TeSelle Parcels in the South Pass Township in 1921
The 1921 South Pass map, which is officially described as Township 7 North, Range 7 East of the 6th Principal Meridian, contains several parcels identified by the TeSelle name. The owners of all of these TeSelle parcels are related in some way to the three original TeSelle brothers.
- In Section 17, son William TeSelle (1871-1936) *
- In Section 17, son Gerrit H. TeSelle (1895-1953) *
- In Section 22, son Albert Herman TeSelle(1880-1932)
- In Section 22, son John Henry TeSelle (1893-1955) *
- In Section 22, son Herman John TeSelle (1888-1963) *
- In Section 22, son Benjamin F. TeSelle (1889-1959) *
- In Section 13, son Hendrik (“Henry”) TeSelle (1875-1960)
- In Section 24, son Benjamin Hendrik TeSelle (1884-1971)
- In Sections 25 and 36, son Gerrit “Garret” TeSelle (1878-1948)
- In Section 26, Gerrit Jan’s own property
- In Section 24, son Jan Albert te Selle (1869-1941)
Other parcels within South Pass Township may have been owned by spouses of TeSelle daughters. There are parcels identified with names such as Onnink, Lefferdink, ten Hulzen, Kallemeyn, Dietz, and other familiar names that married with TeSelle daughters. We will add those related land parcels to our list when the specific connection becomes known.
The Last Will and Testament of Harmen Jan te Selle (1844-1919)
The parcels listed above with asterisks (*), which belonged to Harmen Jan te Selle’s sons in 1921, were acquired by them when Harmen Jan te Selle died in 1919. The provisions of Harmen Jan te Selle’s Last Will and Testament distributed his land holdings to several of his sons, as follows:
- William TeSelle: The West One-Half of the Northeast One-Fourth of Section Seventeen, Township Seven North of Range Seven East.
- Herman TeSelle: The Northwest One-Fourth of the Southeast One-Fourth and the Northeast One-Fourth of the Southwest One-Fourth of Section Twenty-two, Township Seven North of Range Seven East.
- Benjamin F. TeSelle: The East One-Half of the Southeast One-Fourth of Section Twenty-two, Township Seven North of Range Seven East.
- John H. TeSelle: The West One-Half of the Northeast One-Fourth of Section Twenty-two, Township Seven North of Range Seven East.
- Gerrit TeSelle: The East One-Half of the Northeast One-Fourth of Section Seventeen, Township Seven North of Range Seven East.
Did you get all that? If so, you must be an expert in the Public Land Survey System (PLSS), which is the surveying method developed and used in the United States to “plat,” or divide, real property for sale and settling. For a complete and clear explanation of PLSS, please follow this link.
But let’s take it slowly and refer to the plat map, and you’ll be able to figure out what property each of Harmen Jan TeSelle’s sons received.
First, the entire map represents Township Seven North of Range Seven East, commonly known as South Pass Township. A township is 6 miles long and 6 miles wide, and it is divided into 36 Sections, each of which is one-mile square. The Sections are numbered from 1 to 36, beginning at the upper right corner and continuing in an “S” pattern, first going right to left, then back from left to right, etc.
The easiest parcel to understand and locate is the first one above, given to William TeSelle — the West One-Half of the Northeast One-Fourth of Section Seventeen, Township Seven North of Range Seven East. The best way to decipher this description is to read the pieces backward.
- First, “Township Seven North of Range Seven East” identifies the township known as South Pass, and we have the proper map.
- Second, the next puzzle piece says, “Section Seventeen.” Starting in the upper right corner of the map, follow an “S” pattern to the left and down, reading the Section numbers in the middle of each Section square until you arrive at Section 17
- Third, “the Northeast One-Fourth” — Visualize Section 17 divided into four equal squares. The square in the upper right corner is the “Northeast One-Fourth” of Section 17.
- Last, “the West One-Half” — in the small square you just identified as the “Northeast One-Fourth,” divide it in half vertically, from north to south; the left half is the “west one-half.”
- That small parcel is highlighted and annotated with the name “Wm. TeSelle” — congratulations on solving the puzzle #1!
Note that the other half of that “Northeast One-Fourth”, i.e., “the East One-Half”, is the parcel that was given by Harmen Jan to Gerrit TeSelle in Item 5 of the Will, as listed above.
The most difficult parcel to decipher is the one given to Herman TeSelle (see Item 2 above). You can find his parcel in Section 22, identified as “H. J. TeSelle.” Try to follow the parcel description in the Will, which is duplicated above, to satisfy yourself that it matches the parcel shown on the map.