|KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS|
The county was organized in 1867, and named after S. J. Crawford, who was then Governor of the State. J. W. Wallace, Lafayette Manlove and Henry Schoen were appointed special Commissioners, and F. M. Logan, County Clerk. Wallace was from Lincoln Township, Manlove from Sheridan, and Schoen from Sherman Township. The first meeting of the Commissioners was held March 16, 1867, at the residence of William Campbell, adjoining Crawfordsville. After having taken the oath of office, and organized by electing J. W. Wallace Chairman, the board proceeded to the transaction of business. The first order acted upon was "That the county of Crawford be and is hereby laid off into nine representative townships." These townships were the same as now. The second order was one establishing election precincts, and the third was that dividing the county into three Commissioner's districts. The fourth directed the County Clerk to give thirty days' notice of a special election for county and township officers, and for the permanent location of the county seat. The election was held April 15, 1867, and resulted as follows: Commissioners, J. W. Wallace, Andrew Hussong and F. M. Mason; Clerk, F. M. Logan; Sheriff, J. M. Ryan. On the 7th of May, Logan, having failed to qualify as County Clerk, L. Manlove was appointed to fill the vacancy. On the same day, James Wamsley was appointed Probate Judge. On the 2d of September, a tax of 1.1 per cent was levied for county purposes, and four mills (sic) for schools. Crawfordsville was selected at the same time for temporary county seat, and Lafayette Manlove was appointed County Assessor.
An election was held November 5, 1867, for county officers, at which the following persons were elected by the number of votes attached to their respective names: Commissioners, F. Dosser, 202; I. Evans, 191; Joshua Nance, 166; Probate Judge, Levi Hatch, 143; Register of Deeds, H. Coffman, 155; County Clerk, H. Germain, 197; Treasurer, R. B. Raymond, 170; Surveyor, R. Stalker, 201; Assessor, William Roberts, 160; Attorney, L. A. Wallace, 131; Coroner, Jacob Miller, 215; Clerk of District Court, C. H. Strong, 160; Sheriff, J. M. Ryan, 218. The highest total vote cast for the candidates for any one office was 390. On the 6th of April, 1868, the County Surveyor elect having failed to qualify, J. T. Bridgens was appointed to fill the vacancy, and also to the office of County Clerk. The total vote, 390, indicated a population of about 1,900, and the taxable property in that year was $20,712.75.
At the first election held April 15, 1867, Rossville and Center contested for the honor of being the county seat. Center was situated on the northwest quarter of Section 24, Township 29, Range 23, - the same section on which now is located the larger part of Girard. Rossville was two miles northeast, on what was then known as the Silket farm. No meeting of the Commissioners appears to have been held at either place. At the election of November 5, 1867, Girard was selected as the county seat, but as Crawfordsville had been by the Governor designated as the county seat, the Commissioners, at a meeting held by them on the 3d of February, 1868, at the house of Henry Germain, in Sheridan Township, adjourned to meet next day at the place designated by Gov. Crawford. At a meeting held here on the 11th of May, 1868, an order was made by the Board of Commissioners to the county officers, directing them to remove all their records, books and other papers to Girard, they, the Commissioners, deciding that to be the county seat. The removal was accordingly made. At the September term of the District Court, the citizens of Crawfordsville, through D. W. Crouse, applied to the court for a writ of mandamus on the County Clerk to compel him to remove the county records back to Crawfordsville, claiming that that place was the county seat legally. After hearing the testimony, the court sustained the writ, and directed the records to be removed to Crawfordsville. The order of the court was obeyed. At a meeting of the commissioners, held November 7, 1868, a petition signed by 577 citizens was presented, asking that an election be ordered for the permanent location of the county seat. The request was granted, and an election held December 15, following, resulting in the casting of 375 votes for Girard, and 312 for Crawfordsville. Thus the question was finally settled in favor of Girard.
Crawford County has had the following State Representatives, date of election as given: Capt. John Hamilton, 1867; James Wamsley, 1868; S. J. Langdon, 1869 and 1870; S. D. Ashmore and S. J. Langdon, 1871; S. J. Langdon and A. J. Vickers, 1872; W. H. McGuire and A. B. Mitchell, 1873; W. H. Brown and W. H. Merriweather, 1874; W. H. Hoyt and E. M. Bellaine, 1875; W. H. Magil and E. A. Bellaine, 1876; James Hossack and E. W. Majors, 1878; W. B. Cochran and J. H. Millington, 1880; E. V. Hibbard, 1882.
