7 Lost Treasures of Missouri

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Cory Haasnoot

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Missouri has an interesting history, to say the least. Known as the Mother of The West and the cave state you can imagine that there are numerous stories of lost treasures that come out of this state. With the Ozark mountains, there are plenty of hiding spots that people long ago used to hide their treasures for safekeeping.

In this article, we will dive into 7 lost treasures of Missouri. You will learn about a farmer and the ghost hogs that protect his buried wealth. I will also introduce you to a few gangsters and their buried loot. You will also learn of some treasure that’s buried in a cemetery. Those are just a few of the stories you will discover when you continue reading the 7 lost treasures of Missouri.

7 Lost Treasures of Missouri

Ghost Hogs And a Farmers Hidden WealthUnknownOld hog farm that was located near Bloomfield Missouri in Stoddard County 
Buried Loot of Alf BolinUnknownThe Murder Rocks are located in Taney County about 10 miles south of Forsyth, Missouri off of Highway JJ.
Lost Gold of Parson Keithly$6,000 worth of goldIn a cave near Galena, Missouri
Buried Valuables of Westport’s Residents$50,000 to $100,000 worth of valuablesWestport, Missouri in Jackson County.
Treasure Buried In The Hollow Baptist Church CemeteryGold, silver, and jewelryOld Hollow Baptist Churches Cemetery in Cedar County Missouri.
Lost Gold Of The Mormons50 sacks of gold coinsIn a cave southeast of the Lake of the Ozarks
Gangster Charlie Malone’s Buried Loot$60,000 in $20 Double Gold EaglesIn a cave close to Little Piney Creek south of Stony Dell Resort in Arlington Missouri.

Ghost Hogs And a Farmers Hidden Wealth

Wild hogs eating in the woods

This story is pretty fantastic and I don’t believe some of it but it is worth telling because there probably is some truth in the madness! A hog farmer by the name of Jenkins had a hog farm that was located near Bloomfield Missouri in Stoddard County in the late 1890s.

Jenkins sold hogs for a living and is said to have made quite a bit of money from selling his hogs. He also had a trusty hound dog that stayed by his side. Mr. Jenkin’s children and wife had all died by the late 1890s leaving him alone. He is said to have been a crabby old man who would go to town only to buy what he needed and would spend most of his time on his hog farm.

The townsfolk speculated that he had a lot of money hidden away somewhere because he spent very little of it. One day his neighbor noticed that Jenkins’s dog had come to his porch. The dog looked malnourished and being that the dog never left the side of Jenkins the neighbor decided to go to Jenkins farm to see if the old man was ok.

The neighbor went to the farm and noticed the door of Jenkin’s house was wide open. As soon as he stepped into the house he could smell a rotten stench. He went through the house and found old man Jenkins dead in the living room. There were two Ferrel hogs in the house eating the corpse of Jenkins.

The neighbor shot both of the hogs because he knew that wild hogs could be dangerous. The neighbor alerted some of the townsfolk and they buried what was left of old man Jenkins 

The Farm Goes Up For Sale

The county ended up with the farm because no relatives of Jenkins could be located. The farm was sold many times and the owners reported hearing strange noises and wild hogs that roamed the farm.

The farm eventually went into decay and some of the townsfolk decided to look for Jenkins money that they believed would be buried in canning jars around the farm somewhere. The story states that every time someone went searching for Jenkin’s treasure that wild hogs would attack them. The treasure seekers would shoot at the hogs but the bullets would pass right through them.

The news got out that the Jenkins farm was haunted by ghost hogs! Slowly people stopped searching for Jenkin’s hidden treasure. To this day the treasure has not been located. All that’s left of Jenkins farm is part of a Chimney.

If you are daring enough to fight off ghost hogs you will find the old farm off of Highway J near Bloomfield Missouri in Stoddard County.

Buried Loot of Alf Bolin

Alf Bolin was a murderous outlaw who wreaked havoc with a gang of twenty between the states of Arkansas and Missouri during the time of the Civil War. Alf and his gang were feared by many and when he was eventually killed the people of the area celebrated by putting his decapitated head on a stake for all to see.

