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History of Girard


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        Dr. Charles H. Strong, a native of Girard, Pennsylvania, founded the town in 1868 while hunting near the center of Crawford County. He killed a deer and drove a stake where the deer fell. He also posted a card and a bunch of grass stating that he had taken the land and was going to build a new town, Girard. A marker on the square describes the founding of Girard. Much more of this story is on Doug Strong's page about Dr. Strong.

        The Crawford County Times, first newspaper in Girard, began publishing in April, 1869, but lasted only one month. The Girard Press began publishing in November 1869 and is still publishing. The first hospital opened in 1912.

        The socialist newspaper, The Appeal to Reason was moved to Girard in 1897 by its publisher, J. A. Wayland. It was circulated around the world, and became, perhaps, the largest circulated weekly paper in the world. Barred from using the mails for distribution in 1917, the paper and its successors struggled to survive until 1922. The home of J. A. Wayland is on the National Register of Historic Places.

        Girard was also famous for another publishing venture: the "little blue books". Emanuel Haldeman-Julius, the publisher, set out to print the world's great literature in an inexpensive (5 cents) format that workingmen everywhere could afford. Over 1500 titles were included and sales totaled more than 500 million copies. The Girard Library has an extensive collection of original copies. His house, still standing on the edge of Girard, is on the state historical register.

Emanuel Haldeman-Julius House


Girard Public Library
(620) 724-4317
128 W. Prairie / Girard KS 66743

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April 11, 1999 / Public Library / Girard, Kansas /

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