RAILROADS AND SCHOOLS.
The Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad runs through the county from north to south. On this road are four stations, Farlington, Girard, Beulah and Cherokee. The Missouri Pacific Railroad runs southwest through the northwest part of the county, having on it two stations, Hepler and Walnut.
The Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad Company have a railroad entering the county near the northeast corner, extending south through Arcadia, Coalvale and Mulberry Grove to Litchfield; here it turns southwest, and runs through New Pittsburg to Cherokee, where it turns west and runs through Monmouth and McCune to Parsons, and on to Cherryvale. There is also a branch from Cherokee southeast to Weir. The St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad runs from Girard southeast through New Pittsburg and Opolis to Joplin, Mo.
The N. T. I. & M. R. R. runs southwestward from Girard through Brazilton and Walnut, into Neosho County. The construction of this road was begun in June, 1882, and reached Walnut August 16, 1882. It is the expectation of the company to complete the road to Topeka during the year 1883, and southeast to Memphis in the near future. The officers of the road are S. G. Clark, of Chicago, President; H. M. Clark, Vice President and General Manager; George A. Bowlus, Secretary and Treasurer; Caleb H. Malin, General Superintendent; J. H. Richards, Attorney, and Frank A. Hill, Chief Engineer.
The first schoolhouse built in the county was at Pleasant Ridge, about two miles southeast of the present site of New Pittsburg. The first after the war was in District No. 50, known as the Taylor Schoolhouse, in 1867; the second was at Iowa City the same fall. A schoolhouse was built in 1868, in District No. 52. The settlers hauled the logs, and the shingles and windows were brought from Kansas City. Probably the first school taught in the county was in Lincoln Township in 1858, in a small log house, formerly occupied as a dwelling. In 1867, Miss Florence taught a school in a private residence in Osage Township, and the same year J. W. McWirt, John Hamilton and others taught schools in Sheridan Township.
The number of school districts in the county is 111 and the number of schoolhouses 111, 1 stone, 3 brick and 197 frame. The total number of scholars enumerated in 1882 was 7,114 - males, 3,648, females, 3,466; total number enrolled, 5,546 - males, 2,889, females, 2,657; average daily attendance, 2,999 - males, 1,510, females, 1,489. The number of teachers employed was 126 - males 62, females 64. The average monthly salary of the male teachers was $34.45, of the female teaches $27.35. The total value of the school property was $75,000.
The personal property of the county is valued as follows: Horses, 5,495, value, $172,923; cattle, 18,630, value, $188,738; mules, 1,351, value, $57,802; sheep, 4,501, value, $5,175; hogs, 12,279, value, $19,562; farming implements, $44,851; wagons, 1,643, value, $26,840; carriages, 381, value, $9,840; moneys, $26,774; credits, $24,792; merchandise, $132,435; manufacturer's stock, $7,075; notes, $2,162; other personal property, $104,916; total, $823,883; constitutional exemption, $290,200; net taxable personal property, $533,683. The taxable lands under cultivation amount to 169,497 acres; not under cultivation, 203,718; total, 373,215 acres, aggregate value, $1,348,422; the number of improved village lots, 882, of unimproved lots, 1,158; total number, 2,040; aggregate value, $240,372; the railroad property was valued at $513, 266, making a grand total of taxable property, $2,635,743. The following is the acreage of the principal crops, with the aggregate yield so far as ascertainable, for 1882: Winter wheat, 24,746 acres, 618,650 bushels; corn, 81,802 acres, 3,272,080 bushes; oats, 14,543 acres, 581,720 bushels; castor beans, 4,203 acres, 42,030 bushels; flax, 7,695 acres, 76,950 bushels; rye, 625 acres; barley, 41, buckwheat, 42; Irish potatoes, 928; sweet potatoes, 24; sorghum, 536; millet and Hungarian, 4,830; rice corn, 30; meadow - timothy, 1,010; clover, 571; other tame, 444; prairie, 32,181; pasture - timothy, 365; clover, 93; other tame grasses, 674; prairie, 53,204. The number of acres in nurseries was 784; the number of the various kinds of fruit trees, about half of which were in bearing was as follows: Apple, 194,646; pear, 7,061; peach, 107,703; plum, 