There was an old road that led up the Ozark mountains in the southwest area of Missouri. The Bolin gang would hide behind some huge limestone rocks on a hill above the road. They would have a great view of people coming up and down that road and they would many times steal from and murder the passers-by.

Alf and his gang acquired a considerable sum of money from these illegal activities. The limestone rocks are now called Murder Rocks or Alf Bolin Rocks. They are located along the Springfield-Harrison Road that wound its way up the mountain. It is believed that much of the Bolin gang’s loot is buried near Murder Rocks.

Alf Bolin Killed By Union Troops

Many attempts were made by posses to capture Alf Bolin but failed miserably because Alf and his gang were some tough characters who could hide well in the Ozark mountains. They alluded to capture until Union troops thought of a plan to capture Alf.

The Union had a captured Confederate soldier by the name of Foster who had a homestead about three miles South of Murder Rocks. They to the home of Mr. Foster and told his wife that if she would help capture Alf Bolin that they would free her husband.

A Union soldier by the name of Thomas posing as a Confederate stayed at the Foster home for a few days. Alf Bolin would come by the Foster home to get home-cooked meals from time to time. One day Alf stopped by for a meal and he heard Thomas who was upstairs. He asked what that noise was and Mr. Foster told him it was a Confederate soldier who she was taking care of.

Alf forced Thomas to come downstairs and threatened to kill him. Thomas came downstairs and sat at the dinner table with Alf and Mrs. Foster. After some time Alf became more at ease with the situation and when he turned his back to Thomas Thomas hit Bolin with a fire poker. He hit him several times until he was dead.

That was the end of the Bolin gang’s terror. It is believed that gold and silver from the Bolins days of looting and murder are still buried up on the mountain near Murder Rocks. There is also a cave that is nearby that was used as a landmark for the location of the treasures.

The Murder Rocks are located in Taney County about 10 miles south of Forsyth, Missouri off of Highway JJ.

Lost Gold of Parson Keithly

Parson Keithly was a gun-toting preacher who walked around the Ozarks preaching and sometimes seemingly walking for no reason in the mid-1800s. One day like usual he would go on his walks but this time he didn’t return for months.

His family finally got the word in a letter that he had gone to California in search of gold. Parsons stayed in California for almost three years and then he showed up again going about his usual activities.

Keithly finally told his family that he did strike gold in California and that it was worth about $6,000 which was a hefty sum in those days. Parson’s family believed that he hid his gold either in a garden that was close to his house or in a cave that he frequented quite a bit.

Parson started going to that cave more often at the end of his life. People around him started calling the cave “Keithly’s Cave” because he spent so much time there. 

One day Parson knowing that he was dying told folks that he wanted to be buried in that cave. So he started to build a tomb in the cave making stone walls around the area he wanted to be buried. He also built a stone door to cover the entrance of his tomb.

Parson Keithly was in his 90s when he died and he was sealed in the tomb that he made in that cave. It is speculated that the gold that he mined in California is still buried in that cave with him. You can find that cave near Galena, Missouri.

Buried Valuables of Westport’s Residents

On October 21, 1864, Union troops were descending on the town of Westport Missouri. The residents there were worried that the troops would loot their valuables so they instructed the Father Bernard J. Donnelly of the Immaculate Conception Church to take their valuables for safekeeping.

Father Donnelly buried the town’s valuables which were estimated to be worth between $50,000 to $100,000 in or near the cemetery of the church. But Donnelly died shortly after burying the treasure and it has never been found.

The church still stands today and is located in Westport, Missouri in Jackson County. Keep in mind that if the treasure is in the cemetery you will need permission before metal detecting there.

Treasure Buried In The Hollow Baptist Church Cemetery

Old Cemetery

During the beginning of the Civil War, there were three farmers of whom one of them was named Charles Ottman. None of these men were married but had relatives in the area of Springfield Missouri where their farms were located.

All three of the men decided to sign up and fight for the Confederacy. They thought the war was only going to last a short time but they were wrong. They signed up and had some of their relatives watch over their farms while they were gone.

