Upon Ohio's statehood in 1803, the General Assembly enacted legislation permitting the Courts of Common Pleas to appoint the position of County Surveyor for the purpose of guiding development on the new frontier. Specific tasks involved subdividing the land for settlement; recording land plats, titles, transfers, and deeds; replacing early wooden survey stakes with stone monuments; the layout of public thoroughfares; and representing the Board of County Commissioners in land and roadway issues.
In 1831, the legislature made the County Surveyor a publicly elected officeholder that would serve three-year terms. The need for better transportation across the state, involving highway and canal construction, led to the eventual evolution of the County Surveyor's position.
In response to the demands of the impending "Auto Age," County Surveyors were chosen by the legislature to represent the State Highway Department in local engineering affairs.