About Us

The mission of the Crawford County Illinois Historical Society is to preserve, maintain, and display artifacts and information that have been donated or collected pertaining to Crawford County history and to educate the public about the history of Crawford County. The Society brings together people who are interested in history, especially in the history of Crawford County. The Society operates the Crawford County Historical Society Museum and its associated library, which contains thousands of artifacts -- any material which may help to establish or illustrate the history of the area and the diversity of its people, such as diaries, rosters, photographs, business and school records, furniture and belongings owned by Crawford County pioneer families and documents dating back to before the 1816 chartering of Crawford County. We also have a library full of regional newspapers from the past -- clippings and photographs, plus genealogy material, and cemetery records, to name a few. Our library and website not only provide information for those working on genealogy, but are also helpful for students participating in the Crawford County and State History Fairs. The museum is just a great place to tour and spend an interesting afternoon. The website provides online access to selected material taken from our museum and library, in the forms of scans or photographs of physical artifacts, transcriptions of articles, and lists of names and events.

About Crawford County Illlinois

Map showing Crawford County in southeastern Illinois along the Wabash River border with Indiana.

Crawford County was formed on December 31, 1816. Before that, from 1812 to 1815, this land was part of Edwards County. And, before that, from 1809 to 1811, it was known as Madison County. Before that, it was Randolph County. And, from 1790 to 1801, it was with Knox County Indiana.

The county was named in honor of William H. Crawford, a United States Senator from Georgia who also served the nation as Minister (Ambassador) to France, Secretary of War, Secretary of the Treasury, and as 25th President pro tempore of the Senate. He was also a prominent presidential candidate in 1824. His portrait adorned the United States 50-cent bill (not coin!) in 1875.

(Also see a map of the County's larger highways and waterways, a map of the County townships, and the Illinois Department of Transportation's map of the County's roadways)

Contact Us

By U.S. Mail, write to;
Crawford County Historical Society
P.O. Box 554
Robinson, IL 62454-0554

Send any e-mail to [email protected]

Join Us

We are always seeking volunteers to assist us in the curation and operation of the Museum, and to develop catalogs and indexes and make photographs or scans of historical materials, especially of the several newspapers that have operated in the County over the last 150 years or so. If you have benefitted from the work of others in this regard, this can be a means of "giving back" or "paying forward" so that others with interests similar to yours can also benefit. Saturday and Sunday the museum hours are 2-4 pm. Volunteers and members take turns in opening the museum... and we can always use more help in this area. Volunteer members are trained concerning the different displays in the museum, so they can guide visitors through the fifteen rooms of Crawford County history on display.

Becoming a member of the museum is not expensive. Voting membership in the Historical Society requires the payment of annual dues at these levels; Individual Members at $20, Sustaining Members at $100, Business or Institutional Membership at $300, and Lifetime Members at $500. Members receive a quarterly newsletter. Members also have a great time dressing up for "Nite at the Museum". We usually have Abraham & Mary Todd Lincoln, as well as Mrs. Hutson, a fur trader, a Marine, Civil War and 1812 re-enactors, etc.

Maintenance funds for the museum come from memberships, donations and grants. There's always something that needs to be fixed, replaced, or redone to fit today's needs -- the roof... the doors... the plumbing. Upcoming projects will eventually include an elevator when the museum outgrows the main floor. Volunteer Tuesday starts at 10:00 AM. Many times volunteers can get things done by noon. Sometimes it takes a little longer.

Come and be part of something worthwhile -- volunteer in preserving Ole Crawford history! The Crawford County Illinois Historical Society is an IRS registered 501(c)(3) organization, so any donations you wish to make are tax deductible. Donations of County historical artifacts are also particulary welcome.


The 2016 officers of the Crawford County Historical Society are:

Mary Jo Billingsly
Vice President
Bob Manning
Sue Jones
Lois Ulrey

Other volunteers include:

Larry S. Jackson, Ph.D.

Other Local/Regional Groups and Activities of Interest to Historians and Genealogists

Being the first county chartered in the state of Illinois, Crawford County has a long history, especially as the land office for the entire State was once located here. Further, the fertile Wabash River valley has been inhabited for thousands of years. Several groups address aspects of the pre-history, written history, inhabitants, settlers, and societies in the greater Crawford County area, including;

Visit RootsWeb website.

Acknowledgement and Thanks:
The Crawford County Illinois Historical Society website is hosted by RootsWeb.