Sunday June 14, 1903 the brothers Sam and Will Martin robbed more than 75 people who traveled on the old road to Pawhuska near Liza Creek three miles west of Bartlesville. They committed several other robberies across the region and finally they camped near Wooster Mound south of Pawhuska. Sam and Will found two women cooking at a “cow camp,” robbed them and demanded a meal. The very next day they were so bold as to return to the same camp, and this time they rode away with a large pot of beans.
A granite stone was placed south of Pawhuska as a historical marker, beside the highway across from the Bronze Horse Foundry. It bears these words: THE BATTLE OF WOOSTER MOUND Near this site on August 8, 1903, U.S. Marshal Wiley G. Haines, Chief of Osage Indian Police Warren Bennett, and Constable Henry Majors ended the career of the notorious outlaw gang known as the Martin Brothers. The outlaws were wanted for murder and robbery over a five state area. During the fierce gun battle Sam and Will Martin were fatally wounded. Marshal Haines was seriously wounded but recovered. “No better stroke for law and order in the territory was ever struck than in wiping out the vicious Martin Gang.” (Judge Horace Speed)
It has been said that a large amount of money was cached in this area. My search located the camp, the actual site of the gunfight, several copper jacket slugs, and an assortment of markers that may lead to one or more caches of ill gotten money.
Copyright Bill Wade #grampawbill
Originally told by Arthur H. Lamb in his book “Tragedies of the Osage Hills” and used with permission from the late Raymond Redcorn, this story is quite well known throughout Osage County.
In 1862 a wagon train of immigrants was returning from the California gold fields. The wagon master was a stout man with a large nose. He was known as Captain Goldie. They stayed on the Santa Fe Trail until the Arkansas River crossing and took a southern turn to follow a central route known as the California Trail, also known as Evans Road., eastward on towards southern Missouri. This trail shared some footage with the Black Dog Trail. Their cargo was said to be $100,000 in gold.
One evening while the immigrants were camped a lone Indian had nosed his way into camp and offered to trade a few ponies for some of the gold. He was told no and became angry. He left and soon he had convinced a large number of Pawnees to give chase. Near present day Foraker they came into view. Upon seeing the approaching Indians Goldie had the men circle the wagons and gather together all the gold. Goldie took the gold to the edge of the woods with the intentions of burying it but saw the futility of the battle for his men were greatly outnumbered. In the cover of the woods he made good his escape. Here we pause to thank the late Mr. Lamb, for through his efforts we know what took place at the site of the massacre.
After a long and difficult battle the Indians succeeded, and after killing the wounded they searched the wagons and bodies, but found no gold. They were outraged and threatened to kill the lone Indian. He decided to find the body of the wagon master and cut off the end of his nose, but he couldn’t find the man. It was then realized that Goldie had escaped with the gold. They soon picked up his trail and followed after him.
My efforts put him following upper Sand Creek east for about a mile, turning northeast, following Dog Creek a short distance east, turning northeast again, crossing Buck Creek, then following a small creek to where he slept briefly and left a lengthy inscription on a large boulder. Late in the next afternoon he stopped briefly on top of the hill just west of Artillery Mound and scanned the countryside. He saw that he was being followed and decided to bury the gold.
Near here, according to all published versions of the story, he found a hollow tree near the base of Artillery Mound and put an old musket in this tree. So many steps from this tree stood two large trees sharing a common single trunk. So many steps from these he buried the gold. A good distance down the trail from this site he tied his mule to a tree and hung the tack and gear on a limb. From here he proceeded on foot. At this
point the Indians lost Goldie’s trail and after scouring the countryside they gave up the chase.
Goldie made it home to Missouri, to his wife and his six year old son, but weakened from the ravages of the journey he soon fell ill. In the winter shortly before his death he revealed the story of the massacre and his escape to his wife. He left her a detailed hand drawn map with instructions to where the gold was buried.
Not knowing anyone she could trust, and her son being of tender age, plus the consideration of the Civil War, she decided to wait until he grew to be a man.
The government purchased this portion of the Cherokee Outlet from a group of Cherokees who represented only the Cherokees who were not living here in what was to become Osage County, and after a forced march the Osage People were confined to the area. They then allotted the land in 160 acre tracts to each Osage Tribal member.
