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Collection Tier:
Tier 3

Rocks and Minerals ➔ Pyrolusite

Pyrolusite is a mineral consisting mostly of manganese dioxide and often occur in massive clusters. It is black to gray in color and is commonly used as an alloy or oxidizing agent. This specimen was found in Lake Valley, New Mexico and was donated by Dr. Jacob W. Velie as part of the Velie Collection. 

Formula: MnO2
2 1/4 in." h 2 1/4 in." w
Gift Of Dr. Jacob W. Velie

Jacob W. Velie
Jacob W. Velie was born in Amsterdam, New York on Februaru 9, 1829, the oldest of the 10 children.  He was raised and educated at Hammonsport, New York and graduated from the Geneva Medical College.  He left Hammondsport and his medical practice in 1854 to move to Rock Island, Illinois, where he worked as a dentist for 11 years.  He then moved to Bath, New York, and ran a drug store.  He moved to Chicago in 1870 to teach at the Academy of Science, and then moved to St. Jospeh, Michigan in 1892.  He was interested in natural history as a boy, and finally gave up his profession to devote himself to it.  Dr. Velie was the owner of a very large library on the subject and since he came to St. Jospeh his time was entirely devoted to natural history, as his workshop indicates to any who visit the place.

Velie married Mrs. Adelia Noble at Bath, New York on September 6, 1854.  She died in 1884.  They had no children.  Dr. Velie had wintered in Florida for several years.

- from the St. Jospeh Evening Herald, October 22, 1908

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