Crawford County History

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Brief history of Crawford County
Crawford County, county seat Girard, was created by act of the legislature of 1867, out of the northern half of
Cherokee. Prior to that year, Cherokee reached north to Bourbon. It was named in honor of Samuel J. Crawford, elected Governor in 1864, serving nearly four years. The Legislature named the county in obedience to a resolution passed at a convention held to petition for its organization. Governor Crawford resigned in October 1868 to become Colonel of the 19th Kansas Cavalry, specially raised for the Indian War of 1868-69. He served as Captain in the 2nd Kansas Infantry and was Colonel of the 2nd Kansas Regiment Colored Volunteer Infantry during the war for the Union.

Text from History of Kansas, Noble Prentis, (Winfield: E.P. Greer. 1899)

Crawford County is located in the southeastern corner of the State of Kansas. The County is bordered by the State of Missouri to the east and Cherokee County, Kansas to the South.   Bourbon County, Kansas to the North; and Labette County and Neosho County, Kansas to the West.

Crawford County is home to more than 35,000 residents, rising to almost 40,000 when Pittsburg State University is in session. The County is the 12th largest county in the state of Kansas, and is the largest county in southeastern Kansas. Crawford County is easily accessible by the new and improved US Highway 400 and the continued improvement of US Highway 69, north to Kansas City.

The County seat of Crawford County is Girard, while the largest population center of the County is Pittsburg. The courthouse is located on the square in Girard at 111 E. Forest. 

Pittsburg is home to Pittsburg State University, the Kansas Technology Center, as well as many exciting attractions and destinations. Frontenac, the second largest incorporated city in the county, is home to the Harley Davidson technical training school, the John Deere training center, and many other community enhancements.

Crawford County Kansas is known for its coal mining heritage and the settlement of many different ethnic groups who came to the United States in search of work in the coal fields. Because of the diverse background of our immigrant population, Crawford County is blessed with good foods (noted in our legendary chicken and steak restaurants, and the annual Festa Italiana), colorful festivals and lively music; and the friendly, hard-working people. Our communities are enriched by the opportunities provided by Pittsburg State University. Our five local school districts, through partnership and cooperation, are periodically noted as some of the top schools in the state.

At the request of the Board of County Commissioners in 2006 the County Clerk's Office produced a multi-media presentation (see videos) about the history of Crawford County. If you would like to receive a copy of the CD containing the presentation please contact the Clerk's office.

The Government of Crawford County is a three commissioner system. The Commissioners meet twice weekly (Tuesday and Friday), with the exception of holidays, in the County Courthouse at 10:00 AM. Seated with the Commissioners are the elected County Clerk and the appointed County Counselor. The Clerk and Counselor, in conjunction with the elected County Sheriff, Register of Deeds, County Attorney, County Treasurer, and appointed officials in the county, carry out the legislative policies of the Board. The Kansas District Court is also located in the courthouse.

Thanks for reading and Visit Crawford County!

Courthouse History
Crawford County Videos

A collection of videos that address agriculture, arts and architecture, education, immigration, industry and economics, mining and labor, people, and social reform in Crawford County.