Guide to Gold and Buried Treasure: Jesse James Gang's Mexican Gold

About Jesse James and his gang who stole more than a million dollars in Mexican gold bars, history and search for the missing treasure.


Jesse James's Mexican Gold

Jesse James's gang stole gold bars worth more than $1 million and buried them in the Wichita Mountains near Lawton, Okla.

How It Got There. A favorite pastime for ambitious Mexicans in the late 19th century was raising fortunes in gold to finance revolutions. During the 1870s Jesse James's gang staged a series of raids along the Mexican border with Texas, and one of these raids was at the expense of a caravan of gold bullion belonging to a Mexican insurgent general. The gang headed north into Indian Territory with its loot, and buried it in the Wichita Mountains in the present State of Oklahoma.

Previous Searches. Years later, with brother Jesse dead, Frank James bought a farm and settled down near Lawton, Okla. He made no secret of the fact that he was using the farm as a base from which to search for that gold. He'd helped bury it, but the intervening years of dodging the law had dimmed his memory. He knew that they'd left a marker of 2 pick heads and a code scratched on a bucket, but he couldn't find these clues. He was convinced that this fortune was within a few miles of the farm, but after years of searching he had found nothing.

In the 1950s a man named Hunter Pennick dug up a brass bucket, 2 old pick heads, and an iron wedge. On the bucket was scratched an undecipherable code. Pennick dug numerous holes in all directions around his find, but discovered nothing more.

How to Get There. Lawton is located in southwestern Oklahoma, about 100 mi. from Oklahoma City. Ask local residents for the site of Frank James's old farm. Frank was sure the gold was nearby.

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