After stopping near the Caney River at Matoaka to investigate the twin hills as the possible site, young Goldie appeared one evening in 1882 at the farm of an Osage man named Joe Boulanger. Joe invited him in for supper. After examining the area he explained his mission to Joe, and the significance of the trees and the musket. Joe claimed to remember the trees and the musket, having cleared the land himself. He did not produce the musket but he did take young Goldie to a spot and left him to dig for several days. After failing to find anything, young Goldie made Joe a copy of the map and received the promise that if anything was found a portion would be sent to him. He returned to his Missouri home and life went on.
Just after 1900 the story of the gold had leaked out and large holes began appearing in Joe’s field. Joe called upon the law and he sat up late many nights trying to catch the diggers but none were ever caught.
Many years later, in 1961, a cowboy was repairing a fence and cut down a dead tree. The tree was hollow and had grown back shut, totally concealing Goldie’s musket within. Even now remains of the stump and roots are visible in the ground. This location was revealed to me by the late Mr. C. E. McClurkin in 1991. Accordingly, the musket was given to a member of the Boulanger family. I was also informed that the man who found the musket passed away in 1968.
After much moonlit exploration, over a dozen trips tainted with no permission, I was privately informed that the treasure had long since been removed and was only about 150 pounds instead of the supposed 300 pounds, yes, we had done the math, and that it had all been quietly turned into cash and all had been spent some years prior to my search.
Where the treasure had been found, if it really was found, was said to be near a fence line on the southeast slope of the hill. Cattle had exposed a portion while walking the fence line. If this information is true and the structure of a cow hoof is taken into consideration then my attempt to justify another search gains credibility. I can easily imagine a nugget traveling a short distance in the cleft of a hoof. Pure speculation on my part can allow for a pound or two spread out along the fence line in both directions.
Another possibility is of relics at the massacre site. My studies put this to be at the top of a hill south of upper Sand Creek east of Foraker near what was once a dense forest but now is claimed to always have been prairie. I remember the dead trees.
Copyright Bill Wade #grampawbill
Don Joaquin’s Lost Gold:
In 1847 a Mexican Army Officer named Don Joaquin led a small mining expedition into the Sierra Estrella Mountains in the hopes of finding rich gold or silver deposits. Like anyone with geology, military training and experience he located a very promising location to mine. As well as a defensive area to set up a camp not far from the mine.
The mine was producing well and with no problems to speak of except low food stores. Until one day a Gila river Pima scout ran into camp and told the commander that the American Army was moving along the Gila and will be soon heading to Pimeria Alta.
Pimeria Alta was Spanish Arizona and at that time modern Mexican settlements, ranches, Presidial’s-Forts, Pimeria Alta is located from pretty much Arizpe in Sonora all the way north to the Gila river. Tucson, San Xavier, Tubac, and other places of importance are within Pimeria Alta.
Realizing his situation, not having the security of reinforcements and his path south to Mexican settlements about to be cut off. He ordered his men to abandon the mine for the time being, pack up everything and make for a small butte nearby.
This butte is modern Butterfly Peak, the path they took to get there is known as the Zig Zag trail.
Don Joaquin made a tactical decision to hide all the gold with the help of one Indian laborer. So if in the event he and his party were to be captured by the approaching Americans that their gold would not become plunder for the enemy.
With the help of the Indian laborer, they moved half way down the trail into a type of box canyon where they found a small cave. Then they removed the gold from the mule packs and piled it up inside of a small cave (probably an alcove). It is said they hid 3,000lbs from the packs of 15 mules.
When the job was completed, Joaquin killed the Indian laborer and placed him inside with the gold ore and then sealed/walled up the cave with the intention to return. He quickly sketched a quick map of the canyon he was in near the butte, so he could easily recall the location of the walled up cave.
He joined up with his men later on the evening of the following day right before sunset. His men nervous about the on coming American Army, the threat they posed to their families south of the Gila and their commander taking his sweet time in hiding their wealth caused the men to make a quick but drastic decision. Upon Joaquin’s return his men killed him, took his crude map and quickly under cover of darkness made there way south to the northern most Mexican outpost, being Presidio San Augustine de Tucson.
For thirty five years no word of the lost gold was known until in 1882 a man arrived claiming to hold a old Mexican map and asking for a guide to take him to the areas the map depicted. His expedition was a quick one as the local natives quickly chased him out of that area and upon his return to Phoenix he soon returned south back to Mexico without ever finding the hidden gold.
To this day there are many stories and claims as to what happened to the man and the crude map.
