The first and only other county seat of Crawford was located approximately 5 miles west of present day Girard. This settlement, established February 13, 1867, when the county was founded, and named Crawfordsville (after Samuel J. Crawford, then governor of Kansas). Crawfordsville was located on Lightning Creek.
Disputes over the location of the county seat arose early in 1968. Dr. Charles H. Strong from Crawfordsville set out to find the geographical center of the 592 square miles comprising Crawford County. He named the new town Girard, after his home town in Pennsylvania.
Girard still stands as the county seat today. The courthouse in the center of the square, built in 1922, is the third structure to house the county affairs. At the Veteran’s Memorial you will see one of the world’s largest American flags.
Girard also has claim to an integral part in the history of the United States socialism. J.A. Wayland, founder of the “Appeal to Reason,” printed his socialist newspaper in Girard. Every prominent name in socialism from Eugene V. Debs and Clarence Darrow to Kate Richards O’Hare and Mother Jones spent time in Crawford County. Girard was also the home of the printing of the famous “Little Blue Books” by Haldeman-Julius. Hundreds of thousands of all these publications originated from Girard and were distributed nationwide and known worldwide.
Today, Girard has grown to a prosperous community of over 3,000. the town includes more than 30 local cultural, civic, and interest groups to interest all ages and backgrounds – from Scouting to the Senior Center. community leaders are taking major steps today to accommodate the needs of the young and the old in projects like the Family Resource Center and Assisted Living Complex.