PIERRE, S.D. – George Robert Hunter of Deadwood was a prominent businessman his entire life, and his support and contributions to two major landmarks in South Dakota also make him one of South Dakota’s Great Faces.
Hunter’s education began at Deadwood Public School, followed by St. John’s Military Academy and the South Dakota School of Mines. Hunter followed his father’s entrepreneurship mentality and in 1919 opened his principle business, the Black Hills Mercantile Company, which operated for 51 years. However, his contributions to South Dakota did not stop at being a successful businessman.
The support and contributions to Crazy Horse Memorial and the statue of Wild Bill Hickok make Hunter stand out as one of South Dakota’s Great Faces. Hunter served on the first Board of Directors for Korczak Ziolkowski’s Crazy Horse Memorial. After Ziolkowski’s sculpture of Wild Bill Hickok was complete, Hunter donated it to the City of Deadwood. The sculpture still stands in Deadwood, outside the No. 10 Saloon, where Wild Bill Hickok was shot to death.
Hunter’s business interests continued his entire life, varying from lumbering to automobile sales and real estate. At age 55, he learned to fly aircraft and served on South Dakota’s Aeronautical Commission for 26 years. In Hunter’s late 70’s, he helped bring a new hospital to the Lead Deadwood area.
South Dakota’s Great Faces weekly press release series is a project of the South Dakota Office of Tourism, designed to highlight people who have had significant impacts on South Dakota, particularly in the visitor industry. Click on the special “South Dakota’s Great Faces” link at www.MediaSD.com to access the complete list of articles.
Information for this release was obtained from the South Dakota Hall of Fame Web site.