Monroe County, Indiana

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Stapleton Records

JOHN TRACY STAPLETON SR.
John Stapleton was appointed surveyor in 1941 to complete an unexpired term and then was elected as a Republican for the next 20 years. Prior to this he worked for the City of Bloomington and at Camp Atterbury as an engineer. He also owned and operated Stapleton Engineering & Surveying Services. During his career, he laid out many of the county's major subdivisions and industrial sites. His grandson noted that he was defeated in the 1964 Democrat landslide and after the county had begun using a mechanical system that made it more difficult for voters to split their tickets. 


His 1948 cadastral map of the City of Bloomington is an invaluable resource for local surveyors as it contains detailed right-of-way information that is not available elsewhere. 
In 2009, then-County Surveyor Kevin Enright was informed that five boxes of Stapleton's survey records were in the Indiana Room of the Monroe County Public Library. The library's board decided these records could be transferred to the Monroe County Surveyor Office to be archived. The volumes of information in the files filled a huge void in the public knowledge of surveying in the county in Stapleton's era. The Surveyor Office decided to undertake the digitization of the valuable survey records, some 18,000 pages of material. In 2017, Stapleton's grandson, Jeff Stapleton, sent the Surveyor Office his grandfather's stone book and the Surveyor Office digitized it that same year. In 2018, his subdivision records were digitized. The office hopes to digitize the remaining material in the future. 

The Stapleton archives include the following records:
  • File Drawer 1: Subdivision Records- filed alphabetically (available digitally). This drawer has been digitized. Many of the recorded subdivision plats that were produced in the 1940s through the 1960s are difficult to read or missing important curve data. The original drawings and calculations for subdivisions that Stapleton designed (of which there are many) are filed in this drawer, and they can often provide valuable insights to modern surveyors who are struggling to interpret illegible recorded plats.
  • File Drawer 2: Client Records - filed alphabetically and by range of years. The alphabetical filing method makes these files difficult to find unless you know the owner name or buyer name and the general date of the survey.
  • File Drawer 3: Client Records - filed alphabetically. These are generally larger clients or bigger projects. This drawer also contains some miscellaneous records such as perc tests, well locations, and bridge specs.
  • File Drawer 4: Loan Surveys, Field Books, Indexes, Stone Book, Plat Book, and Ledger. The loan surveys are organized alphabetically by client name. The indexes, Stone Book, and Plat Book have all been scanned and are available here. Many of the field books are missing. We have Books 2, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 51, 52, 53, 54, 56, 57, 59, 61, 62, 63, 64, 64A, 65, 66, 67, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 85, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 112A, 114, 115, 116, 117, 119, 120, 122, and 123.

The Stapleton archives that are available digitally may be downloaded with one click from our Internet Archive page by selecting the download option "original", or individually by clicking the arrow next to "PDF" under "Download Options."

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