The county surveyor office was appointed by Congress under the Republic of Texas, but the Constitution of 1845 made the office elective for a two-year term, and each succeeding constitution has had a similar provision; in 1954 the term of office was increased to four years by constitutional amendment. Duties included surveying land for the county and recording and examining field notes of surveys made in the county. With the disappearance of open land the importance of the office decreased, and in many counties the office has remained vacant. An independent surveyor is often contracted to fulfill the functions of the office.
Guide to Texas Laws for County Officials (Austin: Texas Department of Community Affairs, 1988). Dick Smith, The Development of Local Government in Texas (Ph.D. dissertation, Harvard University, 1938).