Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween! Ghosts & Gold Worth $250,000

For all of you treasure hunters out there that believe in something paranormal, which would include me, here is a spot you might want to check out the next time you are in central Oklahoma. There’s supposedly ghosts AND gold. You can’t beat that combination for an adventure!

The place is called “Ghost Mound” (you can imagine your own special effects sounds right now). Ghost Mound is located about 14 miles southeast of Weatherford, Oklahoma and is the central point in a story about $250,000 in 49er’s gold that was buried during an Indian attack. No one knows for sure where Ghost Mound gets its name. Some say it is because the mound sits by itself out in the middle of nowhere, far from the other mounds in Caddo County and that the mound looks “forlorn”. Just how a mound of rock and dirt can look sad or lonely is beyond me but hey; I’m just repeating the story. The other version of how the mound got it’s name makes more sense and is actually a better story in my opinion. It is said that the daughter of an Indian Chief had fallen in love with a young warrior in her tribe but that her father had promised her to the Chief in a neighboring village. The Chief’s daughter was so distraught over this that she climbed to the top of Ghost Mound and threw herself off, dying in the process and her ghost is said to haunt the mound. Isn’t that a lot better than a “lonely hill”?

Ghost Mound is a small hill by comparison but is rather steep in spots. It slightly resembles another famous hill in Oklahoma called Buzzard’s Roost. I can hear the wheels spinning out there. Slow down now and read the rest of the story!

Ghost Mound is covered in carvings, especially at the top of the mound so there are plenty of possibilities of some “real” carvings being on the mound. The mound also has many legends saying that the area around the mound was used for sacred Indian ceremonies.

So, are you ready to hear about the gold? The story goes that a group of 49ers were returning from the gold fields when Indians attacked them at or very near Ghost Mound. This would make sense if the mound was a ceremonial place for the Indians. We all know from the old western movies that’s it’s never a good idea to go traipsing through Indian territory, much less through their ceremonial grounds, but I digress. The 49ers were said to have a collective amount of gold worth $250,000 that they buried during the attack thinking they would survive and return for it later. As luck would have it, that didn’t happen. All but a few of the party were killed and the survivors weren’t privy to where the gold was hidden. Well I didn’t say it was good luck!

Now for some more paranormal stuff; back in 1939 a group known as the “Gold Restorers of America” came to Ghost Mound with the intention of recovering the gold. This group of individuals was apparently rather diverse in their methods of searching as it was said they used “doodlebugs”, “spiritual means” (read psychic) and a Spanish dip needle. I would think the Spanish dip needle would fall under the category of doodlebug but again, I’m just repeating the story.

One of the spiritualists, a man by the name of Luther Woody, was walking around the area in an “immense fur coat” even though it was 100 degrees outside. Mr. Woody said he was led to a spot “south by southeast of the hill’s crest”. Maybe that’s where all of the shade was!

Another member, Rebecca Tempey said the treasure was to be located “under a hackberry tree some yards away” from Mr. Woody’s spot. A third person by the name of Y.E. Posey said his dip needle was pointing to a spot beneath a boulder. His location was not near any of the others.

During the remainder of the day the group also identified several other spots as good places to dig. This caused confusion to set in and the men the group brought with them to do the digging disappeared into the nearby thicket of plum trees to stay cool and eat the plums. The search for the treasure ended with no holes being dug and no real answers being found. The Gold Restorers of America never returned to the location as far as I can tell.

Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, just think what that would be worth today! That’s something worth wearing out a little shoe leather on. Hopefully you will have better luck than the first group, which in retrospect, shouldn’t be too hard to do.

Besides the 49ers gold, there is a good chance you could find the type of carvings that would lead you to some outlaw treasure. These lone hills made for good landmarks and with all of the carvings on this hill you just might find one that tells you where to look. You will just need to look past all of the graffiti and hope for some good luck in that what you need hasn’t been carved over or destroyed. Remember, this isn’t that far from Buzzard’s Roost near Cement Oklahoma where treasure has been found and even more treasure awaits the lucky finder, maybe even me if I can get my lazy butt down there!

Ghost mound can be found in the southwest corner of the intersection of County Roads North 2460 and East 1110 in Caddo County, Oklahoma. The WGS 84 GPS coordinates for the mound are 35 24 8.2N, 98 36 46.3W.

