Guest Post : Jesse James & The Mysterious Buried Treasure of The Wichita Mountains

This article is written by Rob Marsh, webcomic creator of December Sun, someone fascinated with the unexplained, and an amateur buried treasure seeker... The topic of Jesse James and his buried treasure in the Wichita Mountain range of Lawton, Oklahoma, is an interesting one to me personally, as I lived in Lawton for a number of years and frequently made trips to those particular mountains with some friends of mine back in high school, and there was always a mystique to those mountains, in terms of the legend of Jesse James who, legend had it, had hidden away his stash of gold somewhere in the mountains.

Jesse James

The Wichita mountains are breath-taking range of mountains that occupy 59,020 acres of southern Oklahoma near the Lawton/Fort Sill area. The mountains offer some magnificent parks and trails to hike, and while hiking these trails and exploring the vast mountain ranges, you can't help but speculate about where that stolen gold could have been hidden. The mountains are vast and scattered with rocky ledges and ravines. So spending many years in that particular area, the legends of the hidden gold of Jesse James is just one of those things you learn about as a fascinating and mysterious bit of Oklahoma lore.

Panoramic view of the mountain

They way I understand it, based on what I heard long ago and also based on some research, is that long ago, around the year 1876 in northern Mexico, Frank and Jesse James, along with members of their gang, attacked a detail of Mexican guardsmen with eighteen burros transporting gold bullion. Once they stole the gold jackpot, they lead the pack of mules across Texas and north into Indian Territory, a place safe for outlaws since there was little law enforcement at that time

Eventually they reached the Wichitas in souther Oklahoma and, in an unknown spot east of Cache Creek they buried their gold in a deep ravine. Once buried, Jesse made two signs pointing to the gold: he nailed a burro shoe into the bark of a Cottonwood tree, and he emptied both of his six-shooters for a second mark into a cottonwood tree. He also supposedly etched out the outlaws contract on the side of a brass bucket, binding the members of the gang to secrecy about the gold and where it was hidden. The location is rumored to be on Tarbone Mountain, a site to the north of the Wichitas, near a cottonwood tree. Frank and Jesse then buried the bucket somewhere on Tarbone Mountain, again near a Cottonwood tree.

Then six months later, Jesse James met up with his destiny as his gang was ambushed attempting to rob a bank in Minnesota. Jesse James escaped, but never was able to return to his hidden gold. April 3, 1882, he was shot and killed in Missouri by one of his own gang members.

The hidden gold has never been found, but most of the markers pointing to it's location have been found, including the brass bucket with the engraved names, along with a crude map. The mystery still surrounds what happened to the gold, was it ever reclaimed (by the remaining members of the James gang maybe?) or if its still hidden in the hills, waiting for someone to find it.

Regardless of what happened to the gold, the true treasure for me is that of the Wichita mountains and thinking back to good times hiking these trails and enjoying the beauty of the area. If you ever visit the Lawton area of Oklahoma be sure to take a trip to the Wichitas and, who knows, maybe you'll come across some of Jesse Jame's lost treasure.

Some sources:
- Memories of stories during my time in Oklahoma
- http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/oklahoma/wichitamountains/
- http://hubpages.com/hub/RobbersCave
- http://ancientlosttreasures.yuku.com/topic/5733
- http://www.knightsofthegoldencircle-kgc.com/JessesHideout.htm
- http://books.google.com/books?id=KaR2VvAuk7UC&pg=PA129&lpg=PA129&dq=JESS+JAMES+WICHITA+MOUNTAINS+gold&source=bl&ots=NVOz9lcg_5&sig=xg6STTi0xVE7h5_SVi3XBvGUv_g&hl=en&ei=dNt0S8SuMJX7nAf06Li1CQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CCkQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=&f=false
Guest Post : Jesse James & The Mysterious Buried Treasure of The Wichita Mountains Guest Post : Jesse James & The Mysterious Buried Treasure of The Wichita Mountains Reviewed by Tripzibit on 18:39 Rating: 5

5 comments:

  1. Thanks my friend for posting this because this brought back memories for me. I lived in Oklahoma as a kid, and I'm a huge fan of the college football team, too. Though I lived in the Oklahoma City area, I have been to Lawton and those Wichita Mountains.

    I remember hearing about this one as a kid. I'm not really sure what happened to the treasure. Being that Oklahoma wasn't an official U.S. state in those days(not until 1907), the treasure could have gotten into the hands of about anyone, too. It's tough to say.

    And yes, there's some great scenery in Oklahoma, and I can attest to that as former resident!

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  2. (@David Funk) Thanks for share your experiences, David. Wichita Mountains sounds very interesting, especially the hidden treasure's story. I wish i could go there.

    All credits that related with this post will be given to Mr.Rob Marsh as a guest-post writer. You should check out his website too :)

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  3. I like this post. Youu give me the interesting story.

    But I have an idea to you. what if you write an article about Moslem, Christ and the others?

    I'm glad to know this blog XD

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  4. I spent25 years going to and hunting treasure in that area. Love that area. I hung out with an much older guy that had been investigating Jesse James treasures. We had several images of maps from books about him and he had found most of the landmarks mentioned. What we always found for all of them we investigated were large empty holes at the end location. I am sure there are many more places he left stuff but tough job finding them. I know a guy that was old when I met him in the 70's and had a big chunk of rock he chiseled out of some wall that had another map on it but he died and he never would consider going with us and finding anything. Such an awesome area. We found lots of large rocks with other cuts describing things but never figured them out.

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  5. (@Unknown): Interesting...maybe that large rocks with some cuts contain a clue about the treasure location. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

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