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  1. #1
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    Two Lost Adams

    Greetings,

    One of the major stumbling blocks that may be preventing anyone from finding the famous lost gold mine is the fact that there are at least two different Lost Adams, and they date to different time periods but the search areas overlap. Thus information from one story gets confused with the other.

    The first Lost Adams is reported in early news accounts as dating to 1866, when Adams party left Gila bend and rode ten days to the north and east. Shortly before the zigzag canyon was entered, a trail was crossed which their guide "Gotchear" said was a mere four days travel to an Army fort.

    The second lost Adams dates to the 1870s; a trader who ran a trading post on the Navajo reservation named Henry Adams either was shown or accidently found a rich lode gold deposit, and was driven off by angry Navajos. He showed samples of the ore at Ft Wingate, often chosen as a key landmark in the OTHER lost Adams story.

    Here is one of the articles for an example, showing the Henry Adams story; if anyone wants the rest of the article just let me know and I will PM it to you.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
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    Re: Two Lost Adams

    Roy,

    How does Twisted Fork's story fit into your "Two Lost Adams" story?

    "I am a direct descendant of a little know old German by the name of George Mason Adams. He is however famous according to an Arizona legend know as the "Lost Adams Diggings." Grandpa Adams returned from the desert 5 times with his horses loaded down with chunks of pure gold and rose quartz. 8 of his friends were killed by the Apache Guards of the mine and on the fifth trip, George came back into Show Low with an arrow shot through his gut. He left a map in the family and never returned to the mine and caches. The map was handed down through his daughter, but was eventually lost hidden in a bible. However, enough knowledge was retained by family members to tie it all together and locate the site back in the early eighties. It is a sorry fact of life that all of those folks looking for the Dutchman off in the distance, are no where near the location and that 3 German buddies all died with the secret."

    I don't know why Mr. Fork characterizes George Mason Adams as "a little know old German", but Adams was a well known Arizona pioneer. The actual family, knows nothing about a lost mine connected to George.

    Take care,

    Joe

  3. #3
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    Re: Two Lost Adams

    Cactusjumper wrote
    Roy,

    How does Twisted Fork's story fit into your "Two Lost Adams" story? dontknow

    "I am a direct descendant of a little know old German by the name of George Mason Adams. He is however famous according to an Arizona legend know as the "Lost Adams Diggings." Grandpa Adams returned from the desert 5 times with his horses loaded down with chunks of pure gold and rose quartz. 8 of his friends were killed by the Apache Guards of the mine and on the fifth trip, George came back into Show Low with an arrow shot through his gut. He left a map in the family and never returned to the mine and caches. The map was handed down through his daughter, but was eventually lost hidden in a bible. However, enough knowledge was retained by family members to tie it all together and locate the site back in the early eighties. It is a sorry fact of life that all of those folks looking for the Dutchman off in the distance, are no where near the location and that 3 German buddies all died with the secret."

    I don't know why Mr. Fork characterizes George Mason Adams as "a little know old German", but Adams was a well known Arizona pioneer. The actual family, knows nothing about a lost mine connected to George.

    Take care,

    Joe
    Frankly, I do not know how it fits with the two original stories if it all. The first Adams conflicted with Apaches, yet was a placer not a lode so the gold in rose quartz seems to match the second Adams which in at least one version has it as gold in rose quartz that is traded at Henry Adams store, yet in that case the hostile Indians are in fact Navajos, no Apaches play in this version at all. As a side note, this version of the second Adams is the most fantastical, yet Adams himself commits suicide (later in the story) which is not found in other versions.

    What leaps out at me are some of the cross-contamination points of the two Adams stories, like Henry Adams showing pieces of rose quartz gold ore at Ft Wingate, often the fort referred to by many later Adams hunters as the one four days away from the diggings. Then there is the Brewer story (or stories) which I have serious doubts about; it presumes that Adams and the other survivor could not count the dead bodies of their comrades, and the man with Adams when found by the cavalry was named Davidson or Davison not Brewer. Was Brewer associated with the Henry Adams story, which has been confabulated with the original Adams? Was he simply a BS artist? I even have suspicions about the versions of the original Adams in which it is both a placer and a lode, which may be the mixing of the two stories on the worst possible level for the oldest versions of Adams that I can find only talk about a very rich placer with no mention of any lode. For instance, the man who went up the stream above the falls returned with a gold nugget the size of an egg, which later writers have converted to his finding the lode/source of the placer - which flies in the face of the story told by Adams on his rescue as well as the large gold nugget he showed to so many people.

