George Henry Dern

GEORGE HENRY DERN was born near Scribner, Dodge County, Nebraska, on 8 September 1872; attended the public schools and graduated from Fremont Normal College, Fremont, Nebraska, in 1888; attended the University of Nebraska, 1893–1894; moved with his family to Salt Lake City, Utah, 1894; entered the mining field, rising through successive levels in the Mercur Gold Mining and Milling Company to become general manager after a merger of several firms into the Consolidated Mercur Gold Mines Company, 1894–1901; was instrumental in the development of several important mining processes, including the Holt-Dern roaster oven; was a Utah state senator, 1914–1923, and sponsored much forward-looking legislation; was governor of Utah, 1925–1932, and instituted a notable tax revision program; was chairman of the National Governors’ Conference, 1930; served as Secretary of War, 4 March 1933–27 August 1936; supervised the Army’s participation in the New Deal’s Civilian Conservation Corps program, and inaugurated important Army engineer public works water projects; urged construction of a new building to house the War Department; appointed the Baker Board on Army aviation and approved its recommendation for procurement of 2,320 planes in three years; recommended that Congress authorize a policy of training at least 30,000 reserve officers annually for two-week periods; died while in office in Washington, D.C., on 27 August 1936.

The Artist

Albert Salzbrenner (born 1865) was born in Dresden, Germany, and studied painting at the Royal Academy there under Leon Pohle and Ludwig von Hoffman. He followed this with two years of study in Paris under Carolus Duran, and one each in Munich and Vienna, the latter under Heinrich von Angeli. After two years in Rome studying the old masters, he had his first exhibition in Paris in 1888. Salzbrenner painted a few portraits during a visit to the United States, and, finding his interest captured, he soon returned to settle eventually at Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Among his other works are portraits of Joseph Smith of the Mormon Church, Governor William Spry of Utah, and Secretary Dern’s parents.


Portrait, George Henry Dern

F. Roosevelt Administration
By Albert Salzbrenner
Oil on canvas, 39¼" x 29¼", 1934

page created 6 March 2001

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