Crowley County, Colorado

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Crowley County
The Crowley County Justice Center in Ordway.
The Crowley County Justice Center in Ordway.
Map of Colorado highlighting Crowley County
Location within the U.S. state of Colorado
Map of the United States highlighting Colorado
Colorado's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 38°20′N 103°47′W / 38.33°N 103.79°W / 38.33; -103.79
Country United States
State Colorado
FoundedMay 29, 1911
Named forJohn H. Crowley
SeatOrdway
Largest townOrdway
Area
 • Total800 sq mi (2,000 km2)
 • Land787 sq mi (2,040 km2)
 • Water13 sq mi (30 km2)  1.6%%
Population
 • Estimate 
(2020)
5,922
 • Density7.5/sq mi (2.9/km2)
Time zoneUTC−7 (Mountain)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−6 (MDT)
Congressional district4th
Websitecrowleycounty.colorado.gov

Crowley County is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2020 census, the population was 5,922.[1] The county seat is Ordway.[2]

History[edit]

Crowley County was created by the Colorado legislature on May 29, 1911, out of the northern portions of Otero County. Previously both were parts of Bent County. The county was named for John H. Crowley, senator from Otero County to the state legislature at the time of the split. Its original inhabitants decades earlier were Native Americans, more Cheyenne than other tribes at the time the western expansion of the U.S. arrived.

The first significant development and settlement occurred in 1887 when the Missouri Pacific Railroad came through from the east, on its way to Pueblo and Colorado's rich gold fields of "Pikes Peak Or Bust".

The county seat is in Ordway, a town established in 1890 that quickly became the economic hub of the area. Other towns still existing along the Missouri Pacific Railroad's route are Sugar City, Crowley, and Olney Springs.

A few years later, developers brought a canal east from the Arkansas River, with ambitious plans to irrigate a million acres (4000 km2) in Kansas; instead, the canal petered out in Crowley County but did irrigate 57,000 acres (230 km2) along its length. This turned early Crowley County into a lush agricultural mecca at first.

By the 1970s almost all the water rights were sold from what is now called the Twin Lakes Canal to the fast-growing cities of Colorado's Front Range corridor. The area's economic activity has shifted toward ranching. Much of the land has returned to its original sparse prairie grassland conditions.

The Crowley School, which is now the Crowley County Heritage Center, is the county's only historic site listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Crowley County also today hosts a state prison. The 2000 census showed 5,518 county residents, of which 1,955 were prisoners, giving Crowley County the highest percentage of incarcerated prisoners of any county in the U.S. The county maintained this position in the 2010 census, with 2,682 prisoners out of 5,823 residents.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 800 square miles (2,100 km2), of which 787 square miles (2,040 km2) is land and 13 square miles (34 km2) (1.6%) is water.[3] Lake Meredith, which lies south of Ordway and Sugar City, is the largest of several lakes in the county.[4]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Major Highways[edit]

Bicycle trail[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
19206,383
19305,934−7.0%
19405,398−9.0%
19505,222−3.3%
19603,978−23.8%
19703,086−22.4%
19802,988−3.2%
19903,94632.1%
20005,51839.8%
20105,8235.5%
20205,9221.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
1790-1960[6] 1900-1990[7]
1990-2000[8] 2010-2020[1]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 5,518 people, 1,358 households, and 957 families living in the county. The population density was 7 people per square mile (3/km2). There were 1,542 housing units at an average density of 2 per square mile (1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 82.95% White, 7.05% Black or African American, 2.59% Native American, 0.82% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 4.77% from other races, and 1.81% from two or more races. 22.54% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,358 households, out of which 34.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.10% were married couples living together, 11.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.50% were non-families. 25.70% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.12.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 18.80% under the age of 18, 9.90% from 18 to 24, 39.60% from 25 to 44, 20.80% from 45 to 64, and 10.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 205.40 males (this is the highest of any U.S. county/parish in 2000). For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 240.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $26,803, and the median income for a family was $32,162. Males had a median income of $20,813 versus $21,920 for females. The per capita income for the county was $12,836. About 15.20% of families and 18.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.60% of those under age 18 and 13.50% of those age 65 or over. More recent data, published in 2011, estimated that 48.1 percent of the county's residents lived in poverty, and of 3,197 counties ranked by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2011 for "estimated percent of people of all ages in poverty", Crowley was second.[10]

Census data for Crowley County includes 1,955 prisoners. The prison population is 19.23% Black, and 24.35% Hispanic. Without the prisoners, Crowley County would be 86.72% White, 0.36% Black, and 21.55% Hispanic. As a percentage of its population, Crowley County has more of its Census population in prison than any other county in the country.[11][12]

Politics[edit]

Crowley is a predominantly Republican county. No Democratic presidential nominee has won Crowley County since Lyndon Johnson's 1964 landslide. Before that time, the county largely followed the patterns of Colorado politics in general, from strongly Democratic during the William Jennings Bryan and Woodrow Wilson eras to Republican leaning from the time of Wendell Willkie onwards.

United States presidential election results for Crowley County, Colorado[13]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 1,271 72.63% 437 24.97% 42 2.40%
2016 1,079 70.66% 339 22.20% 109 7.14%
2012 924 61.52% 535 35.62% 43 2.86%
2008 976 62.64% 552 35.43% 30 1.93%
2004 1,006 67.38% 478 32.02% 9 0.60%
2000 855 59.17% 511 35.36% 79 5.47%
1996 680 49.60% 559 40.77% 132 9.63%
1992 602 41.29% 570 39.09% 286 19.62%
1988 862 57.47% 630 42.00% 8 0.53%
1984 993 65.03% 517 33.86% 17 1.11%
1980 926 62.86% 472 32.04% 75 5.09%
1976 834 54.90% 667 43.91% 18 1.18%
1972 1,094 70.67% 414 26.74% 40 2.58%
1968 775 50.36% 565 36.71% 199 12.93%
1964 690 41.49% 967 58.15% 6 0.36%
1960 1,099 60.89% 705 39.06% 1 0.06%
1956 1,220 62.05% 745 37.89% 1 0.05%
1952 1,546 67.78% 726 31.83% 9 0.39%
1948 1,027 50.34% 1,004 49.22% 9 0.44%
1944 1,214 62.93% 710 36.81% 5 0.26%
1940 1,419 62.21% 850 37.26% 12 0.53%
1936 920 43.11% 1,163 54.50% 51 2.39%
1932 811 38.31% 1,266 59.80% 40 1.89%
1928 1,243 65.42% 635 33.42% 22 1.16%
1924 1,087 50.23% 667 30.82% 410 18.95%
1920 1,348 60.64% 792 35.63% 83 3.73%
1916 847 40.47% 1,160 55.42% 86 4.11%
1912 467 28.35% 719 43.66% 461 27.99%

Communities[edit]

Towns[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  4. ^ "Lake Meredith". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior.
  5. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  6. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  7. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  8. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 27, 2010. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  9. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  10. ^ "Table 1: 2011 Poverty and Median Income Estimates - Counties". Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. 2011. Archived from the original on October 10, 2013.
  11. ^ Wagner, Peter; ‘Twenty one counties have twenty one percent of their population in prisons and jails’; Prison Policy Initiative, April 19, 2004
  12. ^ Prison Policy Initiative; ‘Racial Geography of Mass Incarceration – Appendix A. Counties: Ratios of overrepresentation’
  13. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved May 26, 2017.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°20′N 103°47′W / 38.33°N 103.79°W / 38.33; -103.79