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August 4, 2017

1783 - French Gold Treasure worth $1 Billion Dollars Today? - Buried South of Warrensburg, MO (Reportedly!)

The Helena Independent., August 14, 1891

Could there be $1 Billion in Gold Coins Buried Near Warrensburg, Missouri? Probably not....but many looked for it.


Sixty Millions Said to Be Hidden Near Warrensburg, Mo.
WARRENSBURG, Mo., Aug. 13, 1891 
For the last century there has not a decade passed without someone making an attempt to find a large sum of money that is said to have been buried five miles south of here. 
Approximately 5 Miles South of Warrensburg, MO There is Supposedly $1 Billion Dollars in Treasure Buried by The French in 1783
This sum, more than $60,000,000 (in 1783), was buried by the French in 1783, and since that time thousands of dollars have been spent by sober-minded men in search of the hidden treasure. T. N. Williams who owned the farm five years ago, mortgaged it for a large sum of money and spent every dollar of it in digging and searching for the money, which is supposed to be in gold coin. The farm next fell into the hands of H. A. Grenning, an influential merchant of this city, and others continued the search for a short time, but for the last three years nothing has been said about the matter until J. U. Gaty, an insurance agent formerly of this place, but now of Arkansas, met J. H. Gordon of St. Louis and gave him the above facts. Gordon consulted a lady clairvoyant in St. Louis and about three months ago he came here and got a permit from Greening to search on his place for the money. After spending a week and a considerable sum of money, he returned and was not again heard from until this morning, when he and the lady clairvoyant whom he had previously consulted registered at the St. Cloud Hotel. 
Visit the Johnson County Missouri Historical Society
St. Cloud Hotel, Culton at Holden St. Warrensburg MO
Salvation Army and Warrensburg Main Street Housed Here Today
The clairvoyant says she can locate the place where the treasure is hidden when taken to the farm. A thorough search will be made again. Many of the old settlers of the county firmly believe that the money is hidden somewhere on this farm. 
1783 French Buried 60,000,000 near Warrensburg?
Lise Irle Photo of the St. Cloud Hotel.
 Today it is the Salvation Army Building and 
Warrensburg Main Street Link

Or is this French story confused with this story below?

Spanish Treasure in Cass County - On October 24, 1879 an article in the Cass County Times-Courier described the location of a hidden Spanish treasure near Harrisonville,Missouri. The text read:

"Before being massacred by attacking Indians in 1772, several hundred Spaniards buried 15 loads of gold averaging 130 pounds each and 1,000 bars of silver weighing an average of 20 pounds to the bar... in the area four or five miles west and one or one and one-half miles north of Harrisonville. The silver was buried within one-fourth of a mile of where the present day Rodman School is standing; the gold is three fourths of a mile farther northwest.”

More than fifty years later, a construction crew was building a bridge in 1930. The location was several miles southeast of the old Rodman School. During the excavation, the crew found evidence of a battle between the Spanish and the Indians, locating old weapons, skeletons, and part of old armor.

Harrisonville has dramatically grown in the last several years, so locating the exact location of the old Rodman School will, no doubt, require some sleuthing skills.

Reader Update: I live in Cass county, just north of Harrisonville and a little east of Peculiar, Missouri We have always heard the legend of the Spanish gold and have been told that it is on some land that we had when I was a child and I think mom and dad still own. My sister, brothers and I are going to hunt this weekend, weather permitting. There is an area that dad could never get any grass or anything to grow on. We will look there. Thanks for the research that backs the claims that we have always heard. - Teresa, October, 2004

Reader Update: I've been researching the "Harrisonville" legend and have found the "Rodham" school. I am planning on a trek this weekend to the area. I was viewing some of the maps online and found a topographic map and aerial photo of the area, approximately a 1/4 mile from Rodham school. On the aerial photo there appears to be a concentric ring that does not appear on the topo. 

