Crawford County
Crawford County Courthouse in Girard (2012)
Crawford County Courthouse in Girard (2012)
Map of Kansas highlighting Crawford County
Location within the U.S. state of Kansas
Map of the United States highlighting Kansas
Kansas's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: Coordinates: 37°31′N 94°51′W / 37.517°N 94.850°W / 37.517; -94.850
Country United States
State Kansas
FoundedFebruary 13, 1867
Named forSamuel J. Crawford
SeatGirard
Largest cityPittsburg
Area
 • Total595 sq mi (1,540 km2)
 • Land590 sq mi (1,500 km2)
 • Water5.3 sq mi (14 km2)  0.9%%
Population
 • Total38,972
 • Density66.1/sq mi (25.5/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Area code620
Congressional district2nd
WebsiteCrawfordCountyKansas.org

Crawford County (county code CR) is a county located in Southeast Kansas. As of the 2020 census, the county population was 38,972.[1] Its county seat is Girard,[2] and its most populous city is Pittsburg. The county was named in honor of Samuel J. Crawford,[3] Governor of Kansas.

Located in the Osage Cuestas and Cherokee Lowlands, it lies halfway between Kansas City, Missouri and Tulsa, Oklahoma. Crawford County, and much of southeast Kansas, was founded on coal mining, the Pittsburg-Weir Coalfield being located here, and is still known for mining today. Pittsburg State University is located in Crawford County.

History

Early history

See also: History of Kansas

For many millennia, the Great Plains of North America was inhabited by nomadic Native Americans. From the 16th century to 18th century, the Kingdom of France claimed ownership of large parts of North America. In 1762, after the British defeated France in the French and Indian War, France secretly ceded New France to Spain, per the Treaty of Fontainebleau.

19th century

In 1802, Spain returned most of the former New France land west of the Mississippi to France, but kept title to about 7,500 square miles. In 1803, the United States acquired much of the West and most of the land for modern-day Kansas as part of the 828,000-square mile Louisiana Purchase, at a cost of 2.83 cents per acre.

In 1854, the Kansas Territory was organized, and in 1861 Kansas was admitted as the 34th U.S. state. The preceding years had been filled with violence as settlers arrived on both sides of the slavery question; the residents voting for Kansas to enter as a free state were the majority. In 1867, Crawford County was established (formed from Bourbon and Cherokee counties). It is named for Samuel J. Crawford, who was the governor in office at the time.[4]

20th century

In the early 20th century, Crawford County was often referred to as the "Little Balkans", because of the many immigrants who came here from that area of Europe. They came to work in the mines, industrial work that did not require much English in the beginning. This area was the site of a number of illegal bootlegging operations, most of which were organized by immigrants in order to supplement their meager earnings as strip miners. During his term, Governor Walter R. Stubbs of Kansas made it his mission to stamp out this practice.[5][6] According to the criminal justice scholar Ken Peak, "The [Little] Balkans drove [Stubbs] absolutely nuts. He had his hands full and sent people down to the Balkans to clean it up".[6] Despite this crack down, however, the governor was unable to eradicate the crime completely from the area.[6]

21st century

On Sunday, May 4, 2003, a violent F4 tornado touched down in western Crawford County, several miles west of Frontenac at around 4:40 p.m. The tornado remained on the ground throughout Crawford County until it entered neighboring Barton County, Missouri—traveling a total of 35 miles (56 km) and ending near Liberal, Missouri. The towns of Ringo, Franklin, and Mulberry, all in Crawford County, were devastated. The tornado cut a path of destruction roughly one quarter mile wide. Several F4 tornadoes hit Kansas, Missouri, and several other states that day, including the Kansas City metropolitan area. Six deaths were reported in Kansas, and Governor Sebelius declared much of eastern and southeastern Kansas a disaster area, including Crawford County.[7]

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 595 square miles (1,540 km2), of which 590 square miles (1,500 km2) is land and 5.3 square miles (14 km2) (0.9%) is water.[8]

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18708,160
188016,851106.5%
189030,28679.7%
190038,80928.1%
191051,17831.9%
192061,80020.8%
193049,329−20.2%
194044,191−10.4%
195040,231−9.0%
196037,032−8.0%
197037,8502.2%
198037,9160.2%
199035,568−6.2%
200038,2427.5%
201039,1342.3%
202038,972−0.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1790-1960[10] 1900-1990[11]
1990-2000[12] 2010-2020[1]
Population pyramid

The Pittsburg Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Crawford County.