This treasure is still out there and within the Sierra Estrella Mountains south of Phoenix. If this could be found, it would be not only a great payday but also a priceless window into the past.
(Please follow state, federal, reservation laws and respect private property. If you have any doubts at all, simply ask permission)
Where to find gold along stream & river bends. This video from http://hunting4gold.com/blog/where-do… shows how to know where to find gold after a big storm and flood. Watch to find out why gold pay streaks form.
1…Deliverance, near West County Line, 12 miles North of Natroma
2…Kill Creek, 8 miles Southeast of Alton
3…Roundmound, 7 1/2 miles Northeast of Natroma
4…Twin Creek, 8 miles South of Osborne
5…Cheyenne, 5 miles North of Luray
1…A payroll shipment was being transported on horseback to the salt mines
at Kanopilas and was hidden during an attack on Lost Creek along the
Old Butternut Trail.
2…An old mill was once located about 12 miles Southeast of Russell on
the Smokey Hill River and was a gathering place for settlers and outlaws.
1…Fay, 5 miles Southeast of Fairport
2…Success, 10 miles North of Bunker Hill
3…Balta, on railroad, 5 miles West of Russell
4…Homer, on railroad, 3 1/2 miles West of Bunker Hill
1…Ohio, 10 miles North of Kensington
2…Hardilee, 6 miles North Northeast of Kensington
3…Tyner, 10 miles North of Athol
4…Reamsville, 13 miles North Northwest of Smith Center
5…Thornburg, 14 miles North of Smith Center
6…Womer, 6 miles North Northwest of Cora
7…Sherwood, East County Line, 8 miles North of Lebanon
8…Anderson, 7 1/2 miles North of Smith Center
9…Hammer, 5 miles South of Smith Center
10..Oakvale, 10 miles South of Bellaire
11..Stuart, East County Line, 8 miles South of Lebanon
12..Oasis, 5 miles East of Harlan.
Two articles in The El Paso Herald (1910), one on The Old Abe mine in White Oaks, New Mexico (Billy the Kid playground) and one in the Sierra Madre Mountains.
Use your photo viewer to enlarge picture.
How to find Gold | Reading Streams
So.. Where do you find gold?? Well, creeks, rivers, and water run off’s are some of the best places! That’s not to say that they are the only places though! There’s ancient rivers that are long dried up now that are known to carry VAST amounts of very course gold… more on that in another post perhaps. For now lets focus on finding gold in rivers and creeks.
First things first. The rivers and creeks are not where the gold is coming from! They are where the gold collects! The water from spring run off, floods and landslides all wash gold into the stream bed for you to find later. The gold we find in streams are called “placer deposits”. Placer gold is gold that’s traveled from its original source – AKA the lode. The further the gold travels the more rounded and smaller the pieces become. With that in mind you can zero in on “new” course gold. If you’re finding quartz stone mixed in or even attached to the gold you are very, very close to the source.
Some people like running around with a shovel and gold pan like a chicken with their head cut off! It’s not the best method in my eyes, but it can be an adventure and it’s not a boring systematic way of doing things. It’s a “fly by the seat of your pants” way of doing it and if you’ve got the prior knowledge and some good intuition it can pay off! I think every newbie tries this once before getting frustrated with poor returns or hit and miss gold finds that don’t make any sense.
If you really want to locate a pay streak, the best way is to do a grid system or at least keep it linear. Try the following and see if it works for you.
Find a section of a creek you believe to be gold bearing and look for the high water mark. The high water mark is a good indicator of where the water was during the spring flood season. Those spring floods load and shuffle the creek (hopefully) with gold.
Highlighted in red is where the high-water mark ends. Highlighted in blue is a good place to look for gold. There’s lots of roots and it’s on an inside bend just after the apex where the water tends to move slowest and even pool around the peninsula.
Once you’ve located the high water mark grab your shovel and gold pan, take a sample, pan it out and note how much black sand you’ve found. You can be a little quick and sloppy because we’re only monitoring the black sand amounts for now. Continue in this fashion while working towards the center of the creek and taking samples ever foot or two. Note the black sands in each pan… how much… how little.. and where the most concentrations are.
Here you can see the path that gold and the heavier materials will follow along a stream.Once you have a rough idea where all the concentrations of black sand are grab your pan and shovel again. Go to the spot in the creek (or outside of it if the water is low) and begin panning the area closest to the center of the creek where the black sand levels began to drop significantly.