Watch out for the ghosts! Boo!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Turkey Tracks

The more you treasure hunt the more things you will run across in the field. One of the most prevalent things to find, especially if you are hunting outlaw treasure, is a turkey track. There can be just one track or there can be two or more in a carving. You may find several turkey tracks carved one at a time but laid out in a series taking you from one spot to another.

In general, and I say this because there are very few absolutes in treasure hunting, the turkey track is a “travel” sign. If there is just one track you travel in the direction the track is going. For all of you that have never seen a track left behind by a real turkey, you go in the direction the toes are pointing. I’ve met a few turkeys in my life, the kind that stand upright and wear pants and believe me, you don’t want to waste anytime following their tracks!

When is a turkey track really a turkey track? This is where it can get a little confusing. Because a turkey track is a V with a line in the center it can be mistaken for several things and it can actually be several things. You have to make sure you are actually dealing with a turkey track. How can you tell if it really is a turkey track? Trial and Error. Unfortunately I don’t know of any foolproof way to tell if a turkey track is a track giving you a direction or some other symbol or symbols made to look like a turkey track. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is.

If you have more than one turkey track on the same carving you may be getting a direction and distance at the same time. The number of turkey tracks is the distance you are to go in a certain amount of increments. How can you tell what the distance increments are? Trail and Error. Are you seeing a pattern here? You should also keep in mind that the number of toes on the tracks could be a distance or other number you may need when working this trail. Generally speaking, if there is only one track it is a direction. It would only be when you have two or more tracks on the same carving that you might consider adding the number of toes on the tracks to get a number.

In the case of the turkey track carving I have posted a photo of, this was a simple “look to the left” carving. And in this case I literally mean, look to the left. This carving was on a bluff about six feet above the ground. The bluff had a right angle to it so when you were looking at the bluff where the turkey track was you were standing in a “corner” with the rest of the bluff to your left. There was a carving on the left side and the right side of the corner and this turkey track was simply telling me that the two carvings were connected and needed to be used together. It didn’t take me anywhere; it just turned me to my left to see the rest of the carving.

When you are treasure hunting don’t get caught up in the illusion that everything is a “code”. For the most part the carvings you run across are just pictures relaying a message just like a traffic sign does on the road. If you see a traffic sign with an S shaped line on it it is telling you that the roads curves back and forth ahead. A lot of carved symbols act in the same way. You are getting pictures instead of words to tell you what to do.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Looking at Things in Reverse

We all know that treasure hunting isn’t the easiest way to make a living and it can be a very frustrating, yet rewarding hobby. Some of those frustrations come from the tricks or deceptions used by the people who hid what we are trying to find.

One of the more common deceptions used was to make a clue that needs to be looked at in reverse. These clues can be anything from a carved symbol to a pointing marker to even a number or set of numbers. The reverse can be just that, reversing the direction of travel or it can be something like using a mirror image of a carved symbol to get the actual “picture” of what the symbol is meant to depict.

You can also have reverses in numbers by having to look at the numbers from back to front instead of from front to back, in other words, a 27 becomes a 72. Another form of reversing a number is when it is used as a compass heading. If you have a number that is meant to give you a heading, lets use the 27 again, it could be that you need to go 72 degrees instead of 27 degrees or it may be that you need to take a heading that is the reverse or opposite of 27 degrees which would be 207 degrees. This is simply determined by adding or subtracting 180 from the number you have to get the exact opposite compass heading. Depending on how tired you are and how late in the day it is this can be confusing sometimes!

When you are dealing with numbers you can be given the numbers in several different ways. They can be actual numbers such as 27 or they can be Roman numerals, or a series of lines or drill holes or they can be given in some type of code (several different kinds). I have found that when numbers are to be used as a compass heading in the reverse the numbers have special aspects to them that keep you from getting confused. These would include being a number greater than 360 because you can’t have a compass heading greater than that. So if the number reading front to back is greater than 360, you might look at it in reverse to see if it could be a compass heading. A number such as 521 can become 125 but 125 can’t become 521 because there aren’t that many degrees in a compass. I have also found the repeated numbers may need to be looked at as a compass heading or it’s reverse. I should qualify this and say that a repeated number arrived at by adding numbers together will be looked at differently than a “normal” repeated number.

In the case of the photo I posted at the top of this article, you have the Roman numerals LV carved into a bluff. This is the numerical equivalent of 55. If you reverse the order of this number and read it from back to front you still get 55. The reverse or opposite compass heading of 55 is 235 degrees (adding 180 to 55). The carved LV in the photo was on a very large bluff. Going 55 degrees from it’s location would mean you had to go through the bluff, a clue to a reverse in itself, however if you went the opposite direction it took you to where the hole was just across the gully. That is the second photo.

