefore, in respect to the court's direction, each word in the instrument must be construed in its ordinary meaning, unless the meaning is patently ambiguous or would lead to ridiculous conclusions. In substance, this is a paraphrasing of something called the "Four-Corners-Rule."From "Decisions" by Kenneth G. Gold

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