As of the 2000 census,[13] there were 38,242 people, 15,504 households, and 9,441 families residing in the county. The population density was 64 people per square mile (25/km2). There were 17,221 housing units at an average density of 29 per square mile (11/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 93.29% White, 1.83% Black or African American, 0.94% Native American, 1.11% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 1.11% from other races, and 1.63% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.38% of the population. 23.5% were of German, 12.5% American, 10.4% English, 10.2% Irish and 8.6% Italian ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 15,504 households, out of which 28.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.90% were married couples living together, 9.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.10% were non-families. 30.60% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 22.90% under the age of 18, 16.40% from 18 to 24, 25.00% from 25 to 44, 20.20% from 45 to 64, and 15.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 95.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $29,409, and the median income for a family was $40,582. Males had a median income of $27,881 versus $21,517 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,245. About 9.40% of families and 16.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.00% of those under age 18 and 10.30% of those age 65 or over.

Government

Presidential elections

United States presidential election results for Crawford County, Kansas[14]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 10,045 60.08% 6,179 36.96% 494 2.95%
2016 8,624 57.91% 5,199 34.91% 1,068 7.17%
2012 7,708 51.25% 6,826 45.39% 506 3.36%
2008 7,735 48.12% 7,957 49.50% 383 2.38%
2004 8,626 52.19% 7,617 46.09% 284 1.72%
2000 7,160 47.63% 7,076 47.07% 798 5.31%
1996 6,447 40.60% 7,504 47.25% 1,929 12.15%
1992 5,468 32.96% 7,366 44.40% 3,757 22.64%
1988 6,940 46.73% 7,783 52.41% 127 0.86%
1984 9,518 58.10% 6,722 41.04% 141 0.86%
1980 8,058 47.81% 7,658 45.43% 1,139 6.76%
1976 7,225 43.78% 9,021 54.66% 258 1.56%
1972 9,652 58.02% 6,683 40.17% 302 1.82%
1968 7,344 45.30% 7,191 44.35% 1,678 10.35%
1964 6,286 37.77% 10,282 61.78% 76 0.46%
1960 9,383 52.78% 8,325 46.83% 69 0.39%
1956 9,578 54.93% 7,799 44.73% 60 0.34%
1952 10,646 55.81% 8,349 43.77% 79 0.41%
1948 8,229 46.19% 9,005 50.55% 581 3.26%
1944 9,017 52.09% 8,211 47.43% 83 0.48%
1940 10,143 47.68% 11,002 51.71% 130 0.61%
1936 8,596 39.73% 12,974 59.96% 66 0.31%
1932 6,884 37.41% 10,994 59.75% 523 2.84%
1928 10,992 62.31% 6,351 36.00% 299 1.69%
1924 9,063 50.34% 3,433 19.07% 5,509 30.60%
1920 7,957 54.68% 5,362 36.84% 1,234 8.48%
1916 7,067 38.12% 8,064 43.50% 3,408 18.38%
1912 2,676 25.16% 2,781 26.14% 5,180 48.70%
1908 5,152 46.55% 4,230 38.22% 1,686 15.23%
1904 5,910 58.35% 2,057 20.31% 2,162 21.34%
1900 4,722 48.66% 4,824 49.71% 158 1.63%
1896 3,868 44.40% 4,757 54.60% 87 1.00%
1892 3,064 41.89% 0 0.00% 4,250 58.11%
1888 3,156 48.46% 1,875 28.79% 1,482 22.75%


Unlike most of the counties in the Ozark-OuachitaBible Belt”, Crawford County remained competitive in presidential elections until the 2010s. As recently as 2008 it was carried by Barack Obama, being the only county he ever won between the urban limits of Dallas, Little Rock, Denver and Kansas City. However, like all of the region it has shown a strong anti-Democratic trend in recent years, with Hillary Clinton's 34.91% – though more than she achieved in any rural white southern county – being the worst by a Democrat since 1924. Democrat Laura Kelly did, however, win the county in her successful 2018 gubernatorial bid.

In earlier times, Crawford County was a hotbed of left-wing politics, being the nation's second best county for Eugene Debs in 1912, and one of only four where he gained a plurality of votes. It was also Robert M. La Follette’s second-best Kansas county in 1924, behind only largely Catholic Ellis County.

Only four presidential elections since have seen Crawford County not back the national winner: 1960, 1988, 2012, and 2020.