8,008; cherry, 43,431. there were in vineyards 55 acres, from which 220 gallons of wine were made. There were reported the following number of rods of the various kinds of fence: board, 23,140; rail, 514,203; hedge, 502,857; wire, 152,413; total, 1,192,613 rods, or 3,727 miles. Very little attention has been given to tree planting. The following are the numbers of acres of the various kinds of trees planted up to 1882: Honey locust, 3; walnut, 70; maple, 162; cottonwood, 577; other varieties, 1,160; total number of acres, 1,972. The population in 1867 was about 2,000; in 1870, 8,160; 1875; 9,386; 1878, 12,759; 1880, 16,854; 1882, 18,961; distributed among the townships as follows: Lincoln, 2,024; Washington, 1,708; Baker, 3,725; Sheridan, 2,537; Osage, 1,887; Grant, 1,064; Walnut, 1,460; Sherman, 1,257; Crawford, 3,299. Girard had a population of 1,842; Pittsburg, 1,755 and Cherokee, 704.
Quite a number of tornadoes have occurred in Crawford County since its settlement, but the most terrific one was that of May 22, 1873. It came from the southwest, across the southeast corner of Neosho County, and crossed Crawford County in a northeasterly direction. The following named persons were killed: Mrs. Hezekiah Smith, Uriah Spurgeon, a baby of Ellen Hammond. Thirty-four were more or less severely wounded, some of them fatally, and a great deal of property destroyed, the loss being $4,457. A recital of some of the freaks of the storm will convey some idea of the forces of the wind. A boy, son of Mr. Black, was carried over a peach orchard and reached the ground uninjured. John Spurgeon, a lad about eight years old, was carried about 100 yards and had a thigh broken in two places. A baby was carried 300 yards and afterward found in a cornfield. Two horses were in a log stable hitched to one of the logs; the stable was blown down, and the horses, with the log to which they were tied, were blown through the air one-fourth of a mile without injury, and when found were still hitched to the log. Fifteen houses were entirely demolished. So great was the devastation worked that the County Commissioners gave assistance to the following parties in the following sums: Mrs. Hooper, $625; William Blaylock, $100; John Frogge, $200; B. R. Addis, $100; Theodore Metcalf, $50; W. T. Gunn, $50, and F. H. Dumbald, $100.
GIRARD, PART 1.
This city, the county seat of Crawford County, is located on a gently undulating prairie at the center of the county. It is regularly laid out, has a public square in the center, surrounded by numerous fine business buildings, many of them of brick, and has a large proportion of neat frame residences, surrounded by incipient shade trees. Its elevation is 988 feet above the sea. The town was started in the spring of 1868, in opposition to Crawfordville. The Girard Town Company was first composed of the following gentlemen: A. Danford, President; C. H. Strong, Secretary; Dr. Couch, Dr. B. F. Hepler, E. J. Boering, Levi Hatch, John Lash, D. S. McIntosh and Col. J. Alexander. This company was formed upon the survey of the railroad through this portion of the county and the town located upon the line. it was named by C. H. Strong, after the town Girard, in Pennsylvania, which had previously been his home.
The first buildings erected in Girard were by the following parties, in the order given: Col. J. Alexander, a general store; C. H. Strong, a dwelling house; Chauncey Doyle, a saloon; N. Sinnet, a general store. Some time during this year (1868) the first blacksmith shop was opened in the town; the first frame house was built by A. A. Fletcher, and the first hotel was opened early in the year. In December, James Hull erected the first part of a building which was used temporarily as a court house. The first birth in Girard was that of Mary Fletcher, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. A. Fletcher; the first marriage, that of A. J. Vickers to Miss Margaret McIntosh, and the first death that of Mrs. Dr. L. F. Crawford in the spring of 1869. Immediately after the death of this lady, Judge McIntosh located the cemetery southwest of the town. The first celebration in Girard occurred on July 4, 1868. It was a Sunday school celebration and a celebration of the nation's natal day, both in one. The Hon. A. Danford and Dr. Couch were the orators of the day. When these festivities took place the town had made considerable progress.
