As the story went, the gun was ultimately passed on to Jim Dobbins' son Robert Gaston Dobbins and thence to his son Percy, who was my dad's cousin. We girls had never met any of these Colorado Dobbinses but my dad and Percy were buddies growing up; undoubtedly the gun story was passed around between them. My sister and I were very impressed and were true believers in what we were told.
And so it was that when I turned about 40 years old, I became interested in genealogy and the first family I researched was the famous James Sellers Dobbins. Was I in for a surprise!
When my mother turned over to me the few Dobbins family documents she had been given by her mother-in-law Maud Dobbins, I saw first of all the picture above, which was old and a bit faded -- and certainly didn't look like the handsome dude in the top photo, although it was the same person.
I learned that Jim Dobbins spent his life after the Civil War raising stock out on the dry prairie of eastern Colorado. Dry, dust, hard work: that pretty much sums up what the "real" picture of Jim looked like.
But still, I wondered about him being one of Kit Carson's scouts. Below is part of what was written on the back of that "Hawes" photograph by Maud. Typescript is below: