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Boarding House

I recently have been spending a lot of time with Ancestry’s newly released database: Newspapers.com Obituary Index, 1800s – present. In the process, I discovered that a lot of the early newspapers from Dodge City, Kansas are now on Newspapers.com. Thus, I did a search for CRAWFORD between 1885 and 1890. Many of the results allowed me to get a digital copy of articles I had seen when I read the microfilm.

One of those articles described the building of a boarding house by my 2nd great grandfather, Washington Marion Crawford.

Marion Crawford has commenced the foundation for a boarding house, north of his present location, on 2d Avenue. The main building will be 16 x 26 feet, 18 feet high, with a wing 16 x 18 feet. The dining room and kitchen will be in the basement. A. O. Sherman hs the contract to do the work.

Dodge City Times (Dodge City, Kansas), 30 July 1885, page 4; Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online November 2019).


Knowing that the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps are available on the the Library of Congress web site, I did a search to locate the Dodge City Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps. The 1887 map shows the boarding house at the corner of 2nd and Elm.

This Boarding House likely allowed Mary Foster Crawford to care for her family after the death of her husband in 1889. Mention of the boarding house is found in the 7 Dec 1894 issue of the Dodge City Globe.

In 1947, my grandparents, Leon and Winnie Crawford, purchased the ‘boarding house’ from his uncle, Nelson G. Crawford, son of Mary Foster Crawford and Washington Marion Crawford.

Since my grandparents opened the second floor of the house to guys attending college across the street, it was again a ‘boarding house.’

When my grandfather became ill, the house was sold and my grandmother moved into an apartment. Eventually, the boarding house was torn down to ‘build a parking lot’ for the public library that was built across the street from it.