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Frank C. Allison

Frank Clay Allison, Colorado mineral collector, was born in Clinton, Missouri on May 12, 1879, the son of Mollie Sparks and William H. Allison, a dry goods merchant. Around 1896 the family moved to Cripple Creek, Colorado, where Frank and his father worked in the gold mines. By 1910 Frank had changed professions, taking work as a cigar maker, though his father still worked in the mines. He married Etta M. Wilkinson in Colorado in 1913, and they had one son, Jack (1916). They moved to Payne, Oklahoma shortly thereafter, where Frank opened a grocery business. By 1920 Frank had moved to Denver, Colorado, where he was a partner in a cigar business.

In 1930 Frank and his wife were running a cafe in Pampa, Texas, but the Great Depression brought financial problems in the 1930s. Frank had built a collection of silver and gold specimens obtained through 35 years of effort, beginning with his days as a gold miner in Cripple Creek. Many of the pieces had been purchased directly from the mining camps throughout Colorado. He was forced to mortgage his mineral collection to pay his debts, and was subsequently unable to redeem the specimens, so they were sold to two prominent Denver citizens, Charles Boettcher and his son, Claude K. Boettcher. The Boettchers presented the collection in 1937 to the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, where they are displayed in the Arthur Lake Library, and are still identified as the Frank C. Allison collection. The strength of the collection lies in its representation of a large number of different Colorado gold and silver localities.

Jacobson, M.I., Shannon, J.M. and Mast, V. (1985) The Geology Museum: Colorado School of Mines. Mineralogical Record, 16, 239-45.
Colorado Marriage Index, 1859-1939.
U.S. Federal Census, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930.
World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.
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