    Is our friend Twisted Fork just spinning a tale, mixing stories accidentally, or passing along stories that got mixed before he ever heard them, or is it a new version, or a deliberate attempt to mislead or...? I have not expended a lot of time in checking his facts, could not find any report that matches his tale very well. I half suspect that he has made the conclusion that the Lost Dutchman mine of the Superstitions is somehow a confused version of the lost Adams, which I am convinced is a false conclusion. But maybe it is just me that is confused.

    We had planned to spend a little time looking for the lost Adams this winter, but had to revise plans so did not have the time. Something that Bob Schoose said about Adams looking too far Sorth (another cheap pun intended) jibes with what I suspected from the various newspaper accounts that told about Adams later expeditions; perhaps he was in fact looking too far north? Was his original journey from Gila Bend more east than north? There are several areas well south of the traditional hunting grounds for Adams diggings which will fit the landmarks in the original tale. If it works out that we will have the time next fall I will be checking out one of those places. I will be adding another account here in a few minutes, as soon as I can correct the mis-spellings in it.
    Roy





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  4. #4
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    Re: Two Lost Adams

    A RICH FIND

    New Mexico Man in Kansas City Who Tells of the Lost Adams Mine

    Is Believed Gold Nuggets Are Lying Wait for the Picking Up

    Endeavor ls to Organize a Company

    In Special to the Gazette
    Kansas City Mo May 9 Mr L S Gordon of Wingate N M is in the city on a peculiar mission. He is endeavoring to organize a company for tbe purpose of opening the Navajo reservation in New Mexico for the sole reason that he is certain tbat he has a clew to the famous Lost Adams mine.

    His story is very interesting and is told freely leaving out the manner in which he obtained his information and tbe location of tbe mine. One day several years ago an old miner walked into the town and tried to interest local capitalists of that place in a story he told of a mine of wonderful richness which he had discovered while on a prospecting tour through the Navajo reservation. He showed specimens of ore which he had brought out with him and it was the finest ever seen in that locality. It bore evidence of having been picked from a fissure vein. It was free gold bearing quartz of the finest quality and samples of it would ran hundreds of ounces to the ton. His tale was that be bad been prospecting for years and like many other miners believed in a mother vein whloh if found would be of incalculable richness.


    He followed lead after lead and all pointed directly to the center of the mountains which ran through the Navajo reservation. At last he became so confident he had the right clew that he determined to brave the dangers of tbe Indians and go into the reservation to find the mother vein.


    After much dodging of Indians he reached a place in the mountains which appeared to be the converging point of many valleys nnd here he began a systematic search for the vein. There was any quantity of rich float in all directions to lead blm on in bis search and at last he found an outcropping which when broken uncovered a vein that fairly made his eyes water from its richness.


    The pure white of the quartz was crossed with free gold in countless directions and it looked as if it need only to be crushed for tbe precious metal to flow out. He worked diligently nnd selected a quantity of fine specimens with the intention of quietly getting out of the reservation before he was discovered by the Indians and getting an organization to open the country to whites for he knew that nothing could be done with tbe Indians holding the land.


    Just as he was ready to start a band of Navajoes came upon his camp and took all of his tools nnd firearms and escorted him out of the reservation threatening him with death if be returned. He managed to secrete a few specimens of the richest ore in his clothing and these were what he showed to the people of Wingate.


    He gave his name as Adams and the peculiar twang of bis voice gave him the title of Yank by whieb nickname he was called by the miners. Many efforts were made to get him to divulge the secret of his mine but he steadily refused and said he would only tell the company which he expected to organize.


    One morning Adams was found dead in his cabin with evidence of having been choked to death in his sleep. It was supposed that he had been murdered by some of his associates who thought he had plans of the mine and descriptions of the route to take to get to it. If such was the case it availed the murderers nothing for the Navajoes would let no one enter the reservation and many bitter struggles were the result of attempts to do so. Searching parties have been organized many times but all have been unsuccessful as tbe Indians and soldiers have kept the prospectors out of the country. The tales of the great richness of the mine grow with each succeeding year and now it is freely believed that gold nuggets are lying on the ground scattered about ready for the picking up.


