Oklahoma is filled with lost and buried treasure stories. I would have to say Oklahoma has more treasure tales to tell than most of the states in the Union! Oklahoma was once owned by France, then in the 1800s most of Oklahoma was purchased by the U.S. Government through the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 except for the panhandle which was later acquired after the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848. In 1834 most of Oklahoma became part of the Indian Territory because of the Indian Nonintercourse Act. Then in 1890, it became the Oklahoma Territory until 1907 when Oklahoma was admitted to the Union on November 16, 1907.
Many of the lost treasures of Oklahoma took place in the 1800s and early 1900s. This is because The law was mostly none existent in the 1800s and this lack of enforcement meant that outlaws ruled the land and along with that they buried many treasure caches. We will be discussing 13 lost treasures of Oklahoma in this article. You will also learn about buried Civil War treasure, buried miners gold, buried Indian treasure, and more.
Life was tough back then and many of these people died before they could dig up their caches leaving us these stories to tell. If you are ready to read these amazing lost treasure stories then read on. I know you will be left wanting to get out and find some treasure!
13 Lost Treasures of Oklahoma
|Buzzard’s Roost Treasure||Unknown||Buzzard’s Roost is an outcropping of rocks near the town of Cement, Oklahoma.|
|Jesse James Witchita Mountain Treasure||$1 to $2 million in gold bullion||Somewhere in the Witchita Mountains.|
|Buried Loot on the Banks of The Neosho River||Unknown||On the banks of the Neosho River near the town of Miami, Ok.|
|Buried Payroll at Fort Sill||$100,000 in gold and silver coins||On the grounds of Fort Sill about 85 miles southwest of Oklahoma City.|
|The Dalton Gangs Buried Loot||$37,000||Somewhere near Onion Creek near the Oklahoma Kansas border.|
|Buried Bags of Gold Near Black Dog Trail Crossing||Several Bags of Gold Bullion||Somewhere near Black Dog Trail Crossing in Kay County Oklahoma.|
|Lost Bandito Treasure Near The Blue River||$105,000 in gold coins||On the banks of Blue River close to Durante, Ok.|
|Buried Indian Treasure of Union Mission||Unknown||The ruins of the Union Mission are located ten miles southeast of Chouteau, Ok.|
|French Miners Gold Buried on Sugarloaf Peak||$2 million in gold bullion||Somewhere on Sugarloaf Peak which is located ten miles northwest of Boise City, Ok.|
|Lost Copper Box of Gold Coins||$80,000 in gold coins||Somewhere in the Kiamichi Mountains|
|Confederate Treasure Near The Ghost Town of Scullyville||Unknown||Scullyville is located about twelve miles south of Fort Smith on the Arkansas River.|
|Buried Train Robbery Loot||$30,000||On a farm in the Osage Hills close to the small town of Okesa, Ok.|
|Hidden Loot In The Woods||Unknown||It was reported that the spot is close to a bridge that crosses a deep ravine and a dry river bed about fifteen miles north of Bartlesville, Ok.|
Jesse James’ Treasures in Oklahoma
Jesse James is probably one of the most written and studied outlaws of the Wild West. I know I have written about many of his lost and buried loot treasure stories in this series of the lost treasures of the United States.
Jesse James and his brother Frank had strong ties with Oklahoma with his brother calling Fletcher, Oklahoma his home. While they were here and all throughout the midwest they robbed trains and banks making them some of the wealthiest outlaws of the day. There are a few lost treasure stories associated with Jesse James’ stay in Oklahoma and you will learn about them in the following paragraphs.
Buzzard’s Roost Treasure
Buzzard’s Roost is an outcropping of rocks near the town of Cement, Oklahoma. Legend around those parts is that Jesse and the James Gang robbed a Mexican Mule Train that was carrying gold near this area. They are said to have buried this gold somewhere in this area.
It is said that there was or is a treasure map of sorts carved into the rocks there with a pistol, bow, and arrow pointing the way to the next clue. There have also been some artifacts found in the area such as buckles from the packs of the mule train and a kettle.
There were also rumors that Frank James spent time here in the early 1900s in the Keechi Hills looking for a lost treasure that he and Jesse had buried in the 1870s. Frank was also known to be searching for this treasure in the Witchita Mountains.
Jesse James Witchita Mountain Treasure
This story is very similar to the previous one and might be one in the same treasure. This one states that Jesse James robbed a Mexican Caravan in 1872 that was owned by a Mexican General near the Cache River close to Geronimo, Oklahoma. It is said that he got away with $1 to $2 million in gold bullion. He was allegedly buried somewhere in the Witchita Mountains while being pursued by a posse. I do believe these first two stories are one in the same. Could be a load of gold just waiting to be dug up in Oklahoma. Many have searched for this treasure but it has yet to be discovered.
Buried Loot on the Banks of The Neosho River
The Neosho River flows through the northeastern part of Oklahoma. Legend has it that Jesse James buried a large cache of loot somewhere on the banks of that river near the town of Miami, Ok.
If you are interested in reading about more of Jesse James lost treasure stories check out Lost Treasures of Nebraska.
Buried Payroll at Fort Sill
Fort Sill which is still in existence is an Army Base located about 85 miles southwest of Oklahoma City. In the 1890s a stagecoach would bring the soldiers their pay from Witchita Falls Texas which was a three-day trip. For every trip except for the one, I’m about to tell you the stagecoach was accompanied by six to 12 armed soldiers so as to keep the payroll from being stolen.
Then one day in June of 1892 since the payroll had made it safely all those times they decided to take the trip without the armed soldiers. They would live to regret this decision. Because in the early morning hours the stagecoach was held up by bandits when they were about to cross the Red River. One of the drivers was wounded and two horses were shot.
The other driver was able to kill two of the three bandits but one of the bandits shot back and killed the driver and he got away with $100,000 in gold and silver which was the payroll for Fort Sill. The bandit then proceeded with the gold and silver coins in six saddlebags on a horse headed for Oklahoma City. He didn’t make it.
Lone Bandit Makes It To Fort Sill
He was bleeding from the gunshots he had received and he looked for a doctor at Fort Sill. Before going into the fort he buried his six saddlebags of coins 10 paces from a well that was near a trading post there. He then went to Fort Sill and told the soldiers there that his name was Allen and he had been wounded in a hunting accident. He was then treated by a doctor there who told him to get some rest.
The next day the soldiers found out that the horse that the bandit had ridden in on was one that was involved in the robbery. So he was promptly arrested and spent the next 33 years in prison.
The Search For The Buried Payroll
After he got out of prison he came back to get the payroll that he buried years earlier. But the yard had been filled in with dirt and he couldn’t remember which side of the well he had buried his loot. A soldier soon got suspicious and removed him from the area. He then made his way back to Texas in hopes to return but he soon died. But before his death, he told a friend by the name of G.W. Cottrel of the buried payroll and drew him a map.
Years later Cottrel went to Fort Sill and told the people there about the buried payroll and requested permission to dig in the area. He was granted permission on January 7, 1937. He returned to Fort Sill to search for the treasure but found the old trading post had been torn down and he didn’t know the direction from the well that the payroll was buried. He was unsuccessful and he came back in 1940 with someone to help him but they never did find the buried payroll.
On April 1, 1964, the army itself decided to dig for the lost payroll. They dug fifteen holes ten feet down but never found a thing. They gave up and since have not allowed anyone to search for the treasure. Some believe that the military should have dug in more areas and that the treasure is still there somewhere on the grounds of Fort Sill.
The Dalton Gangs Buried Loot
The Dalton Gang had a short stint at being outlaws in the wild west starting in 1890 and ending in 1892. Not long before Bob and Grat Dalton, the two main members of the Dalton Gang were killed in Coffeyville, Kansas when they were attempting to hold up the Condon Bank they were committing train and bank robberies in Oklahoma.
They held up two trains one was near Adair and the other was near Wagner, Oklahoma. They got away with about $10,000 from these two robberies. Then they held up a bank in El Reno, Ok, and got away with $17,000. The gang then took some of that money and spent it and the rest they put in saddlebags and rode off for Coffeyville, Kansas.
When the Dalton Gang got close to the Oklahoma Kansas border near Onion Creek they decided to camp for the night. They didn’t want to carry all that loot with them into town the next day so they decided to bury it close to where they had their campfire. The gang decided if they got separated while in town they would all come to that camping spot dig up the loot and head off deeper into Oklahoma.
Some of them were killed and others were sent to prison after the bank robbery. When Emmett one of the Dalton brothers got out of prison he said that he believed the loot that they buried there was tainted and he wanted nothing to do with it. So as far as anyone knows the Dalton Gangs loot is still buried somewhere near Onion Creek near the Oklahoma Kansas border.
Buried Bags of Gold Near Black Dog Trail Crossing
In 1850 when eight miners were coming back from the California gold fields headed for Virginia they decided to camp near the Black Dog Trail Crossing near the Arkansas River. Not knowing this was an area that the Osage Indian tribe would guard they saw the Osage coming to attack them. The miners had several bags of gold with them that they quickly buried on the riverbank there. They stuck a gun in the fork of a tree nearby to mark the spot.
All of them were killed in the attack except one who successfully made it all the way back to Virginia. The man who made it out was wounded badly and on his death bed, he told his family of the buried gold and where they could find it.
Years later the family went to Oklahoma to find the buried gold but they were unsuccessful. The gun, that marked the spot where the treasure was gone and there was no sign of where the attack took place. By all accounts, the gold has never been recovered and is still buried somewhere near Black Dog Trail Crossing in Kay County Oklahoma.
Lost Bandito Treasure Near The Blue River
Mexican Bandits or Banditos once roamed portions of Oklahoma in the early 1800s. They would steal from travelers in the area. In 1819 one of these groups of thieves had made a successful robbery in Missouri and came back to their camp in Oklahoma near the Blue River close to modern-day Durante, Ok.
From their theft, in Missouri, they had a strongbox of $105,000 in gold coins. The banditos had been followed by a posse who were determined to get these thieves because they were sick of the robberies that had been taking place for years in the area. The leader of the Banditos saw the posse coming and ordered his men to bury the strong box of gold coins on the bank of the Blue River near their camp.
Soon after all the banditos were killed and the strongbox is said to still be buried on the Blue River near a waterfall and rapids. Attempts to recover the treasure in later years proved futile! The treasure is estimated to be worth $1 million in today’s economy.
Buried Indian Treasure of Union Mission
Union Mission was a Presbyterian mission that was founded in 1819 and it served to convert Osage Indians in the area. The mission is now in ruins. Legend has it that the Osage Indians buried numerous treasures in and around the Union Mission ruins that they stole from white settlers and travelers in the area. The ruins of the Union Mission are located ten miles southeast of Chouteau, Ok.
French Miners Gold Buried on Sugarloaf Peak
A group of French miners is said to have buried a cache of $2 million in gold bullion somewhere on Sugarloaf Peak which is located ten miles northwest of Boise City, Ok. After burying the gold they went to Boise City to get supplies and while there they were all killed in a gun fight at the local saloon. The gold has never been recovered and is still buried somewhere on the Sugarloaf Peak.
Lost Copper Box of Gold Coins
Somewhere in the Kiamichi Mountains, there is about $80,000 in gold coins buried there. Legend has it that a miner buried the gold coins in a copper box close to his cabin on that mountain. The area is located on the point between the Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma state lines.
Confederate Treasure Near The Ghost Town of Scullyville
Scullyville now a ghost town was a Confederate outpost during the Civil War. Before Union soldiers destroyed the fort it is said that the Confederates buried numerous treasures there. Scullyville is located about twelve miles south of Fort Smith on the Arkansas River.
Scullyville started to decline after the Civil War but some buildings still remain and may be among those buildings lie some buried Confederate treasure!
Al Spencer’s Buried Loot
Al Spencer was an outlaw in the 1920s. He has two buried treasure stories to his name in Oklahoma. The following are those accounts.
Buried Train Robbery Loot
In 1923 Al Spencer robbed a train single handily and got away with $30,000. It is said that he buried the loot on a farm in the Osage Hills close to the small town of Okesa, Ok.
Hidden Loot In The Woods
Right before Al Spencer was fatally shot by a posse it is said that he hid an undetermined amount of loot in the woods on the Oklahoma border with Kansas about two miles south of Caney, Kansas. It was reported that the spot is close to a bridge that crosses a deep ravine and a dry river bed about fifteen miles north of Bartlesville, Ok.
Conclusion- Lost Treasures of Oklahoma
Well, there are 13 lost treasures of Oklahoma and there are many more. I could write a whole book on all the lost treasures of this state. But I hope these few that I wrote about have wet your appetite for lost treasure stories. So if you are ever in Oklahoma you might want to look some of these stories up ask local residents who I’m sure could tell you more details about these and other lost treasures.
If you have any questions or comments please leave them below and until next time Happy Treasure Hunting!
Cory Haasnoot is an author, entrepreneur, metal detecting enthusiast, antique, coin collector, and founder of Treasure Seekr.