Old Newspaper Clipping 1953 Arkansas
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  1. #1

    Nov 2007
    Arkansas Born & Raised, Alabama transplant
    5

    Old Newspaper Clipping 1953 Arkansas

    Thought someone might find this interesting to read...



    Farmers Dig for Jesse James Gold in Arkansas

    Dixon Evening Telegraph

    October 26, 1953




    PARAGOULD, Ark. Seven farmers turned treasure hunters believe

    they are only five feet from a gold-laden suitcase supposedly flung

    in the Black river near Paragould by Jesse James.

    George Emerson of Poplar Bluff, Mo., said his divining rod a forked

    stick believed to have power to locate water and gold indicated

    the treasure lay 30 feet under the sandy river bank, some three miles

    east cf Corning,Ark.

    The diggers, who reached 25 feet Sunday, are charging $1 a person

    to sightseers who want to watch the operation.

    Floyd Sells, whose 68-year-old father, L. C. Sells, earlier attempted

    to remove the fabled treasure, believes the suitcase will be uncovered

    Wednesday.

    River water keeps filling the 25- foot square hole, but a pump has

    been set up to carry off the overflow. Sells and Pleas Beckham, leaders

    of the seekers, said they have invested $1,000 in the project and

    have leased 80 acres of the river bottom for a year.

    According to Sells, James and his gang tossed the loot from a

    Missouri bank robbery into the river while fleeing from

    a posse sometime before the turn of the century. The weighted bag disappeared

    into quicksand. Then, 27 years ago, the elder Sells and 12 other farmers after

    consulting St. Joseph and Newport, Ark., fortune tellers began digging

    at a spot 30 feet from the river bank. They explained that the

    river had changed course. The father, Mose Crawford,70.

    Tom Crawford ,81, both of Rector, and Jim Dobbins , about 70, of Me-

    Dougal, claim that after two months of digging they found the

    suitcase, but when they attempted to recover it, the bag fell into

    quicksand at the bottom of the pit. Sells said they decided to postpone.

    further search and a "fortune teller told us that two of the 13

    men had planned to kill the remaining 11.

  2. #2
    hu
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    Ozarks
    12,686
    304 times

    Re: Old Newspaper Clipping 1953 Arkansas

    Clay County Courrier 1953

    Efforts are again being made here to unearth a legendary safe or metal chest containing loot from a bank robbery in Missouri during the era of Jesse James and his band of bank robbers. The spot where the search is being conducted is on the western bank of Black River, just north of the old Colony Ferry, between Lost Lake and the river, about one and one-half miles upstream from the Highway 62 bridge. The digging is being done by Pleas Beckham of McDougal and Floyd Sells of Pollard, who have been cutting timber they brought from Roy G. Barnhill, owner of the land. Equipment being used is a truck with winch, scoop, conveyor, derrick, power water pump, lumber and other materials for walling in the hole as it deepens and other equipment. A previous effort to recover the "loot" was made about 28 years ago, according to Bert Clarkson, Route Two farmer who worked on the project. Others were Henry Dobbins, Chester Clemmons, Tom Crawford, Dan Schickles and others, as Clarkson remembers, of McDougal and Hickoria communities. The venture gained nationwide publicity with front page features and pictures in one Chicago paper. The story broke that one of the men in the deep hole, feeling at arm length through mud, felt a corner of what he thought was a large metal chest as it seemed to shift in quicksand. All further efforts to recover the chest were in vain, it is generally thought here. The digging operation extended from midsummer until weather became too cold to work in the muddy pit. Some reports are that the hole was 25 to 30 feet deep and was walled up with concrete to prevent water seepage. Another report handed down from late Marion C. Clarkson, early settler here, is that efforts were made before the turn of the century by a man who claimed he knew the bank robbers. All were either captured or killed and he had information that indicated the treasure was buried at the Garden Spot, a short distance north of the present operation. This spot, river men tell, has been dug up at various times for the elusive loot as well as for hundreds of Indian relics. It was one of the largest Indian burial grounds in this part of the state.
    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

