The patentee was the first owner of property after the initial survey. Once the patent was issued, the land became private property and was then sold with a deed. The townships, the six-mile-square land blocks which were the original divisions of land from the federal land grants, were then divided into 36 one-mile squares. The township numbering was the north-south numbering, starting from the center line. The range numbering was the east-west numbering, starting from the center line. The section is the one-mile-square portion (approximately 640 acres) of a township. That was was also generally divided into 36 equal squares (each of which might be divided another 36 times).