CDPL web site

CMMC History

Montgomery County History Gallery

Greta Binford

Read about Greta Binford on her Lewis & Clark College website.


Crawfordsville is famous for its crinoids, which are now found in museums all over the world.

Map of Montgomery County: 1875
View a geological map of Montgomery County from 1875

Read more about Crawfordsville crinoids on the Fossil Museum website.

Land patents

Have you ever seen a land patent? Early settlers to this county bought land in the 1830s, which was duly recorded for posterity.

Land patent no 18923 for Isaac Cumpston of Henhaway County, Virginia. 17 Oct 1834. Signed by Andrew Jackson. Recorded Vol 39 pg 130.Certificate left in old Montgomery home (near Linden), now Lafoon Residence, 1990.


13390 William J Henderson, of Montgomery County, Indiana purchasing land through land office of Fort Des Moines. 1 Dec 1855. –Recorded Vol 33 page 453. Franklin Pierce.


34002 Joseph McGinnis, of Putnam County, Ind. 10 May 1848. –Recorded Vol 69, page 200. James K Polk.


Sanborn map of Crawfordsville, February 1925. Insurance maps were created for fire insurance purposes but are now an invaluable document of a town’s past growth and development.


Montgomery County in 1875 (the map highlights fossil beds, sandstone, limestone, coal, mineral springs, crinoids, etc. on a plat of the county).


These images are from the Assessor’s Plat Book — Union Township — Montgomery County 1895. The individual maps show street-level detail of what was located in Crawfordsville at the end of the 19th century.


Early scenes of Crawfordsville and Montgomery County

Crawfordsville 1860This is a view of James Patterson’s Books & Stationery in 1860, at the corner of Green and Main Streets. Also shown is the Cheap Cash Store (today this is the spot of the Canine plaza fountain).

Crawfordsville 1865Taken in 1865, this view looks west on Main Street where it crosses Washington Street. To the right appears a fence and hitching post that bordered what was then the courthouse (the present day courthouse was built on that site in 1876). The Crawfordsville Journal office was in the four-story building, erected in 1836. Wabash College held classes in this building from 1838-1839 after its only building was destroyed by in a fire.

Crawfordsville 1865This photograph from 1865 looks north on Green Street from the corner of Main Street. The township trustee’s office is visible in the center of the image. A dry goods store is in the far right of the photo with a sign for groceries, boots, shoes, and clothing. Just to the left is part of the sign for Frank M. Heaton’s shop. Healton was a bookseller and stationer and dealer in “fancy articles.”

Cawfordsville 1909Indiana G.A.R. Encampment (Grand Army of the Republic, Civial War veterans), 1909, Crawfordsville. A large group of men and women are shown in front of the Crawfordsville courthouse. The picture is looking east on Washington Street (bottom) and Main Street (far right).

Ladoga 1910The Ladoga East School building (the town’s elementary school) is pictured in winter. This photograph was taken around 1910.

Waynetown 1900A large group of schoolchildren is standing outside of the New Market School building (School Number 33) in this photograph, c. 1900. Several hacks are parked in the background. This New Market School was built in 1898, and it was torn down in 1927.

Do you want to see more? You can search for items in our CDPL Local History Image database, which contains more than 10,000 images.

Here are also some links to image sets that may interest you!

Churches: View documents and pictures of local churches through the years.

Street scenes: Take a look at homes and streets that you may still be able to recognize today!

Veterans: From the Civil War to the present day, we remember our veterans.

Schools: Historical school documents and pictures are one of our favorite topics to collect.

Businesses: Stores, shops, receipts, fliers…we have quite a bit from local businesses.