ABOUT (brief history)
West central Indiana’s Montgomery County has the city of Crawfordsville, which is 49 miles (79 km) west of Indianapolis. There were 16,306 people living in the city as of the 2020 Census. The city, the sole chartered city and most populous locality in Montgomery County, serves as the county seat. Although the Lafayette metropolitan statistical region is only 30 miles (48 km) to the north, Crawfordsville is a component of the larger Indianapolis combined statistical area. It is the location of Wabash College, which Forbes named as the 12th-best undergraduate institution in the country in 2008.
On the bank of Sugar Creek, a southern tributary of the Wabash River that bears the name of the United States, the community was established in 1823. Treasury Secretary William H. Crawford.
The location of modern-day Crawfordsville was noted to be ideal for settlement in 1813 by Williamson Dunn, Henry Ristine, and Major Ambrose Whitlock of the U.S. Army. It was surrounded by deciduous forest and possibly arable land, with water provided by a nearby creek that would later be named Sugar Creek and was a southern tributary of the Wabash River. When they came back ten years later, they discovered at least one cabin had been constructed nearby. Four miles (6.4 km) southwest of Crawfordsville’s future location, on a little brook that would later come to be known as Offield Creek, William and Jennie Offield had constructed a cottage in 1821.
The town was planned in March 1823 by Whitlock, a Virginian who had fought alongside Gen. “Mad” Anthony Wayne in the Northwest Indian War. Crawfordsville was named in honor of William H. Crawford, a fellow Virginian who served as Secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Madison and Monroe at the time and awarded Whitlock’s commission as Receiver of Public Lands. Crawfordsville is located in the state of Virginia. The town’s first resident was Whitlock.
Wabash College was established in Crawfordsville as “The Wabash Teachers Seminary and Manual Labor College” in November 1832. Presbyterian missionaries founded it, but it eventually became nonsectarian. The Crawfordsville Record published a paid statement about the start of this school on December 18, 1833. There are only three all-male liberal arts colleges left in the US, and this one has about 900 students.
Researchers and fossil lovers flocked to the area after 9-year-old Horace Hovey discovered extraordinarily well-preserved Pentacrinites or Crinoids along the banks of Sugar Creek.
With the addition of facilities like a bank and a fire brigade, Crawfordsville expanded both in size and amenities. When the state of Indiana gave its charters in 1865, it became officially recognized as a city.
National Registry of Historic Places
Twelve buildings in Crawfordsville are now included on the National Register of Historic Places as of 2016. Gen. Lew Wallace Study, Henry S. Lane House, and Montgomery County Jail and Sheriff’s Residence are three of the properties that are today museums. Elston Grove and Crawfordsville Commercial Historic Districts both have two of the properties as part of them. The Bethel AME Church of Crawfordsville and Saint John’s Episcopal Church are the only two churches listed as being operating. The remaining properties are currently used as a law office (Otto Schlemmer Building), senior housing and recreation facility (Crawfordsville High School), private residence (McClelland-Layne House), local Daughters of the American Revolution chapter headquarters (Col. Isaac C. Elston House), and a former hospital converted for senior housing (Culver Union Hospital).
The coordinates of Crawfordsville are 40°2′20′′N 86°53′48′′W (40.038831, 86.896755). Crawfordsville has a total land area of 9.15 square miles (23.70 km2) as per the 2010 Census. A little over an hour to the west-northwest of Indianapolis, the state’s capital and largest city, Crawfordsville is situated in west-central Indiana. Although it has not yet received official recognition, the Crawfordsville Micropolitan Region is regarded as a part of both the Indianapolis marketing area and the larger Indianapolis Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The first thin-slab casting minimill in the world is located in Crawfordsville (steel manufacturing plant that recycles scrap steel using an electric arc-furnace). At its $1 billion Crawfordsville complex, Nucor Steel started construction on its first sheet steel mill and first galvanizing line in 1987.
In Crawfordsville, R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company opened a printing facility in 1921 that now employs a large number of citizens. When RR Donnelley & Sons split into three distinct firms in October 2016, the plant’s name was changed to LSC Communications. The Lakeside Book Company now operates the plant.
The majority of the city is covered by the Crawfordsville Community Schools district, however very tiny portions of the southern and northern areas of the city are covered by the South Montgomery Community School Corporation and North Montgomery Community School Corporation, respectively.
What has made Crawfordsville famous?
Crawfordsville is renowned for its creative arts and for being the “Cradle of Basketball,” among other things. It was the first location when the peach basket was replaced by two locally made metal hoops, making it one of just twelve Indiana towns where the Hoosier game of basketball originated.
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