Crawfordsville is a city in Montgomery County in west central Indiana, United States, 49 miles (79 km) west by northwest of Indianapolis. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 15,915. The city is the county seat of Montgomery County, the only chartered city and largest populated place in the county. Crawfordsville is part of a broader Indianapolis combined statistical area, although the Lafayette metropolitan statistical area is only 30 miles (48 km) north. It is home to Wabash College, which was ranked by Forbes as #12 in the United States for undergraduate studies in 2008.
The city was founded in 1823 on the bank of Sugar Creek, a southern tributary of the Wabash River and named for U.S. Treasury Secretary William H. Crawford.
In 1813, Williamson Dunn, Henry Ristine, and Major Ambrose Whitlock, U.S. Army, noted that the site of present-day Crawfordsville was ideal for settlement, surrounded by deciduous forest and potentially arable land, with water provided by a nearby creek, later named Sugar Creek, that was a southern tributary of the Wabash River. They returned a decade later to find at least one cabin had been built in the area. In 1821, William and Jennie Offield had built a cabin on a little creek, later to be known as Offield Creek, four miles (6.4 km) southwest of the future site of Crawfordsville.
Whitlock, a Virginian who had served under Gen. "Mad" Anthony Wayne in the Northwest Indian War, laid out the town in March 1823.