Sunday, October 25, 2009

Outlaw Loot in Devil's Canyon

It’s getting close to Halloween so a treasure story about a place called Devil’s canyon seems fitting.

This Devil’s canyon in located in the great state of Oklahoma near the present day Lake Altus.


There is more than one treasure story about this area of the state but the one I am writing about today concerns ninety pounds of gold coins.

Back in 1894 four outlaws were practicing their trade in Texas when they came upon a group of cattlemen who had just sold their herds. The cattlemen were carrying the proceeds of the sale with them when they had the misfortune of running into the four outlaws. They were quickly relieved of their money, all $35,000 of it and the outlaws headed for Oklahoma with their new fortune.

Once in Oklahoma they camped for a few days and mulled over what they were going to do with their individual shares of the gold. As fate would have it, three of the outlaws decided it would be better to have a third each of the gold instead of a fourth each so they plotted to kill the fourth outlaw. Just like on the show Survivor, things took an unexpected twist when outlaw number four figured out the others’ plan and made off with all of the loot.

Number four headed for what is known as Flat Top Mountain and hid his twice stolen gold there. It is thought he hid the gold on Flat Top Mountain but there is the possibility it was just near the mountain and not actually on it.

This fourth outlaw was later captured and sent to prison, I believe for an unrelated crime, where he died sometime in the 1920’s. Before he died he tried to explain to his relatives where he had hidden the gold. The family made several attempts to find the gold but were unsuccessful in their searching.

So to recap, there is ninety pounds of gold coins buried on or near Flat Top Mountain which is on the Side of Devil’s Canyon just a few miles from present day Lake Altus. Doing some quick math, the ninety pounds of gold at today’s prices should be worth a little over one million dollars. That sounds like it would be worth looking for!

Did I mention this may be located in a state park? Check the rules before you go!

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Devils Canyon and Flattop Mountain are actually part of my families land and private property - Ran across this just doing some research and thought I would pass that along so no one would waste a trip down to the middle of no where to hunt for "treasure"! :) Thanks

Anonymous said...

what a shame history is stolen from land owners not willing to even take money for hikes and history lessons on our great area full of history no one will ever know. My children would love to hike and let someone tell them of the rach history of the SW oklahoma where they were born.

Anonymous said...

Wonder if that family ever visits the State Parks lands in that area..Hope they keep out..Greed seems to run in the family....

Anonymous said...

the actual canyon is quartz mtn state park owned but to get to the canyon you have to travel through private property

Anonymous said...

only about 10 percent is state property 90 percent is private ownership

Anonymous said...

Planning a trip there. Metal detectors legal in okla state parks?

Anonymous said...

Devils Canyon is not a part of any persons land. It is government owned.
Anyone that claims to have ownership of Devils Canyon is down right lying. Most of the land surrounding Devils Canyon is owned by one family. I go out there all the time and I have been for over 10 years and there is not anything a "Winters" can say or do about it.

Anonymous said...

Lol u r stupid.. it is all owned by one family and on the north end of it is state property but u have to go thru winters property to get there.. I'm a good friend of the family and go fishong all the time out there.. I know everthing they know... even about the indian burial pit they found

Anonymous said...

My name is Josh Drake, and the 4th robber is my great uncle Bob Herron. I am the only person that knows the complete story of the $35000 and where it is buried. My father met Bob Herron in Prison in Tx before he died, and I have been in devils canyon since I was 2, I am now 53. The center of the Canyon is State Park, all around is private. In the 1500's Spaniards where pulling gold and silver from mines, I have seen the foundation of fort. Great History there.

okie treasure hunter said...

Josh,

I'd like to visit with you sometime if you don't mind. You can email me at okietreasurehunter@msn.com

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Message for Josh Drake. I would be interested in partnering with you in a search - done legally with permission of any land ownders. I think a magnetometer search from a low flying ultra-light aircraft could locate it. Emal me at - sales@sosstandbyserver.com

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that a trip to the county court house to check the records would solve who owns what.
Facts talk B.S. walks.....

