State Treasure - Oklahoma

By Anthony M. Belli
From page 59 of the December, 2009 issue of Lost Treasure
Copyright © 2009 Lost Treasure, Inc. all rights reserved


Spanish Treasure Lead
DEWEY – ELLIS COUNTY – Local research may help to better pinpoint this site, but in the upper northwest corner of Dewey County, just west of the town of Vici, a Spanish treasure is said to be buried.
The legend has been around for more than a century, but, unfortunately, lacks in detail.
According to legend, Indians frequently harassed the Spanish when they made incursions into this region of Oklahoma.
On one occasion, while the Spanish were transporting a shipment of gold on several burros in the vicinity of modern-day Vici, they sensed an Indian attack was imminent and decided to make a stand in a dry canyon that offered some natural defenses.
As they dug in and prepared to fight, they also buried their treasure. When the raid ended the Spanish had been massacred and their gold became lost.
It wasn’t until around 1900 when settlers began to arrive in the area that the scene of the outrage was discovered.
“Skulls, and even entire skeletons were found scattered about in profusion.” When the question was raised as to what happened, local Indians told the story of the Spaniards who’d been slaughtered and their gold buried. Although searches were made for the treasure, it was not found.
Then, in 1912, a number of small Spanish gold coins were discovered in the canyon near the massacre site. Much excitement followed as the locals descended into the canyon to find the lost Spanish treasure, but again the bulk of the treasure was never found.
With the price of gold today it might be worth a shot to run one the new deep seeking detectors through the area.

The Legend of
Pine Knott Crossing
MCCURTAIN - PUSHMATAHA COUNTIES – In western McCurtain County sits the old ghost town site of Ringold.
Directly north of Ringold, roughly two miles upstream along the Little River, is the location of the historical Pine Knott Crossing where the old military road once connected Fort Smith, Arkansas, to Fort Towson, Oklahoma, before crossing the Red River into Texas.
It was near this crossing in July 1900 when three men accidentally discovered a hidden cave that, once explored, revealed a large weapons and treasure cache.
According to the story, the men were camped at the Pine Knott Crossing one hot July afternoon in 1900.
While gutting fish for the evening meal they observed thunderheads building up in the surrounding mountains and black clouds hanging ominously in the sky directly north of their camp; that meant any continuous downpour could swamp their camp should a flash flood result.
Tired of their regular diet of fish day-after-day, one man grabbed his shotgun and called his dog, then announced he was going squirrel hunting in order to add some variety to the evening’s board-a-fare.
From their camp near the west bank of the river, the man forded the river with his dog and they proceeded in a southeasterly direction.
Within minutes the man and his dog were trudging threw thick woods and, as a low rolling thunder could be heard approaching from the distance, the man thought to himself that they couldn’t be in the woods long or risk being separated from camp by rising river waters.
An hour after entering the woods the man had two squirrels and started back to camp. Just then, his dog spied a small cottontail rabbit and bolted.
The man called out to his dog, but a moment later it was gone. Realizing that time was of the essence, the man started walked towards the sound of his barking dog.
He began descending into a small valley where high walls appeared, but was forced to stop because a rock wall blocked the trail.
Curious, he removed a large flat rock only to discover a cool draft pushing through from the other side.
Knowing he’d discovered a cave, the man cried out again for his dog while removing other stones and debris from the aperture.
Suddenly a lightening strike hit a tree behind him and, without thought, he dropped to his knees and crawled into the cave. Moments later he reached a chamber that opened up where he could stand.
Gathering branches found inside the cave, the man started a small fire and was soon reunited with his dog.
The pair started surveying the cave's interior and that’s when the man spotted a stack of long, narrow, wooden boxes against one wall.
He pried open one box and found six new Winchester 45-70-caliber repeating rifles still packed in a heavy oil coating.
Other boxes he opened revealed additional rifles and revolvers. In other crates he found Sharps .50 caliber, single-shot buffalo guns.
Clearly the cave had been used to cache weapons, but saddles, cooking utensils, kegs, and other evidence left strewn throughout the interior testified to the fact that the cave had once been used as temporary quarters for someone.
In a dark corner of the chamber the man found three large trunks. Two trunks he found to be locked, but the third, when opened, revealed a treasure of silver and gold! In the top tray he found dozens of hunting watches of various sizes.
On closer inspection by firelight he discovered the watches were solid gold and that the smaller ones were railroad watches.
When he removed the top tray he was stunned to find the bottom of the trunk covered inches deep with silver and gold coins of all denominations.
Further inspection revealed a stack of paper money, more watches, rings, hunting knives, several small heavy leather bags containing gold dust and some revolvers.
It was a lot to consider; the man sat down with his dog and looked at what he’d found in shock.
As time passed he suddenly realized it was past midnight and his friends were certainly worried.
With a steady rain coming down, the man grabbed some of the gold and silver coins and stuffed them into his pockets along with four gold hunting watches and one single action Colt .45 caliber revolver with a patent date of July 12, 1872, called his dog and crawled back out into the rain. As he made his way back to camp he became lost.
At sunrise that morning his companions found him wet and exhausted, half a mile south of the Pine Knott Crossing on the east side of the Little River.
He told his story to his friends and showed them the treasure he collected in the cave.
Once he regained his strength, the three of them searched for the cave for the next three days, but never found it.
The man returned every year to the crossing to search for the cave until 1950 when, at 75, he passed away.
The story of the treasure cave is well known with old timers around Valliant.
A second man from the area continued searching for the cave until the last days of his life.
He was found dead in a lean-to, in his bed, next to a long burned out campfire southeast of Pine Knott Crossing.
Local research should help obtain the names of the parties involved, and interviewing descendants and old timers around Valliant might help establish a search parameter.
The clues: he left camp walking in a southeasterly direction from camp, and the cave was within a hour’s walk of the crossing east of the Little River.

Otter Creek Outlaw Cache
KIOWA COUNTY – The story of the Otter Creek cache is an old one that is well known, although, so far as anyone knows, it has never been found. That may have something to do with some confusion over the exact burial site.
The story involves a small band of road agents that robbed the government payroll intended for men at Fort Sill. News of the hold-up quickly reached the fort and the U.S. Cavalry gave chase.
The bad guys are said to have crossed Otter Creek two miles below Cold Springs, now a ghost town, and buried the payroll in the creek bank where they crossed.
In a second account the outlaws are said to have crossed Otter Creek at the narrows.
If this version is correct, the outlaws would’ve crossed and buried the loot seven miles south of Cold Springs.
Sources:
Smith, Walter E., Some Legends of Oklahoma, March 1926, Chronicles of Oklahoma – Volume 4, No. 1, p. 52-53
The Norman Transcript, Oil wasn’t the only treasure sought underground, April 06, 2007, Norman, OK, CNHI News Service
Harry, Ernest M, “Treasure Cave at Pine Knott Crossing,” April 1972, True Treasure magazine, p. 32
Taylor, Ethel, Lost Treasures of Kiowa County, http://www.rebelcher
okee.labdiva.com/lsttreas.html