SW Corner of Nebraska
(Nebraska - Kansas - Colorado)

The southern boundary of Nebraska along the 40th Parallel of latitude through this area was surveyed in 1859 by a crew being led by James Withrow and Jared Todd while the baseline was being established to the summit of the Rocky Mountains. On September 30, 1869, Oliver N. Chaffee established a point for the southwest corner of Nebraska where he thought Longitude 25 West (from Washington D.C.) intersected Latitude 40 North. Chaffee could not find any of the monuments set by Withrow and Todd in 1859, so he placed his monument where he felt the intersection of the two geographical lines should be.

On June 15, 1873, Edwin Burwell correctly intersected Chaffee's north-south line with Withrow & Todd's east-west line and established the true SW corner of Nebraska. Burwell's stone was buried and concrete was placed over it in 1990. A brass disk in the top of the concrete now marks the exact location. Chaffee's original monument placed in 1869 in located south of the true corner.


Chaffee's monument that was established in 1869.



Chaffee monument and USC&GS monument nearby.



True location of the SW corner of Nebraska protected by fence.



The Burwell stone of 1873 is entombed in concrete with a brass disk set for the monument.



The brass disk at the SW corner of Nebraska.



Government Land Office Plat for T1N, R42W.



© Jerry Penry 2009