Outlaw Loot at Huzzah - About three miles out of Huzzah, Missouri is said to be a cache of stolen outlaw loot. The treasure was carried up a small hollow from Haunted Springs to a rock shelter, placed in a fox hole under the bluff and covered with rocks. At the time it was buried, the skull of a horse head was left as a marker. Huzzah, Missouri is approximately 100 miles southeast of Jefferson City, Missouri on Missouri Highway 8.
More Spanish Treasure - Legends abound throughout the area of Noble Hill that a cache of Spanish treasure is buried in the area somewhere. Noble Hill, is about thirteen miles north of Springfield, Missouri on Missouri Highway 13 on the Polk-Greene County line.
Kaffer Treasure - A cache of gold coins known as the Kaffer Treasure is said to be buried in the area of Armstrong, Missouri. Armstrong is about forty miles northwest of Columbia, Missouri.
Sunken Treasure in the Mississippi - In the Mississippi River that runs along the banks of St. Louis, Missouri there were several steamships that went down in the river long ago. Some of these are said to be laden with gold coins.
Hillary Farrington Loot - The outlaw Hillary Farrington was said to have buried a cache of loot on the Old Duram Farm at Jeona, Missouri.
Independence Jewelry Heist - Sometime around 1927, $25,000 in jewelry and gems was taken by bandits who robbed an area jewelry store. Supposedly, the bandits were said to have buried the loot at the foot of an old oak tree between two large roots about six miles east ofIndependence. Now, for the difficult part. If the "six miles east of Independence" was back in 1927, this could be very difficult to find today as Independence, Kansas City and other small suburbs have virtually melded into one large metropolitan city.
Forty-Niner Gold in Missouri - Long ago a Missouri man was said to have struck in rich in the gold hills of California. Returning to his home near Waynesville in Pulaski County, he was said to have buried $60,000 in the hills.
Spanish Mine in the Ozark Hills - Three centuries ago, Spaniards worked mines in the
Ozark Hills of Missouri. One of the mines containing lead and silver, eighteen miles
southwest of Galena, was worked by seven men, who could not agree as to a
division of the yield. One by one they were killed in quarrels until but a single man was left, and he, in turn, was said to have been killed by the ghosts of his previous victims. In 1873, a man named Johnson from Vermont went there, trying to find the old Spaniards' mine. He did work there for one day, and was then found dead at the mouth of the old shaft with marks of bony fingers on his throat. The exact location of the cursed mine remains unknown.

From the LA Times - Another Missouri Treasure?

Quest for Hidden Riches Becomes Man's Obsession

History: Gerald Taylor doggedly pursues a cache that experts say doesn't exist. The U.S. Forest Service has repeatedly refused his request to dig.


BIRCH TREE, Mo. — Gerald Taylor is talking, but the words are lost in the crunch of leaves beneath his shoes as he fights through the heavy brush of the Mark Twain National Forest.

One of the sticker bushes finally gets him, slashing an inch-long gash on his right hand. He walks on, unbothered by the oozing blood, continuing to mouth words that can't be heard.

Suddenly, silence. Taylor steps into a clearing on a steep slope, kicks away a few fallen branches, and smiles.

"Here it is," he said.

Perhaps six feet below the ground is an abandoned silver mine, a mine where South American Jesuits in colonial times hid tons of silver bars, jewels, coins and other treasures.

