Madison County

CRAWFORD TOWNSHIP

History

This township is the oldest in the county though formerly known under another name. It is bounded on the north by Lee, on the south by South, on the east by Warren county, and on the west by Union.

It is thoroughly drained, North river, Cedar creek and Middle river flowing through it from west to east. Along the borders of these streams are fine belts of timber land. Limestone and coal are found.

The surface of this township is rough and broken - the most so of any township in the county. Most of the land, however, is susceptible of cultivation and in places are some of the best farms in the county. The township is well adapted to stock raising from the abundance of water furnished by the streams and numerous springs.

The early history of this township forms part of that of the county in general and has been heretofore spoken of. The first settler in the county, Hiram Hurst, located in this township in April, 1876, on what has been since known as the old Cason farm. Not long afterward Thomas Cason and J. J. Cason settled here. Then came J. B. McGinnis, Wm. Weekly, Thomas Stewart, Jacob Kinkannon, Jackson Nelson and George Salisbury. In 1852 the widow Shreves, and her sons John, Jonah and Jonathan, settled here.

The present officers of the township are: Justices - V. A. Walkup, C. E. Sampson; Trustees - T. T. Cason, Lawson Howell, James Gallager; Constables - L. A. Smith, D. T. Miles; Assessor - James Gillaspie; Clerk - James Swift.

Map

The map shown below represents Crawford Township in 1875, just 4 years before the history given above was written.  As shown, the township is a skewed square although the map maker exaggerated the skew angle by about double.  The North River enters in Section 6 and traverses the entire township, exiting in Section 1. The Middle River also crosses the entire township, starting in Section 34 and exiting in Section 25. The three cemeteries active in 1875 are represented by the red crosses.  In 1875, there were approximately 140 families living in Crawford Township.  That many family names could not have been shown by the map maker without losing much of the other detail shown in the map.  How he chose the families shown is unknown.

Note the railroad line going through the towns of Patterson and Bevington.  This is the Rock Island & Pacific railroad spur from Des Moines to Winterset.  In this era, having a railroad come through town was a significant economic advantage and probably contributed greatly to those two towns thriving while many others vanished.

Crawford Township is the site of the first settler in Madison County, Hiram Hurst.  Research is planned to determine the exact location of his property which will be added to the map when determined.

 

Crawford Township - 1875

Maintained by the County Coordinator

This page was created on July 23, 2004.
This page was last updated Thursday, 13-Apr-2017 16:03:46 CDT .