    Mr Gordon does not think that it is quite as good as that but he is confident he can lead a party of men to the right spot. And the mine just as it was left by Adams when he was escorted out of the reservation by the Navajoes. He is desirous of forming a company with sufficient capital not only to find the mine but to influence the government in opening the country to the white settlement.
    <From Fort Worth Daily Gazette, May 10, 1890, page one>

    ===========================================
    As can be seen by this version, which clearly appears to be of the second Adams rather than the original, and again the showing of ore specimens in Wingate may be at the root of the stories getting crossed up and confused.

    Oroblanco

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  5. #5
    pw
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    Re: Two Lost Adams

    Quote Originally Posted by Oroblanco
    .... As can be seen by this version, which clearly appears to be of the second Adams rather than the original, and again the showing of ore specimens in Wingate may be at the root of the stories getting crossed up and confused.

    Oroblanco
    Sounds like Mr. Gordon may have been trying to scam investors. He may have tagged Adams' name to the story to add interest.
    ​Adios, amigos - it's been interesting.







  6. #6
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    Re: Two Lost Adams

    Quote Originally Posted by Springfield
    Quote Originally Posted by Oroblanco
    .... As can be seen by this version, which clearly appears to be of the second Adams rather than the original, and again the showing of ore specimens in Wingate may be at the root of the stories getting crossed up and confused.

    Oroblanco
    Sounds like Mr. Gordon may have been trying to scam investors. He may have tagged Adams' name to the story to add interest.
    I can't address what Mr Gordon's motives may or may not have been, but the second Adams story is not his own invention, there are a number of sources with this separate lost Adams story. I merely posted this one as an example as it has most of the basic points included. What I have not (yet) tracked down was whether there was an historical Henry Adams trading post at Fort Defiance, but may not be able to at this point.

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  7. #7
    pw
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    Re: Two Lost Adams

    Quote Originally Posted by Oroblanco
    Quote Originally Posted by Springfield
    Quote Originally Posted by Oroblanco
    .... As can be seen by this version, which clearly appears to be of the second Adams rather than the original, and again the showing of ore specimens in Wingate may be at the root of the stories getting crossed up and confused.

    Oroblanco
    Sounds like Mr. Gordon may have been trying to scam investors. He may have tagged Adams' name to the story to add interest.
    I can't address what Mr Gordon's motives may or may not have been, but the second Adams story is not his own invention, there are a number of sources with this separate lost Adams story. I merely posted this one as an example as it has most of the basic points included. What I have not (yet) tracked down was whether there was an historical Henry Adams trading post at Fort Defiance, but may not be able to at this point.

    That will be a tough find, all right. Presumably, the trading post and Adams wouldn't have arrived before 1868, when the original Navajo Reservation was created and the natives relocated there. Records show two traders, Neal and Damon, active 'after 1868', and the well-known Keam and Hubbell later ( http://books.google.com/books?id=hxO...sts%22&f=false ). No mention of an Adams in Fort Defiance.

    The Adams Cave story and its variations are troublesome - even more so than the 'original' LAD legend because there seem to be absolutely no solid links to historical reality, other than the existance of the Navajo Reservation. Most versions place the action 'in the late '60's' ( typical version http://www.thunting.com/smf/index.ph...;topic=22315.0 ) and name other participants, newspaper articles, etc., but no historical records seem to be available for any of the people or events. Some versions mention lode gold, others placer gold, and others claim the goods came from a secret Aztec cave with a floor littered with nuggets. Most stories mention that friendly Navajos led Adams to the gold, then fell out with him. Your 'Isaac Thurlow' and 'LS Gordon' posts seem to be newspaper accounts in the style of sensational treasure tales popular around the turn of the 20th century. These types of tales were later replaced in the pulps by various treasure and action magazines. Nearly all references to the Adams Cave seem to have originated, with the usual retellings and embellishments, from treasure magazines and websites, as far as I can tell.

    We have records of a legion of 'original' LAD searchers and their experiences, but the 'other' LAD doesn't seem to have much, if any, of a following. That doesn't mean the events didn't happen, of course, but until we (you) can ferret out some shred of reality, this story appears to be a treasure magazine creation. Good luck.
    ​Adios, amigos - it's been interesting.







  8. #8
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    Re: Two Lost Adams

    Springfield wrote
    That will be a tough find, all right. Presumably, the trading post and Adams wouldn't have arrived before 1868, when the original Navajo Reservation was created and the natives relocated there. Records show two traders, Neal and Damon, active 'after 1868', and the well-known Keam and Hubbell later ( http://books.google.com/books?id=hx....sts%22&f=false ). No mention of an Adams in Fort Defiance.