Whenever I look at any carving, especially if an outlaw made it, the first thing I do is looked to see what the symbols resemble when they are reversed. I also look at any numbers in several different ways. I add them together for a total and I do this in both directions, I check to see if they can have a reverse compass-heading equivalent and I look to see if they are actually numbers. Some numbers, as with letters and other symbols, can be drawn to look like something they are not if you aren’t paying close attention. In other words, a number may not be a number but one or more symbols arranged next to each other to look like a number if you aren’t paying attention.

This is one reason why I stopped chalking the carvings that I find; it can hide separations in lines that you may need to see.

There is not set rule for when to look at something in reverse. Sometimes there will be something with a carving or marker that tells you to look at the object in reverse. Other times there is nothing and you just have to figure it out yourself.

This is one reason why there is still so much stuff in the ground. It just ain’t easy!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Superstition Mountains (no, not those)

When someone mentions the Superstition Mountains almost everybody automatically thinks of Arizona and “those” Superstition Mountains. This article is about a treasure, a lost gold mine to be exact, on Superstition Mountain located in California. I know, most of us are pretty far away from California but just in case there are any beach bums or “surfer dudes” out there that like to hunt for treasure I thought I would mix things up a little.

This is a story about a man named Hank Brandt who, back in the early 1900s had a hidden gold mine on Superstition Mountain in California. It seems Hank would go out to his mine every spring and return with about $4000 in gold. He did this every year for a period of about eight years. When Hank died he left a friend of his $16,000 in gold and the directions to his mine. Here are those directions:

“Three miles east of Coyote Wells on Highway 80, turn north and cross the washes to a place where jade may be found. From here head for a certain dark appearing cut in the Superstitions, the course leads northeastward across the old Butterfield route. If you are on the correct route, you will find a place where there are several petrified palm trees and a pile of old whale bones. Continuing on this course, your next landmarks are two dry lakes. The larger one, at the south, has two big ironwoods on its northern edge. This dry lake is known as Dos Mesquites Lake”

“Cross the lake near the trees in such a way that the course is parallel to an imaginary line into the Superstitions. When you have found the correct entrance to the mountain, follow the canyon wall upward until it reaches a small mesa, and then look for another canyon leading down the eastern front of the mountain. The walls of this second canyon are reddish-brown sandstone. In this canyon a petrified ship will be found. A deep notch where the bow of the ship lay can be seen. Sandstone has formed around the ancient ship, and at present all that remains is the curving line of the ship’s beam and some petrified pieces of what once was a very fine grained wood planking.”

“Having located the canyon of the ship, follow it down to its mouth on the eastern front and then turn north along a wall of purple talc between some small hills. After passing the talc stratum, you will find a canyon similar to that containing the ship. This canyon is filled with low, stubby mesquite bushes. You will then come to a high bank out of which a big rock protrudes. Turn the corner of this rock sharply, and you will see a big ocotillo stalk set in the rocks. The mine is above in a hidden gully.”

There you go, how much more do you need?

It is thought that the “whale bones” talked about in these directions may actually be some type of prehistoric fossils of some large animal and not that of a whale. Who knows, maybe it is whale bones, I mean if there is an ancient ship that has petrified in the mountains then maybe there could be whale bones. I think just coming across an old ship in the mountains would be one hell of a story!

Send me some photos if you find that ship!

Friday, October 17, 2008

San Antonio, TX and $47,000 in Buried Loot

It was the winter of 1899 and Charles Beeler had been a wagon driver for Wells Fargo & Company for several years. It just so happens that on what would turn out to be his last day on the job for Wells Fargo Mr. Beeler made off $50,000, a retirement fund so to speak. I know, the title of this article only said $47,000. Have patience and read on.

On this fateful day Mr. Beeler was tasked with driving $50,000 in gold and currency from the express office in San Antonio, TX to the Southern Pacific Railroad station and see it loaded onto the pay car. Well, he never made it to the railroad station, heading south out of town instead.

