Dobbins Family Papers

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Dobbins family, (John Dobbins, 1847-1912)
Dobbins family papers
Date [inclusive]
0.33 Cubic feet

Preferred Citation note

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing,Michigan".

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Biographical Note

The John Dobbins (1847-1912) family lived in Ionia, Michigan. Ann Carr Dobbins (1851-1929) emigrated from Ireland in 1870. Letters from her relatives there indicate they came from Dublin and Wicklow Counties.

The eldest daughter, Anna (1877-1963), graduated from high school with an English major in 1895, and from Michigan State Normal School in 1902. She later received her Bachelor's of Philosophy at the University of Chicago and worked for the public schools of South Bend, Indiana, between 1934 and 1937.

Son, William (1883-1955) graduated from the Michigan College of Mining and Technology in 1908 with a degree in Mining Engineering. He was apparently one of the top students in his class.

(Source for immigration date: 1910 US Federal Census)

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Scope and Contents note

This collection consists of miscellaneous papers concerning the Dobbins family of Ionia, Michigan. Included are a few letters, some from William Dobbins, who was a student at the Michigan College of Mining and Technology (1908), and others from members of the family living in Ireland.

There are also tax receipts for property in Ionia, other miscellaneous receipts, insurance policies from the German Insurance Company and the Fireman's Insurance Company, report cards of members of the Dobbins family from the Ionia Public School system, teacher's contracts for the South Bend, Indiana school system, and papers kept by William Dobbins of engineering problems.

Located in the Miscellaneous Oversized Item Print Drawer are several surveyor's drawings of mines, a number of high school and college diplomas (Ionia High School 1895 and 1903, the Palmer Method of Business Writing, Chicago University, Michigan Normal College 1902) and other miscellaneous certificates.

The Miscellany file contains two autograph books, a receipt notebook, a guide book to Niagara Falls, and a printed booklet on the Michigan Capitol building.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections June 1967

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824

Revision Description

  February 2001

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University Property Rights: Michigan State University

Conditions Governing Use note

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Custodial History

Gift of Richard Dobbins, 1963-09-03

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Eastern Michigan University.
  • Michigan Technological University.
  • University of Chicago.


  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Photographs
  • Postcards

Geographic Name(s)

  • Houghton (Mich.)
  • Ionia (Mich.)
  • Ireland
  • Michigan -- Capital and capitol
  • Niagara Falls (N.Y. and Ont.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Dobbins , Anna, 1877-1963
  • Dobbins, Ann Carr, 1851-1929
  • Dobbins, John, 1847-1912
  • Dobbins, William, 1883-1955


  • Chemistry -- Problems, exercises, etc.
  • Contracts
  • First communion
  • Funeral rites and ceremonies
  • Geology -- Study and teaching -- Michigan
  • Insurance policies
  • Legal instruments
  • Lighthouses
  • Mining schools and education
  • Physics -- Problems, exercises, etc.

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Collection Inventory


Box Folder


1 1-3

Teacher Contracts 

1 4

Insurance Policies 

1 5-10

Tax Receipts 

Box Folder


1 11


1 12


1 13
Box Folder

Miscellaneous Receipts 

1 14-15

Ionia (Michigan) Public School Report Cards 

1 16-17

Engineering Problems 

1 18-21

Geology Manual (Typescript) 

1 22-27


1 28


1 29

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Oversized Materials 


Technical drawings made by William Dobbins while a student at Michigan College of Mining and Technology -- 1906 


Diplomas and certificates of William and Anna Dobbins -- 1889-1916 


Mining, Miners. Blueprint of lighthouse erected at New Buffalo -- ca. 1893 


Blueprints of Buffalo Mines, Ltd. (Cobalt, Ontario) -- 1909-1911 


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Postcards and Photographs 




Alaska. Ketchikan 

Athletics. Baseball 

Austria. Salzburg 

Canada. Ontario. Cobalt 

Canada. Ontario. Copper Cliff 

Canada. Quebec 


Florida. Delray 

Florida. Jacksonville 

Florida. St. Augstine 

Florida. St. Petersburg 

France. Paris 

Italy. Rome 


Massachusetts. Provincetown 

Massachusetts. South Sudbury 

Mexico. Taxco 


Michigan. Clare 

Michigan. Holland. Tulip Farm 

Michigan. Interlochen. Duck Lake 

Michigan. Ionia 

Michigan. Ishpeming. Lake Angleina Mine 

Michigan. Keweenaw and Houghton Counties 

Michigan. Mackinaw City 

Michigan. Mackinac Island 

Michigan. Traverse City 

Michigan. Tehnological University. Buildings 

New Mexico. Peublo of Isleta 

New York. Lake Placid 

People. Groups. Unidentified 

Pittsburgh. University of. Cathedral of Learning and Foster Memorial 

Railroads. Locomotives 

Ships. Steamships. "Puritan" 

Virginia. Mt. Vernon 

Virginia. Richmond. Jackson Monument 

Washington, D.C. 

Washington, D.C. White House 




LC Photo 20

Photographs - Oversized 

OS 12

Capitol Mine Undated 

Fraternity Group from Houghton Mining School Undated 

 McBride, A. B. Logging Train Undated 

Train Wreck Undated 

Woodcutter's Cabin Undated 

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