There were three stores, a saloon and about six dwelling houses within its limits. Still its growth, until the fall of 1869, was much slower than would have been the case had it not been for the difficulties over the building of the railroad. When these were settled, when it became known that the railroad would come despite all opposition, opposition in a measure ceased, and the development of the county and its towns made more rapid strides. In February, 1870, Girard had five hotels, eight saloons, six grocery stores, five dry goods stores, two hardware stores, two furniture stores, one drug store, one newspaper and job; printing office, other businesses in proportion, and seventy-two dwelling houses, a total of 140 buildings. On the 10th of this month the location of the depot of the M. R., F. S. & G. R. R. was determined upon, in the north part of the town, by Mr. Chanute, and, on the 12th, a meeting was held to prepare to appropriately celebrate the advent of the iron horse whenever that advent should take place. it was universally realized by the citizens that that event, which no one could prevent, as had been proved, was one of great significance, and the preparations made were commensurate with its importance. The celebration came off on the 3d of March, the day on which the first passenger train reached the town. This train brought down 200 of the leading citizens and dignitaries of Fort Scott, who united with the citizens of Girard in a jollification, the equal of which, in heartiness and enthusiasm, is seldom witnessed, for the former were as much interested as the latter in the success of the enterprise of building the railroad through the neutral lands. The telegraph wire was put up to Girard on the 232d of March. During this spring a schoolhouse was built by Frank Playter, Trustee, and W. H. Warner, Secretary of the School Board, and several church organizations were effected. The town had been incorporated and a Board of Trustees appointed by the Probate Judge on the 10th of the preceding November; but so long as Girard remained the terminus of the railroad the disorderly classes were numerous and large, and all the influences that could be brought to bear by the civil authorities, by the churches and by the moral elements of society, were much more than counterbalanced by the seventeen saloons that for some time were in full and constant blast.
The necessity for some special effort in the direction of temperance was clearly perceptible, and in the winter of 1871-72, a lodge of the I. O. G. T. was organized, which did what could be done to prevent the granting of licenses. but the first Board of Trustees, having been appointed by the Probate Judge, did not feel that their authority was derived from the people, neither did they feel sure that the people would sustain them in vigorous measures to suppress salooning, and, as a consequence, matters were permitted to take their own course until the railroad had been built south and until a Board of Trustees had been elected by the people. Then an impression began gradually to be made. But it was not until after the Murphy movement commenced, in 1878, that satisfactory results were achieved. In that year a blue ribbon lodge was organized, of which C. Dana Sayrs was President, E. W. Majors, Secretary, and Miss Jennetta McMurray Treasurer. This organization vigorously prosecuted the temperance work until the prohibition amendment to the constitution was adopted by the people, since which time there has been no open saloon in Girard, and peace and prosperity have prevailed. In Girard Precinct the majority for the amendment was 248, while in the county it was only 186. The first Board of Trustees, appointed November 10, 1869, was as follows: L. F. Crawford, N. Sinnet, D. W. Burnet, W. E. Blandon and James Hull. On the 10th of April, 1870, an election was held for a new board, resulting in the selection of the following gentlemen: A. J. Vickers, George Eyestone, Harvey Brown, William Reynolds and A. B. Turner.
Under a law passed in March, 1871, Girard became a city of the third class, and in the early part of April elected her first city officers. The last meeting of the trustees was held April 5, and the first meeting of the new Council was held on the 7th. The result of the election was that George Ryan had been chosen Mayor, and A. J. Vickers, J. E. Raymond, E. Fanger, H. P. Grund and F. B. Andrus, Councilmen. At the first meeting of the Council, A. M. Cook was elected Clerk. Since that time the following gentlemen have been elected Mayor of Girard: George Ryan, 1872; J. E. Raymond, 1873; Thomas Ping, 1874; James McMurray, 1875; J. Riffer, 1876 and 1877; M. Robinson, 1878; J. D. Barker, 1879 and 1880; Joseph Ennis, 1881; John Tontz, 1882. The post office was established in Girard early in 1868, C. H. Strong being appointed first Postmaster. He was succeeded by N. Sinnet, who, on account of his opinions on the neutral land controversy, was opposed by the "settlers," and was removed and succeeded by F. Danford, in 1870. George Ryan was appointed in September, 1870, H. E. Perkins in July, 1873, C. G. Hawley in 1875, and Eli Wasser was appointed in 1883. The first meeting of the School Board of the Girard, District No. 37, was held August 7, 1869. d. S. McIntosh was Director; F. Playter, Clerk; and L. F. Crawford, Treasurer.