Laws

Crawford County was a prohibition, or "dry", county until the Kansas Constitution was amended in 1986 and voters approved the sale of alcoholic liquor by the individual drink with a 30% food sales requirement. The food sales requirement was removed with voter approval in 1992.[15]

The county voted "No" on the 2022 Kansas Value Them Both Amendment, an anti-abortion ballot measure, by 55% to 45% despite backing Donald Trump with 60% of the vote to Joe Biden's 40% in the 2020 presidential election.[16]

Education

Unified school districts

Private schools

Higher education

Libraries

Communities

2005 KDOT Map of Crawford County (map legend)
2005 KDOT Map of Crawford County (map legend)

Cities

Unincorporated places

†This populated place is designated a Census-Designated Place (CDP) by the United States Census Bureau.

Townships

Crawford County is divided into nine townships. The cities of Frontenac, Girard, Mulberry, and Pittsburg are considered governmentally independent and are excluded from the census figures for the townships. In the following table, the population center is the largest city (or cities) included in that township's population total, if it is of a significant size.

Township FIPS Population
center
Population Population
density
/km2 (/sq mi)
Land area
km2 (sq mi)
Water area
km2 (sq mi)
Water % Geographic coordinates
Baker 03750 Pittsburg 3,640 25 (64) 147 (57) 0 (0) 0.05% 37°22′57″N 94°42′35″W / 37.38250°N 94.70972°W / 37.38250; -94.70972
Crawford 16250 Girard 883 6 (14) 159 (62) 0 (0) 0.09% 37°30′3″N 94°51′13″W / 37.50083°N 94.85361°W / 37.50083; -94.85361
Grant 27575 No center city 247 2 (4) 145 (56) 1 (0) 0.45% 37°30′10″N 95°1′8″W / 37.50278°N 95.01889°W / 37.50278; -95.01889
Lincoln 40575 Arcadia 942 5 (13) 181 (70) 0 (0) 0.23% 37°37′21″N 94°39′31″W / 37.62250°N 94.65861°W / 37.62250; -94.65861
Osage 53125 McCune 756 5 (14) 141 (54) 1 (0) 0.44% 37°22′46″N 95°1′21″W / 37.37944°N 95.02250°W / 37.37944; -95.02250
Sheridan 64675 Cherokee 1,501 7 (19) 206 (80) 1 (0) 0.31% 37°22′32″N 94°51′33″W / 37.37556°N 94.85917°W / 37.37556; -94.85917
Sherman 64875 Farlington 520 3 (7) 187 (72) 1 (0) 0.45% 37°37′24″N 94°51′35″W / 37.62333°N 94.85972°W / 37.62333; -94.85972
Walnut 74975 Walnut 624 4 (10) 166 (64) 0 (0) 0.27% 37°36′15″N 95°1′38″W / 37.60417°N 95.02722°W / 37.60417; -95.02722
Washington 75575 Frontenac 3,540 23 (59) 154 (60) 1 (1) 0.96% 37°31′7″N 94°41′44″W / 37.51861°N 94.69556°W / 37.51861; -94.69556
Sources: "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files". U.S. Census Bureau, Geography Division. Archived from the original on August 2, 2002.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "QuickFacts; Crawford County, Kansas; Population, Census, 2020 & 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on August 15, 2021. Retrieved August 15, 2021.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 95.
  4. ^ Blackmar, Frank Wilson (1912). Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Embracing Events, Institutions, Industries, Counties, Cities, Towns, Prominent Persons, Etc. Standard Publishing Company. pp. 471.
  5. ^ Connelley, William (1918). "Walter Roscoe Stubbs". A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Archived from the original on June 13, 2013. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c "Booze Brothers". Lawrence Journal-World. May 1, 2006. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  7. ^ "5 years later". The Morning Sun. May 4, 2008. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved June 3, 2011.
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  11. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  12. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  13. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  14. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections".
  15. ^ "Map of Wet and Dry Counties". Alcoholic Beverage Control, Kansas Department of Revenue. November 2006. Archived from the original on October 8, 2007. Retrieved December 28, 2007.
  16. ^ Panetta, Grace (August 3, 2022). "14 of the 19 Kansas counties that rejected an anti-abortion amendment voted for Trump in 2020". Business Insider. Retrieved August 3, 2022.
  17. ^ Burns, Tim (September 19, 2005). "Welcome To USD #247". Cherokee, USD 247. Archived from the original on August 10, 2007. Retrieved January 23, 2007.
Notes

Further reading

County
Historical
Maps