GEORGE BEAR MCCLELLAN

1862-1934

 

Researched and compiled by Faye Bell (SLC) 2013

 

(Most of the data came from U.S. Census and the publication “Prominent Men of Wyoming,” FHL of SLC

 

            George B McClellan was born in October of 1862 in Delhousie, Ontario, Canada to John and Ellen McClellan.  His parents had emigrated from Scotland in 1820 and had arrived at Quebec.  He was marriedd 21 Mar 1888 to   Mary Nuce Foley, daughter of  Thomas and Elizabeth Foley.  In the 1891 census of Ontario Canada, there were two small males, Wilfred and Thomas (ages 2 and 1, respectively) in the McClellan home.  As per the 1900 U .S. census the couple were living at Red Bank , Big Horn County, WY.  There were no other persons in the household in 1900, but in the 1920 census Fanny E. Washburn and James H Tully were listed (both single persons).  In a 10-year period they had taken into their home, Fanny Washburn (Iowa) and Catherine MacBean (Scotland).  Those two ‘foster daughters’ married in turn Henry Tully and Bill Wood, both cowboying at the time for George Bear.

 

            He began his American/Wyoming career as a hunter-guide with a Crow Indian companion.  As time went by, he met and guided the men of affluence and posture in their local communities, and George B felt the need to settle down.  Ranching was a natural solution to his needs and that of his wife Mary.  He purchased the land that had previously been owned and occupied by William A Richards, governor of Wyoming 1893-94.  From 1907-1934, the “Bear” served in the State Legislature of Wyoming and was running for the Senate again when he passed away in 1934.

 

OTHER COMMENTARY:  The prowess of the Bear ‘hunter extraordinaire’ preceded his in the legislature.  The boast of his tale is that he managed to kill four bear in one grizzly saga.  Good stories on the well-known legislator were published.  All in all, George McClellan got a lot of mileage out of his remarkable skills as a hunter.  (Vanguards of the Valley, by Faye V Bell 1987.