George Dallas McClain was born in Pennsylvania on July 19, 1849, the son on ____ and ____ McClain, a ___. As a young man he moved to Denver, Colorado sometime before 1875 and worked there at first as a plasterer. In 1880 he married Mary Nancy Barker (1847-1943), an Ohio-born seamstress in a clothing shop in Denver.
By 1883 McClain had developed a strong interest in minerals and opened up a "curiosity" shop at 440 Larimer Street in Denver, selling mineral specimens. In 1884 he teamed up, for just a single year, with a fellow plasterer and contractor named Thomas W. Lawrence, moving their shop to 432½ Larimer Street as "McClain & Lawrence, Mineral Dealers." Apparently there was soon a falling out between the two partners, though, because the following year (1885) they had separated, McClain still at 432½ Larimer Street and Lawrence selling minerals out of his residence at 159 Pennsylvania Avenue.
By this time McClain was referring to his shop as a "museum" of "mineral curiosities." In 1887 he moved his "museum" to 1712 Larimer Street (listed in the Denver City Directory as a "curio store") and remained there until 1896, when he moved once more, to 916 17th Street. There he stayed until retiring from the business in 1904, and thereafter he listed only his personal residence in the City Directory until 1912. By 1916 he was living in Azusa, Los Angeles County, California, as a "farmer, orange ranch," and died there on November 12, 1923.
POLK, R. L., and DANSER, A. C. (1884) Colorado , New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming and Arizona Gazetteer and Business Directory 1884-5.
Denver City Directory, 1883-1912.
US Federal Census 1860-1920.
California Voter Registrations.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2018)
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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||Boxed set of mineral specimens sold only in 1884 by George D. McClain and Thomas W. Lawrence from their mineral shop at 432½ Larimer Street in Denver.|