In response to a petition of the citizens, an election was appointed for November 26, 1869, for the purpose of voting on the issuance of $1,000 in bonds for the building of a schoolhouse. The vote was unanimous in their favor, and the contract for building the schoolhouse was let to Gardner & Bowman for $640. Miss Maggie T. Hill taught the first school in the new building in the summer of 1870, for $40 per month. In the spring of 1872, at an election held for that purpose, &15,000 in bonds were voted for the building of a new schoolhouse. This building was commenced in the fall of 1872, and completed in the spring of 1873. The main part of it is 58x44 feet in dimensions, and three stories high, including the basement, which is of stone - the two upper stories being of brick. The total cost of the building was $13,300. The Principals of the school have been Prof. A. F. Allen, commencing April, 1873; Prof. H. Quick, 1877, and the present Principal, John Randolph commencing in July, 1881. A high school was established in the fall of 1882.
CHURCHES AND SOCIETIES.
The Methodist Church was organized in 1869, Rev. Robert Stalker preaching the first sermon, in that year, in the upper story of a house owned by A. A. Fletcher on the north side of the public square. This was probably the first sermon preached in Girard. Rev. Thomas B. Palmer preached in the schoolhouse April 16, 1870. The following have been the pastors of the church: Rev. J. A. Kershner, 1871; J. E. H. Day, 1872; Thomas Moffett, a short time; W. McWhirt, 1873; H. A. Tucker, 1879; C. C. Boaz, 1880, and C. C. Durborow, 1881, 1882 and 1883. During Mr. Durborow's ministry Girard became a station. Up to 1873 the society occupied the Presbyterian Church, but in that year Rev. Mr. McWhirt bought the schoolhouse which was built by the Girard district in 1870, becoming himself individually responsible for the purchase in order to be no longer without a church. The society purchased, in 1877, two lots at the corner of Summit avenue and Buffalo street, paying therefor $450. In the same year they commenced the erection of a church building, a frame structure 40x60 feet, and costing $2,900. A neat parsonage has also been provided, and the value of the church property - two lots, church building and parsonage - is $4,000. The membership is at present 140. There is also an excellent Sunday school connected with the church, having an enrollment of 160 scholars. S. R. Tuttle is Superintendent.
The Presbyterian Church was organized in 1869. At a meeting of the trustees held December 18, a building committee was appointed. A festival was given January 27, 1870, in aid of the building fund, at which $218.30 was realized. February 12, a meeting was held for the purpose of determining upon a plan of construction for the new church. Its erection was commenced in August by William Adamson. An entertainment was given in it December 15, 1870, before it was plastered. A second festival was held March 23, 1871, also in aid of the building fund, at which was realized $452,70. The church was dedicated June 18, 1871, having cost $3,500. The first regular minister was Rev. S. F. McClure. He has been succeeded by Rev. Messrs. Schafer, 1874 to 1876; Warren Mayo, 1876 to 1880; Dr. Bement about three months in 1880; and the present pastor, Rev. Mr. McKinney, who began his ministry in April, 1881.
