A township is a human settlement or administrative subdivision. Its definition varies
by country. This article will explore the definition of a township, where townships are
located in the United States, and what the township’s elected officials do. Also,
discover which county officials are part of a township. Once you have an
understanding of the meaning of a township, you can start comparing towns and
their respective functions.
Functions of a township
The functions of a township vary from state to state. Some towns have mandated
functions such as assessment administration, while others have permissive
functions. Mandatory functions include property assessment, road commissions, and
elections administration. These are typically performed by a supervisor, clerk, or
treasurer. Specifics of these functions are spelled out in state law. These offices
often perform the same function in various towns and varying degrees.
The township board is the body responsible for local government in a township. The
board consists of five or seven members, depending on the population. Township
board members are called trustees and may serve in specific capacities. The board
also has a supervisor. They are responsible for implementing zoning regulations and
providing police and fire protection. Some townships also manage cemetery plots
and other public services. Further, townships are responsible for maintaining public
roads and managing more than 2400 cemeteries.
Locations of townships in the U.S.
In the United States, towns and townships are small areas of land that are governed
by a state government. These townships are normally square, with cardinal and
meridians defining their boundaries. Each township is composed of 36 sections, each
of which is one square mile in size. While most townships are square, some are
irregular, with fewer than 36 sections. This is because some townships are not as
square as they seem, due to surveying mistakes. In fact, irregular townships are
found in all but three of the states west of the original 13 colonies.
Most of the U.S. is divided into townships and incorporated cities. In Pennsylvania,
townships vary in size from rural communities of less than 200 residents to
suburban areas with a population of over 60,000. Generally, townships are not part
of counties. They are, however, grouped according to population density and other
characteristics. However, you can see where the boundaries of townships are
located by using GPS coordinates.
Geographic divisions of a township
A township is normally divided into 36 sections. Each section is a square mile in
area, and each is numbered from top right to left in an “S” formation. For example,
the section below is T.2S., R.2E. If you’d like to view the township map, you can
select a section number by zooming in on it. This will highlight that area of the map.
A township in North Carolina is a minor geographical subdivision of a county. It
includes unincorporated territory, land within incorporated cities, and extraterritorial
jurisdiction of municipalities. It is mandated by the North Carolina Constitution of
- In some counties, such as Charlotte, townships are named by numbers.
Previously, a township had a specific organizational and legislative structure, but
now these divisions are ceremonial.
Functions of a township’s elected officials
The board of supervisors is composed of elected board members, who serve on a
four-member board and administer the functions of a township. The board oversees
the administration of important township functions and passes ordinances. Other
elected officials include the Township Clerk and the Township Treasurer, who collect
property taxes for various tax levying entities, oversee elections, and hire
employees. Depending on the size of a township, there may be several positions
within the board.
In addition to public safety, the township government also provides important
services. For example, township government provides programs for senior citizens
and youth, assistance to the disabled, parks and recreational facilities, health care
services, cemetery maintenance, and a variety of other important services. These
townships have grown to become the primary provider of many public services.
While they may not have broad police powers, their role is to protect the interests of
the community and provide necessary services at an affordable cost.
Irregular or fractional townships
Irregular or fractional townhouses are those that have fewer sections than 36. These
types of townships are easy to identify because their boundary lines do not follow
the traditional rectangular arrangement. Irregular townships are also easily
recognizable because of their lack of a formal establishment. These subdivisions
may include a portion of an existing township or part of it, such as the edge of a
Spanish/Mexican rancho. The other distinguishing feature of fractional townships is
that they are separated by state lines.
These townships are outside the boundaries of European settlements and provide
social services and road maintenance. In addition, they are sometimes bounded by
lakes. In 1796, the Land Company sent out 43 surveyors to map the area. One of
them was General Moses Cleaveland, who dropped the first “a” in his name. The
townships were later divided into 36 sections.