At least that's what Taylor believes.
"I'm 101% sure," he said. He estimates the bounty's value to be at least $200 million, perhaps 10 times that.
The U.S. Forest Service believes the only thing under the ground is more dirt and rocks. That's why since 1988, they've repeatedly refused his request to dig for treasures there.
"It would be nice to think somebody could find buried treasures, but there's nothing in the record to support him," said Jody Eberly, a wildlife biologist for the forest service.
Taylor, 45, hasn't held a job since the early 1980s. His single-minded pursuit is to get to a treasure that experts agree doesn't exist.
"I've got my life devoted to this thing. This is the one that everybody dreams of," said Taylor, a retired auto worker who collects payments for a disability he wouldn't reveal.
There are plenty of dreamers around the country. Treasure hunting has become a multimillion-dollar hobby. Magazines, newsletters, clubs and countless equipment dealers are devoted to people seeking buried treasure, sunken ships filled with riches, or gold in them thar hills.
Marci Stumpf, managing editor of Gold and Treasure Hunter magazine, estimated that 350,000 people around the United States hunt for hidden treasure in one form or another.
Most might run a metal detector over the beach, or spend a day on vacation panning for gold. Only a handful of people devote their lives to it.
"Most are in it for the thrill of discovery," said Brenda Nelson, coordinator for the Modern Gold Miner & Treasure Hunter's Assn., based in Happy Camp, Calif. "They just do it because it's relaxing, fun, and you might find a nugget."
Taylor knows exactly what he's looking for.
In the early part of the century, Taylor's great-grandfather farmed the land where the alleged mine sits, in far south-central Missouri. Family legend was that a silver mine was buried somewhere on the property, but no one knew where.
The land was eventually sold to the forest service and turned into part of the vast national forest. Still, Taylor kept going back, looking for clues.
About a decade ago, he found them--two rocks, one with the markings of a cross, the other with what looks like a turtle.
Taylor believes the rocks are markers pointing to the silver mine. His hypothesis is that a third marker, yet unfounded, completes a triangle that helped lead the Jesuits, perhaps from Bolivia, to the place where they buried vast treasures inside a productive silver mine in the late 1700s.
"That's just absolute beyond-belief balderdash," said Charles Polzer, a Jesuit priest and historian who is a curator at the Arizona State Museum. "There were no Jesuits in the south of Missouri whatsoever."
There also were no known silver mines there. Besides, Jesuits were not allowed to be involved in mining, Polzer said. "We didn't go out and hide things. That's one of the legends."
Polzer said anti-Catholic sentiment in colonial times spurred rumors that the Jesuits were mining treasures and stashing them away.
In fact, Spanish-speaking Jesuits never even made it to southern Missouri until decades later, said Light T. Cummins, a Texas history professor who has written two books on Spanish colonial history of the Mississippi Valley.
"Spain did not acquire domination of that area known as Spanish Louisiana until 1764. In 1766, the entire Jesuit order was expelled from the New World by Spain. The Jesuits had no presence at all in that area," Cummins said.
Taylor is undaunted by the historical record.
"Are you thinking they're going to put a big bulletin board above the road that they've got this silver here?" he asked.
Taylor has spent thousands of dollars gathering evidence aimed at persuading the forest service to allow him to dig. He hired two archaeologists to examine the area. Both found traces of silver in the dirt at the site, Taylor said. Neither archeologist returned phone calls from the Associated Press.
Taylor also hired a pilot with infrared equipment to do a flyover. Pictures from the flyover indicate the presence of buried silver, he said. Taylor also used an electronic scanning device that he said proved silver was below the surface.
"The arrow went off the meter," he said.
Taylor believes forest service workers damaged artifacts while searching for the treasures themselves. He said at least 20 forest service employees are involved in a cover-up, which is why they won't let him dig.
"They tried to steal it, destroyed an artifact, and they're using their positions to stay out of prison," Taylor said.
The forest service denies that. Spokeswoman Charlotte Wiggins noted that Taylor was permitted to dig at a nearby site in 1988. Nothing was found. Taylor said further research indicated he was at the wrong place in the 1988 dig.
Taylor said his quest is aimed at more than treasure hunting. He believes the artifacts in the mine would be of historical significance.
"This thing could be resolved in 30 minutes with a backhoe," Taylor said. "If I'm lying, I leave the forest with a red face. But if I'm right, America sees some really neat artifacts that have been hidden from them."

Martha Smarr remembers hearing this story for years...
Back to 1783 and the French - New Madrid Missouri is founded
Named for Madrid, Spain, the City of New Madrid, Missouri, holds the distinction of being the oldest city west of the Mississippi River and its rich history is diverse and interesting! Located on a bend in the river already known as "Greasy Bent," the LaSieur brothers, who were French-Canadian fur trappers, founded the town in 1783 and called it L'Anse a la Graisse or "The Cove of Grease.”


JoCoMo History said...

Haven't been able to determine what French expedition was here in 1783, or why they would be packing that much gold around anyway.

JoCoMo History said...

Of course, there is the case of the Van Asselberg Pot!