Charles Beeler claims that when he reached a ranch “a few miles below San Antonio” he stopped and buried all but $3,000. See, $47,000, you just hade to wait for the explanation. Mr. Beeler stated that he placed the gold in tin cans and buried it on the ranch property and “carefully marked the spot” where he buried it. It was his intentions to head south into Mexico until all of the brew-ha-ha blew over about the theft and then he would return to the ranch and retrieve his retirement account. He used part of the $3,000 in currency he had to purchase a horse from the ranch where the money was buried and he headed on his merry way. On a personal note, I’m puzzled here, if you just made off with $50,000 then why buy a horse? Why not just take one from the wagon you just stole the gold with? Maybe being a horse thief isn’t what he wanted to be known for.

Well, anyway, after buying his horse he headed for the Mexican border but before he made it to the border he was stopped by a local peace officer that recognized Mr. Beeler from a description that was given after the robbery. Old Charlie was able to bride his way out of arrest with $100. He even got directions to the shortest way across the Rio Grande and the border. I guess back then $100 would still buy you service with a smile! Once he crossed the border and traveled several more days Charlie’s luck changed. He ran into some Mexican bandits who stole what he had left of the $3,000. It seems the leader of the bandit group also recognized Charlie Beeler from a wanted poster and wanted the rest of Charlie’s money. As luck would have it, it was all down hill from there.

Charlie, in an effort to save his life, told the bandit leader that he had buried the rest of the money on a ranch near San Antonio so the band of bandits headed that way with Charles Beeler in tow. As the bandits headed toward the U.S. border they were besieged by the Mexican authorities who arrested everybody and turned Charlie Beeler over to the U.S. authorities.

Charlie Beeler spent the next five years in jail and was even sued by Wells Fargo to recover the money. They won the suit but didn’t receive any money. While in jail the Wells Fargo Company kept a close watch on Charles Beeler’s wife in the event he had told her where the money was hidden. Apparently he didn’t because she never made a try for it.

After getting out of jail Charlie was shadowed by detectives working for Wells Fargo in hopes that Charlie would try to recover the money. They apparently kept tabs on him for several months before giving up. Prior to going to jail Charlie had told the Wells Fargo Company that he had buried the gold and even took them to the ranch where he buried it but once he got there he couldn’t find his carefully marked spot and the gold was deemed as lost.

For what it’s worth, the information about the gold, how it was buried and the circumstances following the burial came directly from Charles Beeler and the Wells Fargo Company. In 1910 Charlie was working for the St. Louis Brownsville & Mexico Railroad and had given up on any hopes of ever finding the remaining $47,000.

So much for carefully marking a spot! I guess if it was really carefully marked then Wells Fargo would have gotten their money back and you wouldn’t be reading this right now.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Update on coin roll hunting

With the economic downturn there are new opportunities to add nice coins to your collection. A few days back I decided to head to the bank and buy a few rolls of half dollars. What I found out when I got to the teller will make you want to cry. It seems the bank didn't have any halves to give out. A man had come into the bank earlier in the day and traded in $52 worth of half dollars for paper money. It turned out that it was $52 worth of silver. This included Walking Liberty and Franklin 50 cent pieces! Two of the tellers split the coins keeping $26 dollars worth each.

I left the bank a little downhearted, but decided to try the other bank in town to see what they might have. The second bank had five rolls which I bought along with ten dollars worth of pennies. I have been averaging four wheaties for each $10 I search through. I have also been able to put together a nice mint state set of memorial cents for just pennies. Pun intended! With the new designs coming out in 2009 Lincoln Cents should enjoy a revived interest among collectors.

I must say that what a found when I got home left me in much better spirits. I quickly opened the half dollar rolls hoping that maybe the guy with the silver coins had visited the other bank as well. That wasn't the case but I started finding cameo proofs right off the bat. The total take was 10 cameo proofs and four 40% silvers. The penny rolls produced 4 wheaties, 1912, 1942, 1943 steel, 1951, and a 1980 that was odd colored. I've never seen one like it before and I've looked at bunches of pennies. Overall it wasn't a bad hall. I'm looking forward to my next trip to the bank and maybe the silver coin fairy will be with me this time.

Good luck and good hunting!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Not All Treasure is Silver & Gold

The majority of us are out there looking for that big cache of hidden gold or silver or maybe even the lost mine that will make us comfortable the rest of our lives. This is all well and good but we have to remember that we are liable to stumble across a thing or two in our hunts that may not make us rich but could make us some money. In some cases maybe a lot of money.

The most obvious thing would be a cache of weapons or a cannon or two. Some of these things can be worth a lot of money. Most of us won’t be that lucky but we can come across things like buttons or belt buckles from a Civil War uniform or an old tool or even a knife. These things can ad up to a tidy sum if you find some good specimens.

