NAME: Crawfordsville
COUNTY: Crawford
CLIMATE: Cold in winter, hot in summer
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Unknown - best to ask the farmer who owns the land
COMMENTS: No current residents. Town is completely gone & has been ploughed under as part of farmland.
The Crawfordsville schoolhouse, in recent times, known as the Emery School, stood for years at the northwest corner of an intersection about 2 miles west of Girard, on highway 57. It was moved from the town site farther north in the same quarter section many years ago, after the town of Crawfordsville (sometimes called Crawfordville) ceased to exist. Crawford County, organized Feb 13 1867, was named after Samuel J. Crawford, then governor of Kansas, who also gave his name to the town of Crawfordsville. One history declares that until the time Crawford County was established, the several cabins at the location were known as Four Mile Creek. Although some sources give the date of Crawfordsville's beginning as 1866 (and there were likely cabins in the area at that time), it is more likely that the town of Crawfordsville followed the founding of the county in early 1867. In August 1867, the Fort Scott Weekly Monitor stated, "The town of Crawfordville is now a fixed fact. There has been 2 buildings erected on the town site in the last week; another under contract 22 by 28 feet, 2 stories high, to be commenced immediately for school purposes & to hold courts in. Many others are in contemplation which will be built as soon as material can be obtained. There will be a saw mill put up this fall� A grocery and dry goods store would do a good business, as there is nothing of that kind in this section of the country; also a drug store is needed, as there is no chance of getting anything in the line of medicine short of Fort Scott�" The post office was established October 18 1867. The 1st meeting of the newly appointed commissioners of the county had been held March 16 1867, at the residence of William Campbell adjoining Crawfordsville. At that meeting the county was divided into the 9 townships we have today. Also an order was given for a special election to be held April 15 to choose a location for a county seat. 3 locations were considered and Crawfordsville won. The other 2 were Center, which was at the present southeast corner of St. John Street and Western Avenue, in Girard, and Rossville, 2 miles northeast of Girard on what was then the Silket farm. The story of Dr. Charles H. Strong's starting the town of Girard in the spring of 1868 is related in another chapter [of this book - The Genesis of Girard by William C. Cuthbertson]. Being nearer the geographic center of the county and the new railroad line, there was a petition circulated in the fall of 1868 to make Girard the county seat. An election was held on Dec 15 and Girard won over Crawfordsville by a vote of 375 to 312. Stories are told of the county records having been moved back and forth between the 2 rival towns several times. However, in March 1869 John T. Voss, an attorney living and practicing at Crawfordsville sued the county commissioners, declaring that Crawfordsville had been the county seat from the organization of the county. He claimed that the election had been illegal, but his efforts were in vain. From that time, Crawfordsville declined. An ad in the Girard Press of July 1870 advertised, "Bargain - Good frame house 26 x 30 now used as a hotel and a lot in Crawfordsville, also 40 acres of land adjoining at $5 per acre. The whole lot for $800." By 1874 only 2 buildings were left, the blacksmith shop and the building that housed the general store and post office, which was being used by a farmer to shelter his calves. The town site was plowed up and planted to wheat. Not even a path was left to mark the streets. At one time, the town had about a dozen buildings. A store was run by Peter Smith of Cato and another by Percy Daniels and his brother-in-law, William Eddy. There were a schoolhouse, courthouse, doctor's office and a few dwellings. Some of these houses stood into the 20th century a short distance west of the town site and close to Lightning Creek, where a small cemetery served the town, but all have been gone for many years. The Genesis of Girard by William C. Cuthbertson Chapter 3 �Copyright 1993 Friends of Historic Girard, P.O. Box 132, Girard, KS 66743 ville (sometimes called Crawfordville) ceased to exist. Submitted by: C. Koons