By George Nye
Editor's Note: County Auditor Thomas Warner reports that a special appropriation of $1000 asked by the county commissioners has been approved by the county council and by the state for furthering a road numbering project in this county. County Surveyor George Nye, in the following article explains how the system would work.
At a recent meeting of County Commissioners Stookey, Bouse and Sponseller, I was asked to prepare a map giving each one of our county roads a number or a name or something.
Instead of preparing a map I purchased one already prepared by Don Lessig who employed a gentleman by the name of Durbin some years ago. Durbin was a real artist at map making and made a very good looking map of the county. The road system has changed but little since it was made. The scheme we have followed is the same that has been followed in some other nearby counties such as Starke and LaPorte.
The county by this method is divided into four quadrants by an X and Y axis, the four quadrants being somewhat nearly equal in size. I have taken the east line of Section 8-32-6, which is Scott street in Warsaw, and extended it across the county east and west as an X axis. This line follows old Road 30 East of town and the Crystal Lake and the Union Chapple roads west of town out to Road 10 that comes in from Argos.
Number Each Mile
Beginning at these base lines we number each mile a number ending with two zeros. For instance, a road three miles north of the base line is 300N, one five miles south of the base line is 500S. Then going east and west from the base line we would have such roads as 700E and 200W.
This system works well for roads that do not angle. Angling roads will have to be given a name perhaps such as the Robinson road, the Armstorng road, the I. T. Smith road, these being the names of the roads when they were built under the three-mile law 30 years ago, when Stanley Boggs and Billy Taylor were surveyors.
Under this system, the south county line road is 1300 south and the north county line road is 1400 north. A road on the east line of the county is 1000 east and one on the west line of the county is 1000 west. If a man lived in Packerton, he would live at the intersection of Road 800 south and 200 east. If he lived at Sevastopol he would live where Road 1000 west crosses Road 700 south.
Roads can have numbers as 650 or 625 if they are not on section lines. It is likely that such a system would enable a person to find somebody's farm. even though he is a stranger in the county. In some other counties, they are zoning the county and forbidding anything to spring up along the roads that is unsightly or might be a nuisance.
Up until this time, it has been customary in directing people to use the old name of roads such as the Atwood Road, the Milford-Syracuse Road, the Wooster Road, etc. This is not very good for strangers who do not know the county. By this new method, if a stranger has a map of the county and knows on which road a person lives and approximately where on the road, he can probably find the house.
We remember that 60 years ago we used to ride the delivery wagon about town. We would, for instance, ask Ed Nye where Dave Felter lived. Ed would try to look wise and then say, "well you know where the sexton's house is out at the cemetery?" I would say, "yes." Then he would say "well that isn't the place." After several teases he would say that Dave Felter lived the third house west of the big four water tank.
Or, maybe I would ask where Beckey Santee lived. Looking wise he would say, "well you know where Dave Elder lives in East Warsaw?" I would say, "Yes." Then he would say "well that is not the place."
Then after several trials he would say that Beckey Santee lived the second house north of Ethel Evans over in Hahn Town south of Pike lake.
Such directing as this is O.K. for people who know the ropes, but not for strangers. At Knox a day or so ago we asked the cost of this road program for Starke county and we were informed that it was $5000. the plates are made at the Michigan City state prison and the signs are put up by the road department.
Warsaw Times-Union Saturday, March 31, 1956