We all walk around with our detectors looking for “the big one” and we sometimes forget that the people who hid the big one had other things that they lost or threw away as trash that can be worth money these days. Just the fact that we are looking in a particular place for a cache means that people were there, in some cases, generations of people. If you are ever on a site and just get stuck and frustrated maybe you should break out the detector and start digging signals. You never know what you may come across.

I have posted two photos with this article. One is of an old Civil War picket pin (just being uncovered) and the other is of three .50 caliber rim fire cases. These were all found in the same area where I was looking for a cache. The rim fire cases aren’t really worth any money but to me they were a very interesting find. Just as interesting was the picket pin however this came with a bonus. In doing some research it was determined that these were worth some money, this particular pin sells for $150-$200. Not bad for swinging a detector for a day and getting away from the usual stresses of life.

Unless you have been very lucky in life, treasure hunting is a hobby. We do it because we enjoy it and it gives us a chance at striking it rich doing something we enjoy. Keep that in mind when you are in the field and get frustrated about a symbol or marker. Being in the field treasure hunting has got to be better than being at work any day of the week.

Keeping an open mind and using your detector even if you don’t think you will find the cache may just reward you in a different way.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

When Does a Marker Have No Meaning?

I guess this title is a little misleading because the only time a marker has no meaning is when it’s not actually a marker. But then if it’s not a marker then it shouldn’t have a meaning so it would actually have no meaning because it’s not a marker. Anyway, my point is, there are markers that you find in treasure hunting that don’t actually give you any directions or information other than “you are here”.

This is especially true when you are dealing with outlaw caches. Outlaws always used maps, either one carved on a rock or bluff somewhere or the kind of map you can carry around with you or both. The maps gave you information on what to look for and how to get there. The clues that you will find in the field that corresponds to the information on the maps may or may not give you added information that is needed to continue on the trail.

A marker along the trail that you find while interpreting a map can point you in a direction so that you can continue to interpret the map or it can simply be telling you “you are here” as in this is a point along the trail, now look at the map and figure out what you are supposed to do from here.

These innocuous markers can be just about anything. I have seen small upright rocks used this way, I have seen rocks with single drill holes in them used this way and I have seen a railroad spike driven into a tree used this way. You can find a pile of rocks, an individual symbol carved on a rock, a symbol made out of rocks, etc. The ways to make these types of markers is almost as many as there are markers out there. It’s all about who made the map and markers and how their mind worked at the time. Heed that last part, how their mind worked at the time. Outlaws seem to have a penchant for changing the types of maps and markers they used quite often. The same outlaw or gang could have several different styles of making maps and leaving markers. You wouldn’t think they would have been that clever but apparently they had a lot of time on their hands!

When hunting outlaw caches you need to keep in mind that finding a pile of rocks or a single carved symbol, an individual drill hole, etc. may not have any additional meaning other than marking a point on the trail. I know a lot of people, including myself, have tried (and some are still trying) to interpret something that has no real interpretation. One of the hardest things you can do is stumble upon a marker in the field with nothing else connected to it and try to interpret it out of context.

This isn’t necessarily so for Spanish markers but when it comes to the outlaws, you almost always need a map to work the entire trail. If you don’t have a map you can always start working the area with a metal detector and hope to get lucky. Unlike the Spanish, the outlaws seemed to keep their buried goodies in a fairly compact area. I know of a couple of outlaw maps that appear to cover areas bigger than a football field but for the most part I would say an outlaw cache will be within 100-150 feet of the starting point of the map. So if you come across a marker you may be within 50-100 feet of where the treasure is.

Knowing your are that close may not be very helpful but treasure has been found with less information and will continue to be found every so often by those super lucky people that seem to just trip over the stuff. Doesn’t hearing stories like that just annoy the crap out of you?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Mystery Mounds of Arizona

This one is for my good buddy in Arizona. I’m sure somebody else might get a hankering to go look for this but most of the land if not all that this site is on is Indian Reservation and you’re going to have to have a few really good connections to be able to look around.

Back in 1881 there was a newspaper story about some “mounds” being found near old Fort McDowell. Fort McDowell was located in Arizona and now there are several things in the same area named after the fort. There is the Fort McDowell Indian Reservation, the Fort McDowell casino and even a present day town named Fort McDowell if I remember correctly. These mounds as they called them were approximately 250 feet wide and approximately 300 feet long. The outside walls of the mounds were made from quarried stone and were said to be two feet thick. The quarry where the stone was from was found about six miles away. Thousands of stones had been cut and moved the six miles to build the walls of the mounds.

