This first one is an 1882 survey of Cotopaxi - the "original" survey which means there wasn't a government survey done prior to this date. This is most of section 31. Cotopaxi is in the north 1/2 of the north quarter (N1/2NW1/4) of section 31, Township 48 R 12E. So the center of town (where the RR crosses the CR12) today is just about the bottom of the number "6" in 34.64
I could probably do an entire class on reading township sections, quarters, sixteenths and so on. Back east, townships have names and are well known. Out west...no one ever uses a township, except when it comes to land descriptions.
A couple of important things to note.
1) The road north of the tracks is on the west side of the creek. Today, it is on the east side.
2) The tracks seem to be too close to the river to have 2 houses between them. Were the original tracks closer to the Arkansas than they are today? Is the map to scale? I have a document that says, "the old rr tracks" and shows that line south of where the tracks are today.
3) The creek on the north side goes farther west than it is today. This is verified by many mine claims that state it was 1/2 mile between Bernard Creek and Oak Grove Creek.
4) Neither the road to the north or the road to the south meet at Cotopaxi - both curve to the west. This would confirm the oral history that there was a ford in the river about 1/2 mile west of Cotopaxi.
5) The red printed area says "Cotopaxi Placer No 286"
so the next thing I did was try to find No 286. I thought I was looking for a plat like above. Ends up it was a placer mining claim and in it, there was an 1884 plot of Cotopaxi.