If the creek is an active gold bearing creek this will be your most likely spot for a pay streak! Continue sampling with your gold pan, and if thing are beginning to look good it’s time to move in the heavier equipment like a sluice box where permitted.
If you’re not finding much or anything in that spot move down or upstream to another spot and repeat the process. Several factors might be causing the gold not to collect there. For instance there could be a slow spot in the creek up stream where the water loses its momentum and most of the gold gets deposited there! It’s also possible that in the spot you checked the water was moving too fast, however if that is the case there should be very little black sand present.
…And remember the old saying: “Gold is where you find it”! It’s worth mentioning though that it’s best to start looking in areas where other people have found it before!!
The Lost House Range Placers….
The explorers and surveyors of the American West are an august company that includes the great Lewis and Clark as well as a host of other renowned pathfinders. Men like Fremont, Long, Stansbury, Pike, Abert, and Beale opened up the west as surely as the mountain men who preceded them and the sutlers and traders who followed them. One of the most promising of these early explorers and surveyors was an Army engineer and West Point graduate named John W. Gunnison.
The idea of an intercontinental railroad stretching from coast to coast was not new in 1853. Fremont’s expeditions during the 1840’s were focused on finding the best route through the mountains for a railroad. In 1853, when an expedition was mounted to survey the west-central portion of Utah, John Gunnison was a natural choice to lead the party. His credentials were impeccable. He had cut his teeth as a surveyor for the Stansbury Expedition in 1849 and he knew the central Utah area well. Gunnison assumed command of the party, which included two survivors from Fremont’s disastrous fourth expedition of 1848, Richard Kern and Frederick Creutzfeldt. Kern was the expedition’s artist and topographer while Creutzfeldt served as botanist. The Gunnison expedition entered Utah Territory in the fall of 1853, passing through the town of Manti on its way to Fillmore. From Fillmore, the party traveled west, reaching the Gunnison Bend of the Sevier River, southwest of present-day Delta. To the west, Gunnison could see the wrinkled peaks of the House Range rising up from the Sevier Valley. To the southwest, he could see the meandering course of the Sevier River as it disappeared toward Sevier Lake. This was a good place. They made camp.
The following morning, the Gunnison Expedition awoke to the sounds of war cries and rifle shots. The end had come. A band of 30 or so Pahvant Indians descended upon the hapless explorers, killing all but four of the party. The dead included the leader, John Gunnison, and the two veterans from Fremont’s expedition, Kern and Creutzfeldt.
As he gazed westward the evening before the massacre, Gunnison may have been contemplating a route through the House Range into the Tule Valley beyond. The House Range stretches some 60 miles in a north-south direction and forms the western boundary of Sevier Valley. It extends from Sand Pass southward to the Wah-Wah Valley. Along its entire length the range is no more than 10 miles wide. House Range is transected by three major passes. Dome Canyon Pass is the northernmost pass, Marjum Canyon lies eight miles to the south, and Skull Rock Pass, south of Sawtooth Mountain, forms the southernmost and main portal through the range.
The House Range still holds many secrets. Prospectors have roamed these mountains for over two centuries. Evidence of early Spanish mining activity still occasionally surfaces. Caches of old Spanish tools and mining equipment have been discovered in the central part of the range, near the only major gold-producing area in the entire county.
Millard County has never been a major producer of gold. Only 500 ounces are officially recorded for the county. Most of this production hails from the small placer deposits of the House Range. Located in North Canyon and Miller Canyon, the gold placers were worked extensively during the 1930’s. Surely more than 500 ounces of gold were taken from the two canyons during the depression years, not to mention the efforts of the early Spaniards in the area. One story in particular has come down to us regarding an incredibly rich placer deposit somewhere in the House Range. In a single transaction, the discoverer of this placer sold more than 300 ounces of gold – 60% of the total recorded production for the entire county! The discovery occurred sometime during the late 1930’s. A Mexican sheepherder working in the House Range stumbled upon a glory hole of placer gold somewhere on the slopes of the mountains. The deposit must have been rich for the Mexican turned up in the nearby town of Delta with several sacks of fine gold dust. On one of his visits, the sheepherder sold more than 20 pounds of gold to a local doctor. Of course, the Mexican never revealed the location of his find and soon dropped out of sight. He was never seen again. Prospectors have searched the House Range for many years but the Mexican’s lost placer remains hidden to this day.