St. John's (Episcopal) Church was organized March 19, 1870, on which day a meeting was held for the purpose. A Parish was organized under the name of St. John's Church, according to the canons and constitution of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States and the diocese of Kansas. Dr. William H. Warner was elected Senior Warden and Mark Elliott, Junior Warden. Co. C. J. Hawley, C. Dana Sayers, J. S. McKinley, M. A. Wood, George A. Richey and Percy Daniels were elected Vestrymen. At that meeting a statement was made that the total value of the church property was $200. The first sermon was preached April 14, 1870, by Rev. A. Beattie, in the schoolhouse. Services were held in the Presbyterian Church for a few months until a building standing at one of the corners of Summit avenue and Buffalo street was purchased of C. J. Hawley for church purposes. On the 5th of June, 1874, the society transmitted thanks to Mrs. Julia E. Brewer, of Sewick, Penn., for a donation of $100. Two lots at the corner of the same two streets where the building purchased stood, were bought for $500. Rev. D. W. Coxe succeeded Rev. Beattie and preached on the third Sunday of each month, until the coming of Rev. George P. Coming, of Hannibal, Mo., August 18, 1879, who still remains with the church. The first meeting of the Sunday school was held March 27, 1870. The first Superintendent was Mrs. Patterson, who was assisted and succeeded by Dr. W. H. Warner, who served the Sunday school in that capacity eight years. To no man is this church and Sunday school more indebted than to Dr. Warner. He was succeeded by C. Dana Sayers, the present Superintendent.
The Baptist Church was organized December 16, 1871, with eight members, by the members themselves. The first preaching before the society was on February 10, 1872, by Bro. J. M. Lappin. Bro. C. A. Hewitt succeeded and remained until March, 1875. Brother John Smith served as pastor from July 11, 1875, to November 13. He was followed by Bro. J. M. Garrison, who remained until August, 1877. Willis S. Webb, the present minister, began his labors in May, 1878, on one-fourth time. This arrangement continued until December 3, 1882, when it was changed to one-half time. Rev. Eugenio Kincaid, who had been a missionary in India thirty years joined this church November 11, 1876. The church building was begun in 1873 and completed in 1876, at which time the church had thirty-nine members. The present membership is eighty-one.
The Christian Church was organized in 1870 with twenty-five members. Services were held in the schoolhouse until 1871. Subsequently a very neat church building was erected costing $2,800, which was dedicated February 10, 1882. The present membership of the church is 106, and of the Sunday school, 140. The present minister, Rev. Christian Poole, is also Superintendent of the Sunday school. There is also a Catholic Church and two colored churches, one Baptist, the other Methodist.
Girard Lodge, No. 55, I. O. O. F., was instituted May 6, 1870, by D. D. G. M. W. A. Shannon, assisted by several Odd Fellows from Fort Scott. There were five charter members. S. A. Atwood was chosen N. G.; E. A. Wood, V. N. G.; E. A. Wasser, Recording Secretary, and N. Sinnett, Treasurer.
The Olive Encampment, No. 25, was instituted January 28, 1875, by M. E. G. H. P. Luke, M. Havens, of Fort Scott, assisted by a number of others. There were eight charter members. The first officers were, N. Sinnett, Chief Patriarch; J. E. Raymond, Senior Warden; E. R. Ridgley, Junior Warden; A. P. Riddle, Scribe; E. A. Wasser, Treasurer; W. B. Crawford, High Priest; J. G. Eastwood, Guide.
Girard Lodge, No. 93, A., F. & A. M., was organized under dispensation, May 17, 1870, by D. G. M. G. D. Rush, of Rising Sun Lodge. The first officers were A. B. Turner, W. M.; H. W. Brown, S. W.; Thomas Painton, J. W.; Percy Daniels, Treasurer, and S. A. Atwood, Secretary. The first election under charter was held November 21, and the same officers re-elected with the exception that James H. Amt was elected Treasurer.
Hiram Chapter, No. 50, R. A. M., was organized under a dispensation May 10, 1875, by Rev. D. W. Cope, D. G. H. P., of Fort Scott. Those first elected officers were: J. H. Waterman, High Priest; A. B. Turner, King; C. H. Merriam, Scribe; A. A. Hulett, Captain of the Host; W. M. Smith, Principal Sojourner; H. Brown, Royal Arch Captain.
Girard Lodge, No. 178, I. O. G. T., was instituted January 5, 1871, by J. B. Campbell, of Fort Scott, afterward Grand Worthy Chief Templar of the State. There were nine charter members. The first officers were: J. B. Garrison, W. C. T.; Mrs. M. C. West, W. V. T.; C. D. Sayrs, W. Secretary; C. F. Squires, W. F. Secretary; J. W. Stumph, W. Treasurer; W. H. Warner, W. C.