Crawford County was organized on February 13, 1867 as a 23 by 26 mile block of territory being carved out of Cherokee County and Bourbon County, thru an act by the Kansas Legislature. The county was named in honor of Samuel J. Crawford, Governor of Kansas at the time being elected in 1864. Crawford was a Civil War veteran and after serving as governor for four years, retired and lead the 19th Kansas Calvary during the Indian Wars of 1868-1869.
The first County seat was located by Gov. Crawford on the bank of Lightning Creek, two miles west and half a mile north of the present site of Girard. It was called Crawfordsville. The following men were appointed special commissioners to organize the county. J. W. WALLACE, chairman; Lafayette MANLOVE (the founder of Monmouth) and Henry SCHOEN.
A special election was held on April 15, 1867 and the following county officers were elected. James WAMSLEY, probate judge; Lafayette MANLOVE, county clerk; Samuel J. LANGDON, county treasurer; W. H. RYAN, sheriff and D. W. CROUSE, Joseph CARSON, J. D. JOHNSON, William GASS, E. P. WILEY and Jespy EVERETTS, justices of the peace. The first meeting of the Crawford County Commissioners was held at the home of William CAMPBELL on March 16, 1867.
Soon after Girard was founded and began to compete for the title of county seat, despite the fact that Governor Crawford had designated Crawfordsville. On November 5, 1867, an election was held and Girard became the new county seat. However, the election was declared illegal since it lacked a petition from the people calling for a special election and the county records were ordered back to Crawfordsville.
On November 8, 1868, a petition was presented to the county commissioners with 577 citizens signatures, requesting a special election be held to determine once and for all the location of the county seat. The election was held on December 15, 1868 with Crawfordsville getting 312 votes and Girard getting 375. Thus, Girard became the county seat, resulting in the demise of Crawfordsville. There in nothing left today to indicate the site of Crawfordsville.
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