  3. #3
    hu
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    Ozarks
    12,686
    304 times

    Re: Old Newspaper Clipping 1953 Arkansas


    Clay County Courrier 1953

    Dr. J. S. Schirmer, operator of a cancer clinic at Corning, has been ordered to give a deposition to a representative of the state attorney general's office at nine o'clock next Saturday, according to Eugene Warren, handling the case for the state.
    NBC television cameramen were at the digging site for the Jesse James loot Wednesday morning, shooting 300 feet of movie film for nationwide television broadcast. The cameramen were at the camp, one mile north of Black River bridge, for over two hours, taking pictures of the 23 foot deep by 12 foot square hole. Other scenes also taken were of equipment being used, including a two ton truck and winch, two water pumps and other equipment in operation, removing the seepage water and sand from the bottom of the treasure hole. Also filmed were armed guards and the diggers. Jesse James stories, like Captain Kidd thrillers, have always ranked as A-1 priority with people the world over. The Courier story two weeks ago about a group of men setting up camp and, after 27 years, renewing efforts to recover bank bandits' loot supposedly buried on the bank of the Black River near here, was certainly no exception. The news spread like fire in a hay field. Other information released by AP news service Monday related that visitors at the camp would pay a $1 fee to inspect the hole where the legendary loot is being sought. Another report by AP was that the diggers were within five feet of the loot and would probably unearth the treasure this week. Gene Wirges, news editor-photographer for the Paragould Daily Press, covered the story for his paper with pictures of the eight men at the "treasure camp". All were armed with guns warning signs were posted. A photo of the 12 by 12 foot hole showed two of the men at the depth of about 20 feet. The Courier credits Wirges report as one of the best we have ever read of modern day legendary treasure hunting, in reprinting the account of one of his regular trips to the site of the diggers. Ever since the Daily Press broke the big story nationally last Thursday, a number of appalling questions have developed. For example: (1) How did the 13 farmers who originally dug for the fabulous loot in 1926 learn its whereabouts in the first place. (2) Why, after bringing the chest to the surface as claimed, did the 13 farmers suddenly abandon the project, never to return. (3) How did the present crew of treasure seekers learn the exact location of the loot, 27 years after it was reported seen? (4) How much farther do the present hunters figure to dig before unearthing the treasure, and why? These and many other questions were answered in detail in exclusive interviews by the Daily Press staffer Friday afternoon and night. In order, here are the answers in detail: (1) L. C. Sells, father of Floyd Sells, both of McDougal. is 68 years of age and in good health. All of his senses seem sharp and he does not bat an eyelash when he says frankly: Sure, I saw the treasure chest, in fact I was the man who originally found where it was located. Having heard the many Jesse James' treasure stories for years, I decided to see a fortune teller. "I went to Newport and the fortune teller told me the treasure was there and even backed up the stories on where it was located. But, just to check, I went to see another fortune teller and got the same story.
    "So, with 12 other farmers, we formed a partnership to make the excavation. We dug some 36 feet and finally found the chest. It was shaped like a suitcase, about three and one half feet long, 18 inches wide and eight inches thick.
    "It was very heavy and required almost all of us to put it to the surface by using tongs. Just as we got it to the top, it slipped and crashed to the bottom of the pit. It struck the south corner of the hole and disappeared.
    "It may seem strange that we walked away from the treasure but there was a reason. We had worked for over two months and there was a lot of disappointment in the group. We had spent a lot of money and were discouraged and had lost a lot of time. We went to the bottom of the pit and could poke the chest with six foot sticks. But the going had been plenty rough and we did not know what to do. I went back to the fortune teller again." The fortune teller said it was best we did not get the money then, because two of the 13 men were planning to kill the other 11 of us and take all the money. The fortune teller suggested we wait for two months and give the "two evil men" a chance to drop out willingly. "After that, I suppose we were afraid." Sells said.
    And that was how the whole deal began and how it was abandoned in 1926. But how about questions three and four.
    It has been explained that Mr. Sells told the story to his son (Floyd) and that he and Pleas Becham, a 28 year old sawmill operator, are spearheading and financing the project. But how did they find the right place to dig? George Emerson, 60, one of the six men still working on the heavily guarded job, is known in the camp as a "diviner". It was with a divining rod that he located the treasure, the men said. Emerson, a slightly balding, chunky man, demonstrated the divining rod for the Daily Press staffer Friday night. Here's how the divining rod functions, according to Emerson. Divining rods are used primarily to locate water underground, but only persons with a God-given gift have the power to be diviners, Emerson said. First, a diviner takes a stick about three or four feet long and stands erect holding the small limber end of the stick just at his forehead, so that the heavy end falls and forming a horizontal line to the rear. Then, the diviner's power comes into play. The stick will swing to the direction where water is located. Next, the diviner takes a forked stick and bends the two fork ends in his hands, so that the stick is shaped much like a stethoscope. Then, the diviner walks slowly in the direction of the underground stream. When the stream is reached, the stick turns directly toward the ground from its former horizontal position, Emerson said. Having located the stream, the diviner then takes the straight stick and holds it horizontally about six inches above the ground. Then, Emerson says, the stick begins counting the number of feet it is to the well. The counting is done as the stick bobs vertically. Emerson used a peach stick to demonstrate for us.
    Now in order to hunt treasure with a divining rod, the divining rod, the diviner must "kill the water's affect on the rod," Emerson said. This is done by using two pairs of heavy water soaked gloves, he added. When searching for gold or silver, the divining rod is slit at the end not held by the diviner and a small piece of gold or silver is inserted in the slit. Emerson says this is done because a large treasure will attract the small piece in the diving rod. He declined to say what he used at the treasurer site, but illustrated with a half dollar. At the reputed treasure site, Emerson used his diving rod and the stick counted 30, indicating 30 feet deep. Friday the men had reached 22 feet, but the wall of the old excavation collapsed and about ten feet of water rushed into the new project. It was pumped down to about five feet when they left late Friday. In addition to Pleas, Floyd and George, the other three men working on the job are Fred Emerson, 28, Charles Emerson, 19, and Bill Samples, 53.
    From the Arkansas Gazette-Buried treasurer never looses its appeal. Right now in Arkansas near Corning some fellows are engaged in an interesting adventure. They are digging a shaft through drifting sand, seepage water, dead trees, roots and mussel shells at a spot once covered by the waters of Black River. The sought-for gold and silver are said to be in a chest three feet by 18 inches by eight inches. In 1926 the chest is said to have been recovered but slipped from the tongs that were holding it and fell back into the excavation and buried itself. The preferred story is that Jesse and his gang, hotly pursued after a robbery in Missouri, dumped the chest in Black River. How it was carried on horseback-maybe at a gallop-we do not know. Another story is that the treasure was on a steamboat that sank, and a third is that a Union or Confederate force dumped the strongbox to save it from capture.
    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

