Pioneer Arizona Rockhound
Arthur L. Flagg was born on June 29, 1883. Inspired by an early teacher to an interest in natural history, he always shared with and encouraged children’s interest.
At one meeting of the Arizona Mineralogical Society, a 6-year-old member gave a talk on “How to Start a Rock Collection.”
“First you find a cigar box. Then you put in some cardboard dividers. Then you go pick up some rocks – anywhere. Then you ask Mr. Flagg what they are.”
Arthur Flagg graduated from Brown University in 1906, with a degree in geology. He became a mining engineer and worked in Yavapai County, Arizona, then became a mine examiner in Durango, Mexico. He became a consultant engineer in Washington and Idaho. He moved back to Arizona in 1919 and continued working as a mining engineer and consultant.
Flagg became superintendent of the Mineral Department of the Arizona State Fair, and curator of the Arizona State Mineral Museum in 1946. When he was forced into state retirement in 1949, his services were considered so valuable, mining companies paid his salary to continue in the position.
He served as an officer in many national and local organizations, including as president of the Mineralogical Society of Arizona (co-founder), the Rocky Mountain Federation of Mineral Societies (co-founder), and the American Federation of Mineral Societies.
Many of the specimens he collected have made their way onto the market and may be found for sale.