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Thanks to the current hip-hop Broadway musical, American founding father Alexander Hamilton enjoys celebrity status 212 years after dying in a duel with Aaron Burr. But there was intense interest in Hamilton in Spearfish during the late 1800s, and the town is the site of a memorial to him. Hamilton's granddaughter believed every state should have a memorial honoring her grandfather. Not long after South Dakota achieved statehood, Miss Hamilton learned that Spearfish was home to Episcopal church members, but no Episcopal church building. So she sent money to Spearfish for building a church that would be dedicated to Alexander Hamilton's memory. Spearfish spent the money well, using locally quarried, beautifully shaped sandstone to create All Angels Episcopal Church, still in use at 1044 North Main Street. Miss Hamilton, as she was known to Spearfish residents, never had a chance to visit the Black Hills. But the church was close to her heart. For the rest of her life she sent Christmas gifts to children who worshipped at All Angels. Yes, Spearfish knew the Hamiltons before Alexander was a hip-hop star.

Photo courtesy Episcopal Church of All Angels

Follow Paul Higbee:

Paul writes about the Black Hills for in-flight airline publications, academic magazines, South Dakota Magazine, public TV, newspapers and websites. He is the author of five books, all Black Hills themed. He lives in the Black Hills. He's obviously no Renaissance Man with varied interests, but if the Black Hills are your thing, he's your guy.

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