Sunday, February 3, 2008

Treasure Tales, more for Oklahoma

In researching these stories I am going back to old books and files that I have and some of you may already be aware of these stories. I have a couple that aren’t in any books but I’m sure you will understand that I’m saving those for myself!

In Osage county there is the story of the wagon train returning from the California gold fields in 1862 carrying around $100,000 in gold coins. A man named “Captain Goldie” was leading the wagon train. The wagon train was set upon by a band of Indians who were aware of the gold and had been tracking the wagons for days. Captain Goldie, apparently not a man with much integrity, loaded the gold coins onto horses and took off, leaving the other members of the wagon train to fend for themselves. Captain Goldie knew he was being pursued by the Indians so he headed for a dense forest near the Caney River. Here he picked a spot between two large trees growing from the same trunk and buried the gold. Captain Goldie could see Artillery Mound to the north from between the two trees and as an added measure he placed a musket in another tree located between the old California Trail and the Caney River. Then he took off to save his own hide.

Captain Goldie died in Missouri without recovering his gold but his wife came to the area some twenty years later and tried to make a recovery. The landowner at the time, Joe Boulanger, remembered finding an old musket in a tree but apparently all of the searching for this gold failed. Most of the trees had been cut down when Goldie’s wife came to the area but maybe with a good detector, some more research and some luck this cache could be found.

In 1892 the “Doolin” gang robbed the Missouri-Kansas and Texas passenger train at Adair, Oklahoma. The gang made off with $30,000 in gold coins. It was thought that the gang headed for what was Gray Horse, now a ghost town. After the outlaws divided up their spoils it is said each of the outlaws buried their own cache in their own special spot near the town. All of the members of this gang were reportedly killed four months later in an attempted robbery in Coffeyville, Kansas and the $30,000 in gold was never recovered. You can find Gray Horse by looking eight miles south and fourteen miles west of Pawhuska or one mile south and three miles east of Fairfax.

In Murray County, Oklahoma there is said to be a massive Spanish treasure of gold weighing 3,900 pounds! This treasure is said to be located in a “labyrinth” of tunnels and passages seven miles west of Davis, Oklahoma. A copper plate was found with a map etched on it and the map indicates that jewels, church plate and gold are hidden somewhere inside the tunnels. The tunnels are supposed to be part of a large mine that was being worked by the Spanish. No treasure has been reported found from these tunnels and it is said not all of the tunnels have been explored.

Three thousand, nine hundred pounds of gold, at todays gas prices you could almost retire on that!

There was an outlaw by the name of Al Spencer who apparently had accumulated over $100,000 dollars during his carrier in the 1920s but never lived to spend it all. Al Spencer was shot dead in 1923. He was known to have cached some of his spoils in a wooded area in Oklahoma just two miles southwest of Caney, Kansas. Al Spencer was also known to have several other hideouts in the Osage Hills and it was thought that Mr. Spencer hid some of his loot at each of these campsites.

In Pontotoc County, Oklahoma there is said to be a Spanish treasure worth more than thirty million dollars. Spanish mission treasure was stored underneath a church located about half way between Ada and Stonewall. It is said that the padres of the church dug a shaft under the church and stored the treasure there. In 1758 the padres at this mission had heard that the San Saba Mission in Texas had been overrun by hostile Indians and burned to the ground.

Fearing the worst, the padres at the mission in Oklahoma filled in the shaft, covering the treasure, and left markers in the area so that it could be recovered at a later date. As with a lot of Spanish treasure; they apparently never got back to recover it.

I didn’t do any research to locate this mission although I might in the future. Oklahoma did fall into the territory claimed by Spain. The “Great Spanish Road to Red River” extended from Santa Fe to the mouth of the Washita River. The road crossed the Texas Panhandle and entered Oklahoma at the 100th meridian near the north fork of the Red River. The road crossed the North Fork of the Red River twice and followed the main stream along the left bank to the Washita River. I know the Spanish made it as far north as Kansas and it would make sense that they might establish a mission in the southern part of Oklahoma, fairly close to the Texas border.

I will leave this story here. Let me know if you need any help in digging out that shaft!

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