Something More About the Dunscomb Family
Uncle Dr. Edward Dunscomb had a good education. He was the oldest of the six children of my grandfather. He went through college and became a physician at a very young age. Edward Dunscomb had the travel bee, probably inherited from his father. So after he received his M.D. degree he went to China, where he practiced medicine. It was always a legend in the family that Dr. Dunscomb practiced among the royalty of China. And made money. My opinion is that he played poker with the British and Americans over there and apparently was a good poker player.
Dr. Dunscomb apparently accumulated large funds and remitted twice a year to his brother-in-law Mr. Colt of Collins & Co. Mr. Colt invested the funds very conservatively and safely so that when Edward Dunscomb returned from China after 10 years his money plus interest and Mr. Colt turned it over to him, all his money with interest.
From the things that Dr. Dunscomb told me the only time I saw him he was dissatisfied with the amount of interest. He felt that Mr. Colt should have gambled with his money and given him returns of 20% to 25% interest.
After he returned from China he was comparatively a young man and had a large what was known in those days, fortune. Once more the travel lust took hold of him and he decided to go west. He did not like New York. He landed in Kansas City where he practiced for a while and finally married in Kansas City a girl whom he considered very wealthy.
My opinion is in those days Edward Dunscomb was quite a blade. He was very handsome, fine physique, and very much sought after. After a few years he moved from Kansas City to Colorado. Then he finally settled in Glenwood Springs and became the head surgeon and doctor for the Den. & Rio Grande R.R. Glenwood Springs in those days was something of a health resort, people came there to take the baths. It is my opinion Dr. Edward Dunscomb featured up the practice of medicine together with the baths and etc. He became a speculator in gold mines. I remember when my grandfather died Uncle John sent me a certificate of a great quantity of shares in a gold mine which was absolutely worthless and which my grandfather bought from his son Dr. Edward Dunscomb.
He continued to gamble in the mining business and finally got drinking pretty badly.
My mother was the only one who kept up a correspondence with all of her sisters and brothers. The first time I went west in the early part of the century, my mother asked me to certainly look up Dr. Dunscomb in Colorado. At that time he was living in a small apartment with his wife. It was my pleasure to invite him to the Antlers Hotel. (Antlers was the new hotel and quite grand at that time). And he and Mrs. Dunscomb came for dinner. She was very much dressed up as I remember. Dr. Dunscomb was still fine looking and insisted on ordering drinks (which I paid for) both before, during, and after dinner. During dinner he was very vindicative against all the members of the family except my mother. I could not stand the way he talked about my Aunt Catherine, and called him down for it and we had a quarrel. He was very boastful. He was going to make a big fortune in gold & silver mines in Colorado. Then he would tell me that he would "show them all."
I never did see Dr. Dunscomb again. I always skipped it when going through Colorado.
However apparently he separated from his wife. Because one day I heard from a missionary in the northern part of Nevada saying that Dr. Dunscomb was in financial circumstances. And needed food and clothes. The poor New York cousins immediately responded to my telephone request and they with Aunt Catherine, and my mother and myself fixed up a fund which we sent to the missionary each month, to take care of Dr. Dunscomb.
I thought this time that it was perfectly wonderful that the New York cousins would respond so quickly inasmuch as they knew the feeling that Edward Dunscomb had against them as he wrote them occasionally very mean letters.
Apparently the money was all used up each month in the first week or two. This went on for about a year.
Then one day I had a telegram from this same missionary saying that Edward Dunscomb had died and they needed $300.00 for funeral expenses;--or he would be buried in the Potter field.
Again $350.00 was raised quickly and telegraphed to the missionary, and I hope he said a prayer and conducted his funeral in a decent way.
As I go back and think over this Uncle of mine and his wasted life, I am impressed with the fact that although he had great charm and everything in his favor, he lacked self control and that liquor and gambling was his out doing.
Edward D. Ibbotson, Jan. 30, 1954