Custer County, Colorado

Custer County, Colorado
Map
Enlarge picture
Map of Colorado highlighting Custer County

Location in the state of Colorado

Colorado's location in the USA
Statistics
FoundedMarch 9, 1877
SeatWestcliffe
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

740 sq mi (1,916 km)
739 sq mi (1,914 km)
1 sq mi (3 km), 0.14%
Population
 - (2000)
 - Density

3,503
5/sq mi (2/km)
Website: custercountygov.com
Named for: George Armstrong Custer
Custer County is the tenth least populous of the 64 counties of the State of Colorado of the United States. The county population was 3,503 at U.S. Census 2000.[1] The county seat is Westcliffe.

History

Custer County was created by the Colorado legislature on March 9, 1877, out of the southern half of Fremont County. Originally set in Ula, the county seat moved to Rosita in 1878, and to Silver Cliff in 1886 before settling in Westcliffe in 1928. It was named in honor of Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer, who had died the previous year.

The county was the site of a silver rush during the 1870s. Thousands of men poured into the county during this time in the hunt for silver. The town of Silver Cliff at one time had a population of about 8,000 residents and was one of the cities considered for the site of the state capital of Colorado. Some of the notable mines include the Geyser Mine (on the north edge of the town of Silver Cliff), the Bassick Mine (near the ghost town of Querida) and the Bull Domingo (north of Silver Cliff).

During the late 1800s a railroad line was connected through the Grape Creek Canyon but was permanently closed after a few disastrous floods. The old railhouse has been turned into a historical landmark in the town of Westcliffe.

After the mines dried up, the population dropped considerably and was replaced by cattle ranchers. An extensive system of irrigation ditches were built throughout the valley. The tradition of ranching in the Wet Mountain Valley continues to this day.

Geography

Enlarge picture
The Wet Mountain Valley of Custer County is nestled beneath the rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,916 km² (740 mi²). 1,914 km² (739 mi²) of it is land and 3 km² (1 mi²) of it (0.14%) is water.

The county is very rugged and would be virtually inaccessible without roads. The lowest point of the county is around 6,000 feet in elevation, but most of the county is rugged and mountainous. The county seat of Westcliffe is about 7,800 feet and along with nearby town Silver Cliff lies in the Wet Mountain Valley which sits at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the west reach heights in excess of 14,000 feet with Crestone Peak being the highest at 14,294 feet and 7th highest fourteener in Colorado.

A large percentage of the county is National Forest land in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains on the west side and in the Wet Mountains on the east. The only lake of size is the Deweese Reservoir in the north end of the Wet Mountain Valley.

Adjacent counties

Demographics

As of the census2 of 2000, there were 3,503 people, 1,480 households, and 1,077 families residing in the county. The population density was 2/km² (5/mi²). There were 2,989 housing units at an average density of 2/km² (4/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.89% White, 0.37% Black or African American, 1.11% Native American, 0.29% Asian, 0.71% from other races, and 1.63% from two or more races. 2.51% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,480 households out of which 25.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.60% were married couples living together, 5.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.20% were non-families. 23.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.77.

In the county the population was spread out with 22.50% under the age of 18, 4.50% from 18 to 24, 23.30% from 25 to 44, 35.00% from 45 to 64, and 14.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females there were 104.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,731, and the median income for a family was $41,198. Males had a median income of $32,460 versus $20,868 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,817. About 9.80% of families and 13.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.10% of those under age 18 and 12.60% of those age 65 or over.

Government

The county is governed by three County Commissioners who are elected to 4-year terms with a term limit of two. Currently the county is represented by:

-District 1: Dale Hoag (Republican), serving from 1998-2006

-District 2: Dick Downey (Republican), serving from 2000-2008

-District 3: Kit Shy (Republican), serving from 2004-2008 which chance for reelection in 2008

There are several other public offices including Coroner, Sheriff, County Clerk and others.

Politics

Custer County is overall very conservative and heavily Republican. The most important election is not the general election, but the primary election between members of the Republican Party in August. During the 2004 presidential election, well over 60% of Custer County voters voted for the Republican candidates including George W. Bush, Pete Coors and Greg Walcher. However, as of 2004, Custer County is represented in the United States Congress by John Salazar (Democrat).

Despite the surface appearance of a homogeneous political culture, there is considerable dispute among residents over planning. One segment of residents (which includes ranchers) would like to see the County preserved in its present state as a mountain paradise with its rural ranching culture, with strict limitation on development. Proponents are sometimes seen as "anti-growth" and "anti-property rights." Another segment of the population would like to see less government and less restrictions on growth and development for the growth of business and the economy. Proponents are seen as "anti-environment" or "anti-agriculture."

Cities and towns

National forest and wilderness

National scenic byway

  • Frontier Pathways National Scenic and Historic Byway

Transcontinental bicycle routes

See also

External links

References




Coordinates:
State of Colorado

Flag of Colorado Seal
Nickname(s): The Centennial State
Motto(s): Nil sine numine

Official language(s) English

Capital Denver
Largest city Denver

..... Click the link for more information.
Motto
"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
Anthem
..... Click the link for more information.
March 9 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events

  • 590 - Bahram Chobin is crowned as king Barham VI of Persia.