  4. #4
    hu
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    Ozarks
    12,686
    304 times

    Re: Old Newspaper Clipping 1953 Arkansas

    Clay County Courrier 1953
    The six men who have been digging for Jesse James' treasurer three miles northeast of Corning since October 12 are of the opinion that they will reach the treasurer this weekend. The diggers have been using an improved sand pump since a series of complications set in when they reached the depth of about 24 feet. Progress has been slow since that time, with five or six stoppages due to seeping water and sand. Emerson told AP newsmen on a recent visit to the camp, that the diggers have received letters from 12 states since the digging operation was shown twice on Dave Garroway's national TV show from New York. Emerson said that one man who claims he is Jesse James III, grandson of the Missouri badman of nearly a century ago, wrote from Manitou Springs, Colorado. He wrote that Jesse died in Texas in August 1951 at the age of 107, contrary to historical reports that he was killed by Bob Ford. Jessie III said the body was buried in Grandbury, Hood County, Texas. The relative said he had been told by Jessie that the James gang had ambushed a Union Army ambulance filled with a regimental payroll while the ambulance was on a ferry crossing a river somewhere in Arkansas. The younger James said Jesse told of Union regulars coming up and he kicked the chest into the river, then he and Cole Younger, another notorious bandit, jumped overboard and swam to shore. Emerson said the letter suggested the diggers might be near the treasurer.
    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

