The Westcliffe Jail is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Location within the U.S. state of Colorado
Colorado's location within the U.S.
|Founded||March 9, 1877|
|Named for||George Armstrong Custer|
|Largest town||Silver Cliff|
|• Total||740 sq mi (1,900 km2)|
|• Land||739 sq mi (1,910 km2)|
|• Water||1.3 sq mi (3 km2) 0.2%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||5.8/sq mi (2.2/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−7 (Mountain)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−6 (MDT)|
Custer County is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 4,255.The county seat is Westcliffe.
Custer County was created by the Colorado legislature on March 9, 1877, out of the southern half of Fremont County. It was named in honor of Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer, who had died the previous year. Originally set in Ula, the county seat moved to Rosita in 1878, and to Silver Cliff in 1886 before settling in Westcliffe in 1928.
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. 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 19th century 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 were exhausted, the population dropped considerably and was replaced by cattle ranchers. An extensive system of irrigation ditches was built throughout the valley. Ranching in the Wet Mountain Valley continues to this day.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 740 square miles (1,900 km2), of which 739 square miles (1,910 km2) is land and 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2) (0.2%) 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 (1,800 m) in elevation, but most of the county is rugged and mountainous. The county seat of Westcliffe is about 7,800 feet (2,400 m) 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 (4,300 m) with Crestone Peak being the highest at 14,294 feet (4,357 m) 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.
|U.S. Decennial Census |
As of the census mile (2/km2). 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.of 2000, there were 3,503 people, 1,480 households, and 1,077 families living in the county. The population density was 5 people per square mile (2/km2). There were 2,989 housing units at an average density of 4 per square
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.
Median household income (adjusted for inflation) dropped from $49,184 in 2009 to $32,261 in 2014, which made the county the third worst performing county in this respect in the country.
The county is governed by three county commissioners who are elected to 4-year terms with a term limit of two. In 2012, the county was represented by:
-District 1: Bill Canda (Republican), serving from 2017 to 2018. 1st term
-District 2: Jay Printz (Republican), serving from 2016 to 2020. 1st term.
-District 3: Tom Flower (Republican), serving from 2017 to 2020. 1st term.
There are several other public offices including Coroner, Sheriff, County Clerk and others.
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 and Pete Coors.
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."
Custer County is a county in the U.S. state of Nebraska. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 10,939. Its county seat is Broken Bow. The county was formed in 1877 and named after General George Armstrong Custer, who was killed at the Battle of Little Bighorn.
Silver Bow County is a county in the U.S. state Montana. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 36,400. Its county seat is Butte. In 1977, the city and county governments consolidated to form the single entity of Butte-Silver Bow. Additionally, the town of Walkerville is a separate municipality from Butte and is within the county.
Powder River County is a county in the U.S. state of Montana. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 1,743. Its county seat is Broadus.
Custer County is a rural mountain county in the center of the U.S. state of Idaho. As of the 2010 census, the population was 4,368. The county seat is Challis. Established in 1881, the county was named for the General Custer Mine, where gold was discovered five years earlier. Custer County relies on ranching, mining, and tourism as its main resources.
Saguache County is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 6,108. The county seat is Saguache.
Routt County is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 23,509. The county seat is Steamboat Springs. Routt County comprises the Steamboat Springs, CO Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Pueblo County is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 159,063. The county seat is Pueblo. The county was named for the historic city of Pueblo which took its name from the Spanish language word meaning "town" or "village". Pueblo County comprises the Pueblo, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Otero County is one of the 64 counties of the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 18,831. The county seat is La Junta. The county was named for Miguel Antonio Otero, one of the founders of the town of La Junta and a member of a prominent Hispanic family.
Moffat County is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 13,795. The county seat is Craig. With an area of 4,751 square miles, it is the 2nd largest county by area in Colorado, behind Las Animas County.
Mineral County is one of the 64 counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 712, making it the second-least populous county in Colorado, behind San Juan County. The county seat and only incorporated municipality in the county is Creede. The county was named for the many valuable minerals found in the mountains and streams of the area.
Huerfano County is one of the 64 counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 6,711. The county seat is Walsenburg. The county, whose name comes from the Spanish huérfano meaning "orphan", was named for the Huerfano Butte, a local landmark. The area of Huerfano County boomed early in the 1900s with the discovery of large coal deposits. After large scale World War II coal demand ended in the 1940s Walsenburg and Huerfano saw a steady economic decline through 2015.
Eagle County is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 52,197. The county seat is the Town of Eagle and the most populous community is Edwards. The county is named for the Eagle River.
Clear Creek County is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 9,088. The county seat is Georgetown.
Alamosa County is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 15,445. The county seat is Alamosa. The county name is the Spanish language word for a "grove of cottonwood trees."
Silver Cliff is a statutory town that is the most populous town in Custer County, Colorado, United States. The population was 587 at the 2010 census, up from 512 in 2000.
Westcliffe is a statutory town that is the county seat of Custer County, Colorado, United States. At the 2010 U.S. Census, the population was 568, up from 417 in 2000.
The Wet Mountain Valley is a high elevation mountain valley located in Custer County, in south-central Colorado.
The Wet Mountains are a small mountain range in southern Colorado, named for the amount of snow they receive in the winter. They are a sub-range of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, in the southern Rocky Mountains System. There are three variant names of mountain range: Cuerno Verde, Greenhorn Mountains, and Sierra Mojada.
Custer County High School is a public high school located in Westcliffe, Colorado, United States.
Grape Creek is a tributary of the Arkansas River that flows through Custer and Fremont counties in South-Central Colorado. The creek drains much of the Wet Mountain Valley, located between the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Wet Mountains in Custer County.