Chapter Six: Jim Dobbins
And here I wish to tell the story of Jim Dobbins, who was a civil engineer, coming to Phoenix from Denver, Colorado. He went to work for the Hudson Reservoir company, the company who owned and located the site where the Roosevelt dam now is. He was employed on mineral surveying at the dam site, especially below the dam and down along the river. One day he asked me if I knew where on the Salt River standing at the water's edge on the north side of the river I could look south and see Weaver's Needle or Sombrero Butte (some called it by one name and some by the other.) I told him I did not, and he said neither did he. He then told me that he had a friend in Denver where he, himself came from, by the name of Lieutenant Elwell, an army officers, who had a hobby of collecting mineral especimens. One specimen, very rich, in his cabinet, attracted Dobbin's attention, and he asked him where he got it. He told him that he got it from a friend of his by the name of Thorn, an ex-army surgeon, who had been captured by the Apache Indians in Arizona, and had been taken by them to this mine.
The seeing of this Sombrero Butte from the water's edge on the north side of the river was his starting point in the story. The story interested Dobbins to such an extent that he came to Phoenix. While at that time he had to work, he intended to look for the mine soon. He did not tell me the story any further, but sometime afterward, he told that he had found the place where one could see the Sombrero Butte from the river; that it was just where the Horse Thief trail crossed the river, and the distance that one could see the peak was only about thirty feet up and down the river. Whether he ever went in to hunt the mine I do not know, but I do know that he was a very busy man and that he was instramental in getting from the government at Washington a grant south of Phoenix for a park, and that the City of Phoenix erected a monument to him in honor of his services. I also verified the sight of the peak from the water's edge, and it was as he stated.