Clarence L. Brock
Clarence Lockwood Brock was born in Newaygo, Michigan on February 20, 1880, the son of Eliza Jane Cooper and Abram Simmons Brock (an Ontario-born stonemason). He attended Union High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He married in 1899 to Julia Ann Stevens, by whom he had: Beatrix (1901), Ramon (1904), Royal (1906) and Vernon (1907). He moved with his family to Texas in 1905, and founded the Houston Museum and Scientific Society in 1908. After divorcing Julia he married again in 1915 to Goldie A. (or W.), a music teacher, with whom he had one son, Clarence Jr. (1924).
Brock was appointed Superintendant of City Parks for Houston in 1913, a position which he held for 30 years; he also served as Houston City Vice President, as the first Director of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and worked for the Southern Boat and Supply Agency. It was under him that the first curator of the museum's mineral collection was hired in 1929, and it may be no coincidence that Brock became innvolved in minerals himself that same year. It was through Brock's efforts that the early collection of the museum was built up.
Brock began mineral collecting in 1929, and later established the American Mineral Exchange in Houston as a venue for collectors to trade their duplicate mineral specimens; membership was required. He also sold specimens, and over the years produced many price lists. His first ad in Rocks & Minerals appeared in April 1934, and in 1937 Henry Dake described him as "prominent as a mineral collector and has a fine collection."
In 1943 Brock was serving as Senior Inspector of air material for the Army Air Corp. He announced in Rocks & Minerals that he would be away from his mineral business for three months of training at A & M College in Manhattan, Kansas, but that an assistant would be filling orders in his absence.
Brock announced his retirement from the mineral business in ads in February, March and April 1945, referring to "16 years' accumulation of minerals" (i.e. he started "accumulating" in 1929). He sold his remaining stock, consisting of 10,000 pounds of material including a large variety of minerals from Paterson, New Jersey; Franklin, New Jersey; Barringer Hill, Texas and other localities, to Warner & Grieger, Pasadena, California, in May 1945. Clarence Brock died in Houston in September 1946.
DAKE, H. (1937) Clarence L. Brock, Houston, Texas. The Mineralogist, 5 (6), p. 8.
U.S. Federal Census, 1900, 1920, 1930.
Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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