In 1874 Custer, followed by a thousand regulars of the 7th Cavalry, entered the Black Hills. Lt. Col Custer wrote busily on a flowery report - "this valley presents a most wonderful and beautiful aspect, the like of which has never been seen". Just then a prospector entered the tent and spilled yellow dust under the commander's eyes. GOLD! Custer wrote more busily than ever. A few weeks later the paper blazed with headlines about the new El Dorado. Custer ordered the camp struck, pleased with the success of his adventure. He did not dream that pinch of yellow sand had started a chain of events which would leave him dead by the Little Bighorn River in Montana.
In 1875 the town of Custer supported a population of approximately 10 thousand people. The people decided to incorporate to give the town a name. They had a vote to decide the name and the two names that were chosen were Stonewall (a famous Confederate General) and Custer (for the famous Union general). Because more Union Veterans inhabited Custer than Confederate the name Custer was chosen.
George A. Custer
Custer died June 25th, 1876 at the Battle of the Little Bighorn near Hardin, Montana.
Custer is buried at West Point Military Academy in New York.
After discovery of gold in the Black Hills in the early 1870's, settlers soon began pouring into the region. In the spring of 1886, Hermosa was founded. Pete Folsom, Chief Engineer for the Pioneer Townsite Company, is credited with naming the town Hermosa (which means "beautiful" in Spanish) due to the Black Hills and Harney Peak to the west, and the broad fertile valley to the east.
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