Anonymous said...

My family is from that area too and my uncle knows the Winter family,and I believe my stepmothers first husband was a member of there family we kept our horses out there in the 60's. You can access it by boat up the river without getting on the Winters property if needed. My Grandfather Padgett took us there as kids to look around I have fond memories of Blair/Warren and lake Lugert as a kid were planning on medtal detecting around the old town since the water is low too. Also we have members of our family that still the orginal homstead on the N fork of the Red River.

Anonymous said...

Hi my name is jesse winters my family owns devils canyon the only part that is state owned is the far north end if any one has any questions just ask me thanks

Anonymous said...

Winters land ends at the river across from the Indian Village. I've been into the "canyon" (its really a valley) many times from the north east (Brunker) side. Really is an interesting place. But, I can understand the Winters wanting to claim ownership...to many people poking around and the area just kind of goes to crap. However it's still just remote enough to keep most away, and I like that also.

Anonymous said...

I don't care if some family wants to "claim" something that isn't theirs for whatever reason. If the land isn't theirs don't claim it. If it's claimed for the sole purpose of wanting to keep their land clean of trash or vandalism of possible people crossing on to their property accidentally... Do what every other american does with their land..."Warning private property. Violators will be prosecuted". If for some cray cray way that someone does own property that is in a state park so be it. Do the right thing and ask for access. I have asked numerous property owners for access to their property and have been up front on who I am, phone number and vehicle info. Also I tell tell that I will treat their property as I would my own. Let them know that you will keep them posted on any damage or vandalism done to their property if you notice anything. I have no issues asking for permission some day no some say yes. Building rapport helps also. The property owner more than like talk to their neighbors.

mike dean said...

Would you allow me to hike around with melal detector

sniper said...

Have the Winters all died off yet?

Unknown said...

hi. my family has lived about a mile to the east of devils canyon since they homesteaded here back in late 1800s. our family, the Anderson's, and our Kin still own rhe land at the North amd south entrances to devils canyon. just to clear up any confusion

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit confused. Lots of people are claiming to know the boundaries of the State Park. However, in the process of updating the legal papers on our farm after my dad passed away, we were provided with a map from the Department of Agriculture that clearly shows that the State Park property goes over the mountain at the north end of Devil's Canyon & ends at the west side of our pond. The dividing line runs almost directly north/south along the pond to the north end of the Canyon.

Anonymous said...

I have a map that shows what land is government land and which land is private; concerning the area of Devils Canyon. I hired an attorney to get this information & have been going to Devils Canyon for almost 20 years now. If anyone would like to have a copy of this map simply make a post & I will get in touch with you.

Billy James said...

post from Sept 10, 2017 at 8:16
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Unknown said...

Very interesting history about Devils Canyon and the surrounding area. I have reason to believe that the Indian Burial Pit is that if the Kiowa's. Just a strong hunch. As the County it is located in is Kiowa County. And yes the Courthouse would have record of who owns what part of the land there.

Anonymous said...

I was stationed at Altus AFB OK from 1969 to 1971. A friend and I use to go to Devils Canyon, camp overnight by the small lake and fish. I have been all over the top of the mountain just enjoying the rugged beauty of it. I sat on a big boulder that the rain had carved an indention in and it looked like a big easy chair. I use to sit there for hours listening to the wing blow, watching an eagle flying around and viewing the smog over the city of Altus. At that time Altus was a small city but you see the difference in the visibility between the town and the mountain. A young coyote use to come around checking us out, probably looking for some food. We always did our exploring in the winter time because climbing in, over and around those big rock you never knew when you might encounter a rattlesnake. You could easily get lost exploring the crevices in between the boulders if you wasn't careful. There were lots of stories going around during that time period about Spanish gold being buried in Devils Canyon area but I never saw anyone really looking for it. We did on occasion find some old shell casings and I once found an old rusty pistol. I had great time during my tour at the airbase.