Before they left they decided to gather all of their valuables of silver, gold, and jewelry and bury it for safekeeping while they were away fighting the war. So they gathered up all their valuables and put them in an iron pot and put the pot on a wagon.

During the night they drove the wagon with the valuables to an old church called Hollow Baptist church that was located in Cedar County. They buried the iron pot with the valuables in it in the cemetery there. The men then found a flat rock and wrote out a map on it that would only make sense to them and hid the rock near the buried treasure.

They also buried another bigger rock halfway into the ground above the spot where they had buried the iron pot. They all agreed that after the war they would come back and dig up the iron pot.

War Was More Devastating Than They Imagined

Unfortunately, two of the men didn’t make it back because they died in battle. Charles Ottman came back but he was not of sound mind. The war had caused him to be a bit crazy and he wasn’t the same man he was when he left for battle.

Charles’s family had to watch over him and his farm finally went to ruins. After some time he started to get better mentally and started talking about the treasure that he and his friends had buried before the war.

Charles would go to the cemetery digging in the dirt trying to find the buried iron pot but in the end, he never found the location of the treasure. Charles would dig in the cemetery and people in the area became concerned that he was disturbing the gravesites so the law got involved and stopped him from digging in the cemetery.

His family finally decided to send him to an insane asylum in Osceola, Missouri. That ended Charles’s search for the lost treasure. For years after people started looking for the buried iron pot but it has never been located and could still be buried in the old Hollow Baptist Churches Cemetery in Cedar County Missouri.

Digging Deeper: Can You Metal Detect in a Cemetary?

Lost Gold Of The Mormons

Lake of the Ozarks
Lake of the Ozarks

The Mormons a religious group had a strong presence in Salt Lake City Utah in the late 1800s. But there were many more that were located in other states east of Utah including Ohio, western Tennessee, Illinois, and Indiana. Many of these Mormons wanted to move west to Utah to live closer to their Mormon brethren.

Money was scarce at the time so many of these families couldn’t afford the move to Utah. So the Utah community of Mormons decided to fund the families that wanted to move to Utah. They determined they need twenty mules and fifty sacks of coins to make the trip out east to pay for these families to move west.

They set out with the coins to the east. They wanted to do this in secret so as to not attract attention from would-be robbers that they might encounter on their trip. But when they got close to Kansas City people started to notice them. So the Mormons decided to go Southeast and make their way through the Ozarks and then make their way north to St. Louis Missouri.

They found that that decision wasn’t a good one because of the rough terrain that they found in the Ozarks. They ended up southeast of the Lake of the Ozarks. Here they were attacked by a group of thieves but the Mormons fought back and won. But many of their men were killed and a number of their mules were killed as well.

The Mormons decided it would be best to hide the sacks of gold coins. So they found a small cave and hide the coins there. After they got all of the gold coins safe in the cave they walled up the entrance with stones and covered that with leaves and branches.

They set out straight for St. Loius Missouri. After a day of traveling, they set up camp near a creek and went about taking care of the wounded members of the party. In the early morning, they were again attacked by thieves. This time all but two of the men were killed in the fight.

Two Men Make It Too St. Louis

The two men that survived the attack although wounded made their way to St. Louis and told the Mormon party that was waiting for them outside of the town of the attack and that they had hidden the gold coins in a cave.

A group of Mormons from St. Louis set out to try and recover the hidden gold. They made it to the last place the other group had camped. They found their brethren all shot dead and they buried the group. They then went to the original place where the first ambush took place.

Here they camped for several weeks searching the area for the cave that the gold coins were in. The men finally left not finding any sign of a cave. Over the years many Mormon parties were sent out in search of the lost cave of gold coins but it was never found.

In the 1930s while a few men were out deer hunting in the area found a number of gold coins with a beehive symbol on them in the bed of a dried-up creek. Who knows that could be some of the coins that the Mormons lost while putting the sacks of coins in the cave.

So if you find yourself southeast of the Lake of the Ozarks you might want to keep an eye out for a hidden cave that may hold a fortune in lost gold coins of the Mormons.

