I am sure by now that some of you are probably tired of hearing about the enigma known as Orvus Lee Howk. I would like to say I am tired of writing about him but the more I look the more information I find concerning the man and his stories. It’s just too simple and that begs the question; why hasn’t this information been brought forward by any of the KGC researchers?
You have to remember that the stories of the fabled treasures of the Knights of the Golden Circle came from this man and to my knowledge there is no other evidence anywhere that substantiates his stories of the mega-millions allegedly put in the ground by “Jesse James and the K.G.C.” Therefore, in my opinion, it would be in the best interest of anyone interested in the alleged K.G.C. treasures to study the man as much as his stories. Keep in mind I’m not saying the K.G.C. didn’t exist or that they didn’t have some modest caches of money and/or weapons. This is about the K.G.C. as described by Howk, the K.G. C. that supposedly hid “billions” of dollars of gold and silver.
Let’s start with this:
Orvus Lee Howk, Lee Hawks, Orvis Lee Hawk ,Lee Hawk, Jesse James III, Lee Hawek, O. L. Houek, O. Lee Hawk, Jesse L. James, Orvil Lee Hawk , Orvis Lee Howk, Jesse Lee James III, "The Hawk".
These are all of the names and spellings of names I could find that Mr. “Howk” used while perpetrating his J. Frank Dalton as Jesse Woodson James scam. Keep in mind this was over a period of time spanning only a few years and I didn't look very hard. Some of the names are only slight variations of another but the fact they did vary is telling in itself. I’m not sure that it is real evidence without something to corroborate it but Howk did have an insurance policy for himself under the name of O. L. Houek. This may be as close to his real name as we will ever get.
For any of you that have studied the alleged stories of the K.G.C. and the two Jesse James, and Frank James for that matter, this story also originated from Mr. Howk. For those of you not familiar with this tale, Howk said that there was a Jesse Woodson James and a Jesse Dingus James but Jesse Woodson James was also known as “Dingus”. Howk also stated that besides J. Frank Dalton being Jesse Woodson James the outlaw and living passed his advertised death of 1882, Jesse Dingus James was still alive and living in Pensacola, Florida. This was in 1955 that “Dingus” was still alive and enjoying fresh orange juice and the sun. He also said that Jesse Dingus James had been married to Belle Starr! How come nobody except Howk ever saw or heard from this second Jesse James? According to Howk there was another famous outlaw still alive and visiting Howk in 1955, none other than Billy the Kid!
And speaking of Billy the Kid, according to Howk, Billy the Kid was raised by Jesse James' first wife, Myra Belle James. So you have two Jesse James, Billy the Kid and Belle Starr all in the same family according to Howk.
As some more history on Howk, he stated that his father was Jesse Franklin James of Brashear, Missouri and that his mother was a “full-blooded Sioux squaw”. I guess he didn’t know his mother’s real name because he never mentioned it. Who calls their mother a “squaw” and if his real father was a James then how come he went by the last name of Howk (or one of it's variations) until after J. Frank Dalton died?
Howk had told several people that he had been with the Texas Rangers. In 1960 this statement was tested by a newspaper reporter who contacted the Rangers for verification. Colonel Phillips of the Texas Rangers wrote in a letter that he was familiar with “Orvil Lee Hawk” as he had received a lot of correspondence from him concerning Jesse James. Colonel Phillips stated that Howk (I use this spelling to keep it simple) was known to him and had worked in Tyler, Texas in the insurance business, not with the Texas Rangers.
In the 1950’s as a way to prove J. Frank Dalton was the real Jesse James Howk provided a set of fingerprint cards as his evidence. This in itself was a little odd because nobody had a way of checking these prints against those of the real Jesse James because no prints from the real Jesse James existed. Granted, you could say that this wasn’t the fault of Howk but the fingerprints he did submit had their own problems. The print cards had fingerprints for all ten fingers, or eight fingers and two thumbs if you want to get technical. The normal onlooker of this fiasco wouldn’t see a problem with this however, those of you that know your Jesse James trivia will remember the real Jesse James was missing the tip off one of his fingers. That would be NINE prints and not ten. I guess Howk forgot that part of history.
I could go on and on with the discrepancies in Howk’s wild stories but hopefully by now you have gotten the point. The stories of the alleged KGC mega-millions deserve a lot more research.
Oh yea, did I mention the alleged treasure template of the KGC came from Howk?