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Glenn H. Hodson

Glenn Hillier Hodson was born in South Bend, Indiana on August 19, 1899, the son of Annie and Alvin D. Hodson, proprietor of a lumber company. In 1920 he married Beatrice B. Hippenhamer, and they moved to York, Illinois where their son Keith was born on January 4, 1921. Keith grew up in Emhurst, Illinois, and later the family moved to Evansville, Indiana where Glenn worked as an advertising manager and executive for a local department store. Glenn was also a long-time rockhound, mineral collector and lapidary enthusiast, and advertised lapidary rough and Tri-State minerals in Desert Magazine in 1940. He was a founding member of the Evansville Lapidary Society in 1953, and served as President in 1955.

Glenn Keith Hodson (known as Keith) graduated from New Mexico Tech in 1944 with a degree in metallurgical engineering, and later received his PhD from New Mexico State University. He served with the U.S. Army as a combat medic in Italy, with the 10th Mountain Regiment, and married Agnes Zimmerly in 1942. In 1949 they moved to Winnemucca, Nevada.

Early in his rockhounding career Glenn visited the Virgin Valley opal fields in Nevada, and in 1949 he purchased the principal mine in the area (his son Keith patented the 50-acre Rainbow Ridge Opal mine claim in 1982). Glenn and Keith operated the mine during the summer months and collected many large and superb specimens of opal. Much of the opal was so heavily hydrated that it needed to be preserved in bottles of water or mineral oil (otherwise it would crack upon drying out), thus being unsuitable for lapidary by eminently suitable for display purposes. Bottled opals from their mine have found their way into many collections and museums around the world. They also mined turquoise during the summer months at the Blue Gem Wonder claim east of Mina, Nevada. Keith opened the Rainbow Rock Shop on the highway just south of Mina in 1947, and later relocated to Winnemuca. Keith also published an article on turquoise in Rocks & Minerals in 1949.

Upon Glenn's retirement in 1956 he and his family moved to Scottsdale, Arizona where he and Keith opened Hodson's of Scottsdale, a mineral and lapidary store which remained a well-known fixture in Scottsdale until closing in 1989. The store was open during the winter tourist season; summers were always spent on Rainbow Ridge mining opals.

Glenn died of a heart attack on September 6, 1959, while returning from the Virgin Valley. G. Keith Hodson continued mining their opal claim and operating the Scottsdale store for many years thereafter. In 1976 he discovered the "Bonanza Opal" on the Bonanza claim (which they had purchased in 1954) in Virgin Valley—a top-quality blue-green gem opal weighing over 10 pounds (broken in several pieces when it was unearthed by bulldozer—Who says you can't collect by bulldozer?). The largest piece was sold to Peter Bancroft, and some of the other pieces were retained in the family collection. Keith died in Cave Creek, Arizona on June 29, 2007. Keith and Agness had four children: Shari (Youngstrom), Brian, Carol (Durkin) and Glen. The opal mine is still operated by Keith's son Glen every summer.

ANONYMOUS (2007) Mr. Keith Hodson. The Humboldt Sun. July 17.
ECKERT, A. W. (1997) The World of Opals.
QUICK, L. (1959) Glenn H. Hodson died. Lapidary Journal, 13 (4) (October), 586-587.
World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.
U.S. Federal Census, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930.
Indiana Marriage Collection, 1800-1941.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
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The Mineralogical Record - Glenn H. Hodson Glenn Hodson's personal collection label; 46 x 65 mm.
The Mineralogical Record - Glenn H. Hodson Label from the Scottsdale shop;
51 x 51 mm.
The Mineralogical Record - Glenn H. Hodson Label from the Scottsdale shop;
49 x 52 mm.
The Mineralogical Record - Glenn H. Hodson Hodson's ad from the April 1960 issue of Lapidary Journal.
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