Digging Deeper: Lost Treasures of Tennessee

Gangster Charlie Malone’s Buried Loot

Gangster holding a Tommy Gun

Charlie Malone was a small-time gangster in the 1930s. Malone and a group of men decided to start robbing banks south of Chicago. They planned on robbing the banks one by one that was close to one another and then heading south to the Ozark mountains to the hideout.

The robberies went well until the fourth bank that they robbed. That day they drove into town but an older man that people called Uncle Dan saw them coming. With gun drawn Uncle Dan shot three of the five gangsters killing two of them and wounding the third in the shoulder.

Uncle Dan ended up dying in the robbery. The third man who was shot in the shoulder ran back to the getaway car and Malone and the other gangster cleaned out the safe. The three that were left took off out of town. All totaled they got away with about $275,000. $60,000 of the loot was in the form of $20 Gold Double Eagles!

On their way south the man that was wounded in the shoulder died and Charles Malone and the other gangster dumped his body near St. Louis. They then continued down the road which would be the famous Route 66 and they ended up staying at the Stony Dell Resort in Arlington Missouri.

The Two Men Hide Out For Two Months

Charlie and his colleague stayed at the Resort for two months telling people that they were businessmen on vacation. They knew they needed to hide their loot somewhere so they drove around looking for a spot to bury it.

The men finally found a small cave close to Little Piney Creek that was south of the resort. Here they buried most of the stolen loot in the floor of the cave the rest they would bring back to Chicago with them. They then left the area and headed for Chicago.

Charlie’s partner started shooting his mouth off about the buried loot when he was at the Green Mill Lounge. He ended up being killed. No one knows for sure who killed him might have been other gangsters that tried to get the location of the buried loot from him or it could have been Charlie Malone himself to keep him quiet.

Now the only one who knew where the loot was buried was Charlie Malone. The police got word somehow about the loot that Charlie had buried and they figured he was the one who committed the string of bank robberies in the area.

The police showed up at Malone’s apartment building and when they saw Malone exit the building they ordered him to stop. Malone would have non of that and pulled his pistol. Needless to say, the police opened fire on Malone and shot him with over 22 bullets. Malone died on the spot along with the knowledge of the exact location of the buried loot.

The ruins of Stony Dell are still there and I’m sure Little Piney Creek is still south of the resort. So armed with a metal detector and some knowledge of the area might net you $60,000 worth of Gold Double Eagles that are presumed still buried in the floor of a cave somewhere in that area!

Lost Treasures of Missouri Finale

There you have 7 lost treasures of Missouri. These are just a handful of lost treasure stories that come out of the state of Missouri. I hope you enjoyed this article and if you’re interested I have lost treasure stories from other states that you can read as well. There is nothing better than a good lost treasure story to get your treasure hunting juices flowing!

Thanks for reading and if you have any questions or comments I would love to hear from you just leave them below. Until next time Happy Treasure Hunting!

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Author: Cory Haasnoot

Cory Haasnoot is an author, entrepreneur, metal detecting enthusiast, antique, coin collector, and founder of Treasure Seekr.

3 thoughts on “7 Lost Treasures of Missouri”

  1. Hello. Icould find no other detail on the Mormon treasure you mention. What was your source or is there any other references on it. Sounds like it is worth the look!

  2. It is my opinion that if the LDS Group was traveling between the years of 1847 to 1854 from the Ruggedness of the Ozark Hills south of the Lakes they would seek guidance of the spirit so they could travel safely through the area but the thieves drew upon them and in this area they were attacked. Where were they when they were attacked? If you think about it they had to pass through some kind of growth of trees so the crooks could ambush them and attack them. Soo it’s my opinion that this cave had to be close to a growth of trees or close to a dried up creek. Knowing their mules needed water they are not going to go too far away from it soo they had to follow some kind of water system for the Mules. The hand full of gold coins found in the 1930’s were found in a dry creek bed. The land was more rugged back then and was undeveloped. The bigger towns were the thought of commuteing so if you think like they did the traveling was thought of their safety and concern first so they wouldn’t come across violent people. I think they trecked through the Decatureville Vichy Union area’s on their way to St.Louis.


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