The Friendly Federation

Founded to Serve

Southeast Federation
of Mineralogical Societies, Inc.
Founding father and first President of the SFMS


Frank Mayo

One of Georgia's avid mineral collectors, Frank Mayo was born in Atlanta on August 31, 1901, an only child of Scotch-German parents.  His early years were spent deep in the Florida Everglades on his father's homestead south of Miami, 10 miles from the nearest town.  After several years, the Mayo's returned to Atlanta to the family farm.

Frank Mayo had a natural fascination with chemistry and chemical compounds.  He excelled in grade school science courses and entered the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1920, where he began seeing with a chloride and sodium hypochlorite solution.  He left Georgia Tech in 1925 to return to his father's dairy farm business, where he developed a practical application for his chemical, now known as bleach.  Mayo's formula cleaned and sanitized the dairy farms stalls and equipment better than anything they had ever used.

In 1927, Frank Mayo married Winifred Davis Layton, a native of Cartersville.  The young couple manufactured Mayo's bleach at the dairy farm and sold it to other dairy operations throughout north Georgia.  The bleach caught on with Georgia's blossoming textile industry and the first Mayo Chemical plant was built in Dalton, Georgia to meet the new carpet capital's growing demands.  The company's product line expanded, and

Mayo Chemicals reached the international market.  Three other Mayo Chemical plants were built, with general offices headquartered in Smyrna, Georgia.

Frank and Winnie Mayo have four daughters, numerous grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.  Among the many common interests that they shared was the love of rocks, minerals and gems.  They joined the Georgia Mineral Society, and Mr. Mayo became president in 1966.  He founded the Cobb County Gem & Mineral Society and served as its president for many years.  He was also Instrumental in establishing the Southeast Federation of Mineralogical Societies and became its first president in 1975.

Upon Mrs. Mayo's death in 1984, Frank Mayo built the Mayo Wing and Library at the museum in her hometown of Cartersville.  The expansion was dedicated on November 8,1987 as a tribute to his wife and her love of mineralogy.  The Mayo Wing houses collections of national and international gems and minerals, and include.5 specimens that he donated to the museum.  The library contains collections of books on earth science, geology, mineralogy, paleontology, gemstones plus periodicals in the accompanying fields.  Even after his death in 1989, Frank Mayo's family remains active supporters of the museum.

Via Weinman Mineral Museum News, 10/98, Jose Santamaria, Director

An American Prayer  by Frank Mayo

Previous page...
Copyright All rights reserved.
The Southeast Federation of Mineralogical Societies, Inc.
  Send e-mail to:
Return to the SFMS Menu Page