02 Dec 1857 1
New York City, NY 1
31 Oct 1931 1

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Full Name:
Charles E. Rushmore 1
02 Dec 1857 1
New York City, NY 1
31 Oct 1931 1

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Charles E Rushmore

Charles E. Rushmore (December 2, 1857 – October 31, 1931) was an American businessman and attorney for whom Mount Rushmore is named. Born in New York City, he was the son of Edward Carmen Rushmore and Mary Eliza (née Dunn) Rushmore, of Tuxedo Park, NY. He was married to the former Jeanette E. Carpenter.

In 1883, a tin mine, the Etta, was opened, which caused excitement among Eastern investors.[1] In 1885 Rushmore was in the Black Hills of South Dakota to check the titles to properties for an eastern mining company owned by James Wilson. Although an Easterner, Rushmore quickly made friends among the miners and prospectors. One day he was returning to headquarters of the Harney Peak Consolidated Tin Co., Ltd., located at Pine Camp, which was north of the great granite peak soon to bear his name. With him were a local business man, and William W. Challis, a prospector and guide. As they neared the mountain, Rushmore turned to Challis and asked its name. Challis jestingly replied: "Never had any but it has now - we'll call the thing Rushmore."

According to rancher Jerry Urbanek, Rushmore returned to the Black Hills annually to hunt big game. One day, while accompanied by Ted Brockett of Keystone, South Dakota, Rushmore asked the name of the mountain and was told that it was Slaughterhouse Rock. Rushmore joked that his annual treks to the Hills had earned him the right to have the mountain named after himself. "So just for the hell of it," Urbanek claimed, the locals started calling the hill Mount Rushmore.[2]

Whatever the precise story, the United States Board of Geographic Names officially recognized the name "Mount Rushmore" in June 1930." Forty years after the initial 1885 naming, Rushmore donated $5000 towards Gutzon Borglum's sculpture of the four presidents' heads on the mountain - the largest single contribution. The Memorial was dedicated by President Coolidge on August 10, 1927.

Rushmore was also a member of the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity.



December 14, 1925



Dear Sir:

My friend, Mr. Lawrence F. Abbott, of The Outlook, has handed to me your letter to him of October 10, 1925, relating to the project of sculpting Rushmore Mountain, or Rushmore Rock, in the Black Hills of South Dakota; and, since then, I have seen a copy of your letter of November 28, 1925, to Mr. Julian Blount, of Redfield South Dakota, concerning the naming of the mountain.
No doubt it will interest you to have accurate data on that subject.
In your letter to Mr. Blount you say: "Rushmore Rock was named for Mr. Rushmore, a lawyer of Philadelphia who was interested in the Etta Mine." I am the lawyer in question, though of New York City, and not of Philadelphia.Late in 1883 the discovery of tin in the Black Hills was brought to the attention of a group of gentlemen in New York City and excited their interest. I was a youthful attorney at the time, and was employed by these gentlemen early in 1884 to go to the Black Hills and secure options on the Etta mine, and other cassiterite locations. My mission required me to remain several weeks in the Hills, and to return there on two or three later occasions in that year and in 1885. Part of my time was spent among prospectors at Harney, and at a log cabin built in that neighborhood. In my life among these rough, but kindly, men I conformed to their ways, and, may I say it with becoming modesty, was in favor with them.
I was deeply impressed with the Hills, and particularly with a mountain of granite rock that rose above the neighboring peaks. On one occasion while looking from near its base, with almost awe, at this majestic pile, I asked of the men who were with me for its name. They said it had no name, but one of them spoke up and said "We will name it now, and name it Rushmore Peak." That was the origin of the name it bears, and, as I have been informed, it is called Rushmore Peak, Rushmore Mountain and also Rushmore Rock.
Some time after the incident above narrated I was told that the name and identification of the Rock, or Mountain, was recorded in the Land Office in Washington at the instance of some of the good friends referred to, but I have never sought to verify this feet.
As you well say in your letter to Mr. Abbott this Rock is unique and lends itself admirably to a national monument of the kind you have suggested. I trust you may succeed in carrying out the proposed design.

Very truly yours,
Charles Edward Rushmore

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