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George A. Bideaux

George Andre Bideaux was born in Woodcock, Crawford County, Pennsylvania on November 26, 1897, the son of Mary Ruth Beach and August Xavier Bideaux, a blacksmith son of French immigrants. After high school he enlisted in the Army to fight in World War I, and was gassed and machine-gunned in the Argonne Forest. Following a period of convalescence he attended the University of Pennsylvania where he studied Architecture, then transferred to the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts to study art, and then took journalism classes at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He left North Carolina before completing his Master's Degree in order to accept a job with the Miama Herald—the beginning of a long career in journalism. He worked as a reporter for several newspapers, and in 1929 was on his way to a job with a newspaper in Sacramento when he got off the train in Tucson, and decided to stay.

George worked for various newspapers in Tucson, and in 1934 became editor of Southwest Veteran, an American Legion publication. For the rest of his life he wrote a weekly column without interruption for 44 years. He served as editor for The Daily Reporter, (a daily "legal" paper) which he oversaw and was responsible for having printed daily; he wrote a daily editorial column and ran the office for it. For many years He owned and published newspapers in Bisbee, Nogales, Benson, Wilcox and Douglas, and wrote weekly columns for them. He was also Public Relations Director for the California/Arizona Portland Cement Company, and served as one of three commissioners for the Arizona Highway Patrol. He married Mary Jeanette Guist in Tucson in 1932.

George was very active politically as well. He was the head campaign manager for Arizona Senator Ernest McFarland and for "Porque" Patten (US Congress) and others. He left Tucson for several years beginning in 1943, when he went to Washington, D.C., as Executive Secretary for Sonator McFarland, but he kept on writing his columns. He was on the board of directors for several Arizona businesses, including Arizona Land and Title Company and Pima Savings and Loan, and he played cards (and networked) at The Old Pueblo Club after lunch most days. He was extremely active in many venues, and actually made most of his money from real estate ventures. George was a real wheeler dealer...talented, charming, intelligent and a hard worker right up until a couple of days before his death.

George's interest in minerals was acquired from his son, Richard (1935-2004), who took up the hobby in 1948. Together they visited many collecting sites and built one of the finest private mineral collections in the Southwest. For about 20 years his mineral-collecting column, "With Pick and Knapsack," appeared weekly in Bisbee's Brewery Gulch Gazette (a newspaper which George later bought, with his partner Bill Epler). It contained a potpourri of chitchat about ghost towns, new mineral discoveries, local mineral shows, collecting at various localities, rumors about collections bought and sold, and commentary written during trips abroad to visit collectors, dealers and museums.

In 1965 George opened his own mineral shop, "Bideaux Minerals," at 111 West Washington Street in downtown Tucson. His knowledge of Arizona minerals was encyclopedic, and many outstanding specimens passed through his hands. He also became famous among collectors for his watercolor paintings of abandoned mines and scenery in southern Arizona.

George Bideaux died on August 15, 1978.

ROE, A. (1980) George A. Bideaux, 1899-1978. Mineralogical Record, 11, 259-260.
U.S. Federal Census, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
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