Term: Crawford County [origin of place name]
Crawford County was named in honor of William H. Crawford (1772-1834), secretary of the treasury under Monroe. Wis. Hist. Colls, i, p. 112; Gannett, Place Names, p. 85. The county was, in fact, named for Fort Crawford, which took its title from Secretary Crawford. This fortification was built in 1816 by Maj. Willoughby Morgan,. Wis. Hist. Colls., ii, p. 122.
Description from John W. Hunt's 1853 Wisconsin Gazetteer: "CRAWFORD, County, is located at the junction between the Wisconsin and Miississippi rivers, and is bounded on the north by Bad Ax [Vernon], on the east by Richland, on the southeast by Grant, and on the west by the Mississippi, which separates it from the State of Iowa. It was established October 16, 1818, when it embraced all of the territory between the Mississippi and "a line drawn due north from the northern line of the State of Illinois, through the centre of the Portage between the Fox and Wisconsin rivers to the Michilimacinac," and derived its name from Hon. Wm. H. Crawford, formerly Secretary of War, and afterwards Secretary of the Treasury. Its limits have now been so far reduced that it is one of the smallest counties in the State. The seat of jiustice is at Prairie du Chien, one of the oldest settlements in the State, on the Mississippi river, about three miles above the mouth of the Wisconsin, and is one of the most beautiful locations in the west. The surface of the country is broken by a ridge running between the two great rivers. The soil, for the most part, is good, producing wheat, oats, and most other grains, which find a ready home market, in supplying the lumber traders, military posts, and the great tide of emigration which is now turned to this and the neighboring counties of La Crosse and Bad Ax [Vernon]. It is watered by the Kickapoo river and its branches, and small streams emptying into the Mississippi and Wisconsin rivers. Between the Kickapoo river and Richland county, is one of the finest tracts of country in the State. It is well supplied with pure water; and good timber is found along the banks of the small streams, and in groves, scattered at convenient distances, to be useful for the rapidly increasing population. A fine village has been regularly laid out midway between the mouth of the Kickapoo and the Richland county line, on the Wisconsin river, called Boyd'stown. It has a good landing. There is much pine timber in this county, on and near the banks of the Kickapoo, from which large quantities of lumber are manufactured, finding an outlet to a market by said river, and the Wisconsin and Mississippi. Copper has been found in the northern part of the county, in such quantities and appearance as to indicate the near presence of a vast body of that mineral. Near the west bank of the Kickapoo, in town 8, has been found considerable quantities of lead, and there is no doubt that if a geological survey was made, that lead, rivalling in quantity and purity that raised in the counties of Iowa, Grant and Lafayette, would be discovered. ¿The estimated population of Crawford county in 1825, including most of the present State and a portion of Minnesota, was 492. The population in 1830 was 692; 1836, 854.; 1838,1,220; 1840, 1,502; 1842, 1,409; 1846, 1,444; 1847, 1,409; S1850, (including Bad Ax and La Crosse,) 2,399; 1850: within its present limits, 1,407. Farms, 81; manufactories, 14; dwellings, 665. The above will give but little information in regard to the increase of population, as new counties were set off between nearly every taking of the census. The present population of the county is upwards of 3,000."
[Source: Kellogg, Louise Phelps. "Derivation of County Names" in Proceedings of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin for 1909, pages 219-231.]