George H. Dern was a Utah mining man, businessman, and politician. He was born in 1872 in Dodge County, Nebraska, the son of John Dern, a farmer-businessman. Dern attended the University of Nebraska for three years. In 1894, before graduating, he migrated to Utah following his father's lead in the wake of the elder Dern's investment in mining property at Mercur. George Dern assumed the position of bookkeeper in his father's enterprise, the Mercur Gold Mining and Milling Company. He quickly moved up in the company becoming general manager in 1900, a post which he continued to hold in the wake that company's consolidation and growth into the Consolidated Mercur Gold Mine Company.