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RG2950.AM:  Oliver N. Chaffee, 1835-1916

Notebooks:  1869

Detroit, Michigan:  Civil engineer

Size:  8 volumes


Born July 6, 1835 in Detroit, Michigan, Oliver N. Chaffee was the son of Amos and Maria (Miller) Chaffee.  A civil engineer, Chaffee entered into a contract with the Iowa and Nebraska Surveyor General, Robert R. Livingston, to survey the 25th and 27th meridians west from Washington D.C. on May 29, 1869.  Between June and October he worked with his assistant, Prof. S.W. Robinson, and two sets of chainmen to conduct the survey and establish the western borders of Nebraska.  Chaffee placed the final monument designating the intersection of the 25th Meridian and the 41st Parallel on October 7, 1869.  Having completed the survey, Chaffee received just over $7800.00 in payment.

Chaffee continued to live in Detroit and work as a civil engineer for the rest of his career.  He married Jennie Merick on October 18, 1871.  They had six children, Alice, Melzar, Walter, William, Amos and Oliver, Jr.  Oliver N. Chaffee died in San Diego, California, on October 29, 1916 and is buried in Greenwood Memorial Park in San Diego.


This collection consists of one box containing a memoranda book and seven field notebooks of Oliver N. Chaffee.  Entries in the memoranda book date from 1861 to 1869.  The remainder of the collection consists of seven surveyor’s notebooks, 1869.  The material in this collection relates to the establishment of the western boundary line of Nebraska.


Box 1


  1. Memoranda book, 1861-1869

  2. Field notebook, 1869

  3. Field notebook, 1869

  4. Field notebook, 1869

  5. Field notebook, 1869

  6. Field notebook, 1869

  7. Field notebook, 1869

  8. Field notebook, 1869


Subject headings:

Chaffee Oliver N., 1835-1916

Nebraska — Boundaries

Surveying — Nebraska


FS/js       12-20-1964

kfk           06-25-1996;  08-06-2003

TMM      10-16-2018