  5. #5
    hu
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    Ozarks
    12,686
    304 times

    Re: Old Newspaper Clipping 1953 Arkansas

    Six treasurer hunters on the Black River near here, after six weeks of fruitless digging, temporarily have abandoned their search for gold buried by Jesse James because of a partial collapse of the 22 foot wooden shaft and a shortage of money, it was learned Monday.
    The treasurer seekers found some object in the hole ten days ago by means of a metal rod, but have been unable to reach it.


    A 20-foot dragline was brought from Paragould Tuesday to the Jesse James Treasurer Hunt, one mile north of Highway 62 Black River bridge. Digging for the treasurer is being resumed after the diggers ran out of money and a shaft in the hole caved in about three weeks ago. Money for the rejuvenated search is being supplied by 51 year old Herb Lipps, a wealthy Enid, Okla., cattle broker.


    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

  6. #6
    stefen

    Re: Old Newspaper Clipping 1953 Arkansas

    Diving rods and fortune tellers are a sure-thing combination...


  7. #7

    Nov 2007
    Arkansas Born & Raised, Alabama transplant
    5

    Re: Old Newspaper Clipping 1953 Arkansas

    [glow=red,2,300]Diving rods and fortune tellers are a sure-thing combination... [/glow]



    Yeah...thats what I kinda thought too, I figured that someone might get a kick out of reading as I did...but I think I've been taken as I feel it was a "serious lead"...lol I just thought it was neat how things change over the years.....a cool old newspaper clipping....

    My husbands grandmother was told one time by a fortune teller, that she had a spring on the land in which she owned, and at the bottom of that spring where the water spilled out onto the ground, they would find gold. Well, my husbands grandmother never put much thought into it, neither did the rest of the family till my husband and I bought part of their land that they once owned, had it bulldozed and found a spring flowing freely....

    No...we haven't checked it for gold, but the thought has crossed my mind....atleast once or twice...

  8. #8
    hu
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    Ozarks
    12,686
    304 times

    Re: Old Newspaper Clipping 1953 Arkansas

    Quote Originally Posted by stefen
    Diving rods and fortune tellers are a sure-thing combination...

    Hey Hey ....easy now.....I come from a long line of fortune tellers and diviners!



    Stephanie...My mama and grandparents all from Aurora, Huntsville area and I had an aunt that could divine ......I would look for that gold if I were you.
    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

  9. #9
    stefen

    Re: Old Newspaper Clipping 1953 Arkansas

    Sorry, I was so mesmerized by those legs that I lost all control of my thoughts...

    Whew

  10. #10
    us
    Aug 2006
    Minelab E-Trac, Excal 1000, Binford 5000 super hunter
    799
    17 times

    Re: Old Newspaper Clipping 1953 Arkansas

    PARAGOULD? I have actually been there. Donít hear of it to often. My Father was from there. I have a foot locker full of old newspapers from there. I think I will go thru them again.

  11. #11
    Conservative Cherokee "WP" (Wolf Pack 4Ever)

    Jan 2008
    Louisiana
    Explorer II & Garrett 2500 w/Treasure Hound
    1,797
    103 times

    Re: Old Newspaper Clipping 1953 Arkansas

    Good recovery Stefen...

  12. #12
    stefen

    Re: Old Newspaper Clipping 1953 Arkansas

    Gotta tread very carefully around Gypsy...could put a spell on me if agitated

 

 

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