It looks like Okie is ready to open up a can of worms some of you may not want to look into. Of course I’m talking about the infamous Orvus Lee Howk, better known to the KGC treasure seekers as Jesse Lee James III, the co-author of the so called black book, “Jesse James Was One of His Names”. Mr. Howk or Houk, depending on whom you talk to seemed to change his name and his story about who he was and where he was from more than what he claimed Jesse James did.
Far be it from me to destroy someone’s dreams of finding that mega-bucks treasure. We all want to find the “big one”. All I’m trying to do is show you what kind information is really out there and impress upon you the fact that you should always do your own research. With that being said, here is some information that should get you wondering about Howk and J. Frank Dalton.
Okie has already mentioned that Orvus Lee Howk and three others were in Ohio in 1949 searching for a supposed treasure left behind by J. Frank Dalton, who at the time was trying to convince everyone he was the real Jesse James. The treasure in Ohio was supposedly $1,500,000 buried in four metal boxes. Orvus Howk and the others also stopped by Joplin, Missouri the same week looking for, drum roll please……….you guessed it, treasure buried in metal boxes. This intrepid group of treasure hunters also went to Indiana that same month looking for the same treasure. It seems Howk just couldn’t quite figure out which state he should have been searching in. There is an upside here for anybody who wants to believe Howk’s treasure stories, it seems everything was buried in metal boxes. This should make it easy for a metal detector to find!
Now for the kicker you won’t be expecting; the reporter who wrote the story about Howk’s treasure hunt in Ohio in 1949 also interviewed J. Frank Dalton. Dalton himself stated that “Howk knows something, but he don’t know enough”. So here we have the man who supposedly had all of the answers to the KGC mega depositories and all of Jesse James private caches saying that Howk doesn’t know enough to find one treasure, just one mind you, but just a few years later Howk had all of the answers and information about a supposedly super secret group and their alleged treasures, not to mention he miraculously became related to Jesse James. Did you notice on the map that Okie posted that was drawn by Howk he signed it “Jesse R James? He couldn’t even keep the middle initial of his assumed name the same! Does any of this raise some red flags with anyone about how good Howk’s alleged information about the KGC and Jesse James really was? Does it have you wondering about the legitimacy of all of that alleged treasure information he supposedly had?
Well if it doesn’t you might try this on for size. While Howk and his three cohorts were traveling around the country looking for treasure he always made time to be interviewed by the newspapers. No real big surprise there I guess. During March of 1949 Howk was interviewed by at least four papers. In these four interviews that took place less than two weeks apart Howk gives a different town and state for his residence in each interview. In one interview he is from Van Nuys, California. In another he is from Pueblo, Colorado. In another he is from Great Falls, Minnesota and in yet another he is from Centerville, Texas. Why would a man have to change where he was from so often? Maybe it was like the treasure he was looking for, he just couldn’t remember what state he should be in.
And if that’s not enough to get you doing some research of your own you should look into who Howk said he was during those interviews. In one interview he identifies himself as a “private investigator working for the James family”. In another interview he is a “longtime family friend” of J. Frank Dalton and in yet another he states he “represents some of the James family”. This would seem odd since Roscoe James; a declared nephew of Jesse James was traveling with Howk during the treasure hunts. Wouldn’t an actual family member be a representative of the family? Yea, yea, I can hear the uproar now. All of you true believers are saying he was a James family member.
Well I might have been willing to cut you some slack on that (just kidding, you ought to know me better than that by now!) except, and this is a BIG exception, the most telling interview of these four was the one where he said he was the “grandson of a James henchman” who’s last name was “Baxter”. Huh?? Baxter? What happened to being a descendant of Jesse James? I guess he saved that incarnation for later when he wanted publicity for his book. You can't have it both ways people. Here's Howk in his own words saying he's the grandson of somebody else other than Jesse James.
This guy just couldn’t keep his story straight and at no time during those interviews, I repeat, never, did he say he was Jesse James III or say that he was related to the James family. He always used the name of Orvus Lee Howk and in his own statements in these interviews contradicted his later assertion that he was a direct descendant of Jesse James.
Now, who out there really wants to rely on information from Orvus Lee Howk about the KGC, Jesse James and/or their alleged treasure troves? Did I mention that the famous KGC template everybody likes to refer to (and some use) came from Howk?