When someone decided to dig into one of the mounds they “found stone implements of all kinds, utensils of peculiar material painted on the side with Egyptian characters, ornaments of shell, needles of bone and in fact, a perfect museum of relics of the stone age”. These items were found at a depth of about ten feet. Other digging in the mounds located “tombs, three tier deep and underneath cisterns of water”. More exploration of the area also uncovered old Indian rock paintings showing “camels”, “mastodons” and “other animal forms unknown to the explorers”.

OK, so we have camels and mastodons in Arizona, I can live with that but what about the utensils with the EGYPTIAN characters painted on them?? This isn’t the first time I have heard about Egyptian items being found in the U.S. Do you think somebody, maybe the government or them archies, are hiding something from us? They wouldn’t do that, would they?

The remnants of the old fort or mounds themselves would be interesting to see but finding some Egyptian stuff lying around in Arizona would really be the ticket! Of course it would probably get confiscated and you would be threatened with jail if you found it, and I’m talking about finding it with permission to be on the land, but it would still be interesting.

If you can come up with an old 1876 map of the area the ruins are supposed to be shown on the maps. They should be located on the Verde River north of present day McDowell on the old trail leading from Fort McDowell to Camp Verde. They are supposed to be just east of the river. One of the mounds was shown as being eight miles north of the old fort and another was shown as being eight miles south of Camp Verde.

There used to be a current day road going up the west side of the river from the location of the fort to the approximate location of the mound eight miles from the fort. The road ended at the eight-mile point but it is on the opposite side of the river.

Fort McDowell was established in 1865 and was located about seven miles above the confluence of the Verde and Salt rivers. The fort was originally called Camp Verde but don’t confuse this with the actual Camp Verde that was established on the river north of the fort location. Fort McDowell was a fairly large complex and operated until 1890. At that time it was turned over as part of an Indian reservation and I believe it remains a reservation to this day. The post cemetery should still be there along with the ruins of a building or two.

Make sure you know what land you are on if you go looking for this!! Permission, Permission, Permission.

Let me know if you run across any hieroglyphs!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Reno Gang of Indiana

This story has an odd twist to in that all of the members of this gang, ten in total, were hanged by vigilantes within one week of each other. All of the members of the gang were hanged to death from the same tree and they were hanged three and four at a time. Of course the tree is no longer there but the area where the tree used to be was called “Hangman’s Cross Roads” just for the tree and it’s history.

The Reno Gang, so named for the brothers who started it, Frank and Simon Reno, operated out of Seymour, Indiana murdering and robbing people from Omaha to Cincinnati during the 1860s. It was a short career for the brothers and their cohorts but when you murder your victims for their money it tends to upset the locals. The Reno Gang had been making a habit of robbing and killing several people in the Seymour area for small amounts of money until they decided to graduate to something bigger, a train robbery.

One night in the fall of 1867 the gang boarded the Ohio & Mississippi Express in Seymour and road it out of town. About five miles outside of Seymour they held up the train and at least two newspaper accounts of the time say the gang got away with “at least four hundred thousand dollars”. Other accounts published later put the amount at $12,000 which seems a little more reasonable. Wanted posters were put out for the gang members and just a few months later all ten of them had been captured and were in two separate jails.

Once the good town folk of Seymour found out the gang had been captured they formed a “vigilance committee”, put on their masks and broke three of the group out of jail. They were immediately taken to the tree just outside of Seymour and hanged. A few days later the vigilance committee struck again and took three more members of the gang out of jail and directly to the tree where the first three met their death and hanged them also. The other four members of the gang and the last left alive, were broken out of the New Albany jail and dragged to the tree where all three were hanged like the others.

The old birch tree that helped dispatch the ten members of this gang soon met it’s own demise from relic hunters wanting a piece of the tree.

I thought this was an interesting story because of the ten hangings, all at the same tree and all within a week of each other. I searched for more information about the $400,000 taken from the train but I couldn’t find anything that said the money was recovered. I would think part of this could have been spent since the gang was free for a while after the robbery but I doubt they could have spent very much of it.

If you are in the area of Seymour Indiana you may want to check into this a little more. Just knowing the location of the tree would be interesting. Maybe the robbers had some change in their pockets that fell out when they were hanged??