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Crawford County, Kansas

Crawford County was organized on February 13, 1867, by John Laman; P. S. Smith; James Hathaway; J. W. Wallace; Lafayette Manlove; Henry Schoen; and F. M. Logan. Named for Samuel J. Crawford, Governor of Kansas (1865-1868), the county contains the cities of Frontenac, Girard, Arcadia, Mulberry, McCune, Pittsburg, Cherokee, Hepler, Walnut and Arma.

In 1857 coal was discovered and the subsequent development of the mining made Crawford County one of the largest coal producers in the state.

The first church was the Catholic Parish in Grant Township, established in 1868. The first fair was held by the Crawford County Agricultural Association, organized in 1870, but the exact dates of the first fair are unknown. The first school was formed in 1858 in Lincoln Township.

Interesting Kansans from the county include Emmanuel Haldeman-Julius, publisher of the Little Blue Books, (1920s) was one of the most influential publishers in the United States. He was also on the staff of the Appeal to Reason newspaper in 1915, and later purchased the paper, changing the name to the American Freeman. Also Fred W. Brinkerhoff, well-known Kansas journalist, politician and historian, was editor and publisher of both the Pittsburg Headlight and Sun from 1911 until his death in 1966.

Harold Bell Wright's novel, The Printer of Udell, supposedly is set in the county.

Carney Hall, Pittsburg State University, 1920For more information see the Crawford County website. Pittsburg State University Library, the Pittsburg Public Library, and the Crawford County Museum have collections that include newspapers, county records, city directories, and publications.

Entry: Crawford County, Kansas

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: February 2010

Date Modified: October 2015

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.