Col. William Crawford, outstanding local pioneer leader, was born in Virginia in 1732, the same year as his good friend, George Washington. He came to this area in 1758, as an officer of the army of Gen. John Forbes as it marched westward in the second attempt to capture Fort Duquesne at the forks of the Ohio River. Colonel Crawford was so impressed with the area, he decided to return once the Indian hostilities died down.
He and his half-brother, Hugh Stephenson, came over the mountains in 1765 on horseback and decided once they reached the second crossing of the Youghiogheny River, at what was known as Stewart's Crossings, now Connellsville, that this was where he would bring his family to live. He purchased 376 1/4 acres of meadow land in the bend of the river and took his family into the cabin in 1766. Col. Crawford's name for his residence was originally "Spring Garden" but was widely known as "Crawford's Place" by the locals. He also had a Spring House on his property, which was torn down in June of 1905.
The Crawford family: the Colonel, his wife Hannah and their four children lived a very active life on the frontier. The Crawford family was known for its hospitality. Included among the visitors were George Washington and Lord Dunsmore, the Governor of Virginia. In fact, George Washington taught Crawford the art of surveying when they were young men. Col. Crawford surveyed and purchased land in the local area (Perryopolis) for George Washington.
Colonel Crawford recruited soldiers for the Revolutionary War from his home on the banks of the Youghiogheny River. These soldiers saw action in the battles of Long Island, Trenton and Princeton.
Col. Crawford was with an expedition in 1782 to put down the hostile Indian tribes in what is now Ohio. He got separated from his army and was captured by Delaware Indians. He died a horrible death when he was burned at the stake in Upper Sandusky, Ohio on June 11, 1782.