..... Click the link for more information.
18th century - 19th century - 20th century
1840s  1850s  1860s  - 1870s -  1880s  1890s  1900s
1874 1875 1876 - 1877 - 1878 1879 1880

:
Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
..... Click the link for more information.
A county seat is a term for an administrative center for a county, primarily used in the United States. In the Northeast United States, the statutory term often is shire town, but colloquially county seat is the term in use there.
..... Click the link for more information.
Area is a physical quantity expressing the size of a part of a surface. The term Surface area is the summation of the areas of the exposed sides of an object.

Units

Units for measuring surface area include:
square metre = SI derived unit

..... Click the link for more information.
square mile is an imperial and US unit of area equal the area of a square of one statute mile. It should not be confused with the archaic miles square, which refers to the number of miles on each side squared.
..... Click the link for more information.
Square kilometre (U.S. spelling: square kilometer), symbol km², is a decimal multiple of the SI unit of surface area, the square metre, one of the SI derived units. 1 km² is equal to:
  • 1,000,000 m²
  • 100 ha (hectare)
Conversely:
  • 1 m² = 0.

..... Click the link for more information.
population is the collection of people or organisms of a particular species living in a given geographic area or mortality, and migration, though the field encompasses many dimensions of population change including the family (marriage and divorce), public health, work and the
..... Click the link for more information.
The Twenty-Second United States Census, known as Census 2000 and conducted by the Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States on April 1, 2000, to be 281,421,906, an increase of 13.2% over the 248,709,873 persons enumerated during the 1990 Census.
..... Click the link for more information.
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, humans in particular.

Biological population densities


..... Click the link for more information.
George Armstrong Custer (December 5, 1839 – June 25, 1876) was a United States Army cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the Indian Wars. Promoted at an early age to a temporary war-time rank of Major General, and later made a permanent Lt.
..... Click the link for more information.
list of the 64 counties of the U.S. State of Colorado. The counties of Colorado are important components of government since the state has no secondary civil subdivisions such as townships.
..... Click the link for more information.
State of Colorado

Flag of Colorado Seal
Nickname(s): The Centennial State
Motto(s): Nil sine numine

Official language(s) English

Capital Denver
Largest city Denver

..... Click the link for more information.
Motto
"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
Anthem
..... Click the link for more information.
The Twenty-Second United States Census, known as Census 2000 and conducted by the Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States on April 1, 2000, to be 281,421,906, an increase of 13.2% over the 248,709,873 persons enumerated during the 1990 Census.
..... Click the link for more information.
A county seat is a term for an administrative center for a county, primarily used in the United States. In the Northeast United States, the statutory term often is shire town, but colloquially county seat is the term in use there.
..... Click the link for more information.
Westcliffe, Colorado
Location in Custer County and the state of Colorado
Coordinates:
Country United States
State Colorado
County Custer
Area
..... Click the link for more information.
March 9 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events

  • 590 - Bahram Chobin is crowned as king Barham VI of Persia.

..... Click the link for more information.
18th century - 19th century - 20th century
1840s  1850s  1860s  - 1870s -  1880s  1890s  1900s
1874 1875 1876 - 1877 - 1878 1879 1880

:
Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
..... Click the link for more information.
Fremont County is the fourteenth most populous of the 64 counties of the State of Colorado of the United States. The county is named for explorer and presidential candidate John C. Frémont. The county population was 46,145 at U.S. Census 2000.
..... Click the link for more information.
18th century - 19th century - 20th century
1840s  1850s  1860s  - 1870s -  1880s  1890s  1900s
1875 1876 1877 - 1878 - 1879 1880 1881

:
Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
..... Click the link for more information.
Silver Cliff, Colorado
Location in Custer County and the state of Colorado
Coordinates:
Country United States
State Colorado
County Custer
Area
..... Click the link for more information.
18th century - 19th century - 20th century
1850s  1860s  1870s  - 1880s -  1890s  1900s  1910s
1883 1884 1885 - 1886 - 1887 1888 1889

:
Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
..... Click the link for more information.
19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1890s  1900s  1910s  - 1920s -  1930s  1940s  1950s
1925 1926 1927 - 1928 - 1929 1930 1931

Year 1928 (MCMXXVIII
..... Click the link for more information.
George Armstrong Custer (December 5, 1839 – June 25, 1876) was a United States Army cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the Indian Wars. Promoted at an early age to a temporary war-time rank of Major General, and later made a permanent Lt.
..... Click the link for more information.
Silver (IPA: /ˈsɪlvə(ɹ)/) is a chemical element with the symbol Ag (Latin: argentum) and atomic number 47.
..... Click the link for more information.
Silver Cliff is the name of several towns in the United States:
  • Silver Cliff, Colorado
  • Silver Cliff, Wisconsin

..... Click the link for more information.
State of Colorado

Flag of Colorado Seal
Nickname(s): The Centennial State
Motto(s): Nil sine numine

Official language(s) English

Capital Denver
Largest city Denver

..... Click the link for more information.
The United States Census Bureau (officially Bureau of the Census as defined in Title 13 U.S.C.   11 ) is a part of the United States Department of Commerce.
..... Click the link for more information.


This article is copied from an article on Wikipedia.org - the free encyclopedia created and edited by online user community. The text was not checked or edited by anyone on our staff. Although the vast majority of the wikipedia encyclopedia articles provide accurate and timely information please do not assume the accuracy of any particular article. This article is distributed under the terms of GNU Free Documentation License.