It's said that everything is bigger in Texas and treasure legends are no exception. Here are 3 persistent treasure tales from the Lone Star State for your perusal:
Sam Bass' 20-Dollar Gold Pieces: Sam Bass made himself famous (or notorious?) in the 1870s by robbing stagecoaches and trains in various parts of the Southern and Upper Plains, including the Dakotas and Nebraska. After he and his partner pulled a successful heist of a Union Pacific train in 1877, Sam ended up with over 1,250 gold "double eagles" (20 dollar gold pieces) and assorted jewelry odds and ends. After the robbery, Sam hightailed it south into Texas where he supposedly buried his loot near Cove Hollow, about 30 miles north of Denton.
Red River Gold: In 1894 the First National Bank of Bowie, Texas was relieved of over $10,000 in gold coins and nearly double that amount in paper currency by a gang of n'er-do-well desperadoes. As the gang reached the Red River they found that watercourse swollen by Spring storms. Since the gold coins were bulky and very heavy, the robbers decided to bury the gold nearby and try to make it across the river with their paper loot. All of these hapless crooks were later hunted down, captured, and then hung. Legend has it that they buried the gold specie in a stand of cottonwoods near the confluence of the Red River and the Little Wichita River.
Maximillian's Gold: Arguably one of the most famous Texas treasure legends, Maximilian's gold has kept treasure hunters busy researching and digging for many years. As the self-proclaimed Emperor of Mexico, the French-born Maximilian and his wife Carlota went much the same way as the ruling aristocracy did during the French Revolution. But instead of meeting his fate under a guillotine, Maximilian ended up in front of a firing squad.
Before his timely demise, Maximilian had amassed a huge fortune in gold, silver, and other valuables from the backs of Mexico's people. A small party of his followers fled north into Texas hauling a significant portion of this loot, looking to meet up with a group of disgruntled ex-Confederate soldiers who were hired to help protect the party and their ill-gotten goods. Somewhere along the way, the Maximilianos were killed by their rebel protectors and the entire 15 wagon loads of loot went missing. All of this occurred somewhere in the vicinity of Castle Gap and Horsehead Crossing.
I have only scratched the surface here when it comes to the sheer volume of Texas treasure tales out there. There are many, many more that can be researched and examined for potential leads. Of the 3 I have listed above, I think that Maximilian's lost treasure holds the best possibilities for a disciplined treasure hunter as much of Maximilian's reign and fall in Mexico is very well documented.
Good hunting to all of you!
If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Spanish Silver and Gold in Cass County, Missouri?"
(c) J.R. 2008
Questions? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org