    The Adams Cave story and its variations are troublesome - even more so than the 'original' LAD legend because there seem to be absolutely no solid links to historical reality, other than the existance of the Navajo Reservation. Most versions place the action 'in the late '60's' ( typical version http://www.thunting.com/smf/index.ph...;topic=22315.0 ) and name other participants, newspaper articles, etc., but no historical records seem to be available for any of the people or events. Some versions mention lode gold, others placer gold, and others claim the goods came from a secret Aztec cave with a floor littered with nuggets. Most stories mention that friendly Navajos led Adams to the gold, then fell out with him. Your 'Isaac Thurlow' and 'LS Gordon' posts seem to be newspaper accounts in the style of sensational treasure tales popular around the turn of the 20th century. These types of tales were later replaced in the pulps by various treasure and action magazines. Nearly all references to the Adams Cave seem to have originated, with the usual retellings and embellishments, from treasure magazines and websites, as far as I can tell.

    We have records of a legion of 'original' LAD searchers and their experiences, but the 'other' LAD doesn't seem to have much, if any, of a following. That doesn't mean the events didn't happen, of course, but until we (you) can ferret out some shred of reality, this story appears to be a treasure magazine creation. Good luck.
    I don't know about how much documentation will ever turn up for Henry Adams trading post, for such a title could be attached to a simple canvas tent with a plank set across two stumps, which could operate as a "business" for very short periods of time and yet still be called a "trading post" - often without any kind of legal permit or license to even be ON a reservation. Such establishments were often notorious for selling the cheapest whiskey and guns to the Indians for inflated prices, which this Adams may have been making his fortune at. It would then be surprise to find official records of his operation unless he were caught at it.

    What treasure magazines were in publication prior to 1890, when that last newspaper account was published? I have one dating to 1883 as well, <newspaper article> which is around here somewhere that tells of Henry Adams enlisting others to join him in returning to the Navajo reservation to "open it to whites" and telling the same basic story of the rich gold lode. I can't agree that this Adams version is a treasure magazine/website creation; the site where this Adams supposedly had his trading post, Fort Defiance, was built circa 1851, well before the 1868 reservation boundaries were established so it may not be conclusive to appoint that as an earliest possible date. Fort Defiance was abandoned for a time during the Civil War but re-occupied in 1870. So Henry Adams "trading post" could have been in operation between 1851-61 or after 1870. His being 'run off' may coincide with the Navajo war, but there is nothing to support that contention and in fact the story that the warriors simply ran him off rather than killing him would seem to support a post-1868 date.

    Just a personal opinion, I am convinced that most (if not all) of these treasure stories have a basis in fact. The values get inflated and facts exaggerated over time, both by sensationalist newspaper correspondents and later by treasure writers, but at the root you will usually find there was something which the stories are based on. This reminds me that I have another tidbit on another lost mine legend, relating to a long-dormant thread but may be of interest to those who read our discussions.

    Oroblanco




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  9. #9
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    Re: Two Lost Adams

    Postscript;

    Springfield wrote
    The Adams Cave story and its variations are troublesome - even more so than the 'original' LAD legend because there seem to be absolutely no solid links to historical reality, other than the existance of the Navajo Reservation.
    The Scranton Tribune, May 27, 1898, Morning, Page 6

    <mentions Mrs Henry Adams of Arizona>



    Scranton Tribune, Aug 19, 1901, page 5
    <also mentions Mrs Henry W Adams of Arizona, apparently coming to Scranton to contest a will>


    The herald., February 19, 1895, Page 5 <Los Angeles>
    <Mention of Henry Adams being in Arizona, contracting Indians to travel in a show>


    I do not know how many (if any) adherents or followers there are today for the alternate lost Adams, but there were at one time several who searched for it.
    Oroblanco



    PPS - there are more newspaper clippings which mention Henry Adams leaving Prescott on the stage Aug 2, 1878, his being appointed postmaster of Date Creek but failing to qualify 1879, in pursuit of stage robbers 1878 and others. Adams was appointed the agent at the Wells Fargo station at Date Creek Aug of 1878. There was a historical Henry Adams in Arizona during the requisite time period, whether he was the same of the story of course remains to be seen.


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  10. #10
    pw
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    Re: Two Lost Adams

    I'll agree that many treasure tales may share common ground with real events in the past.

    If there is any truth associated with the Adams Cave tale, I'd speculate the location would be in the Chuska Mountains. However:

    If I were to get serious about treasure stories, I'd limit my efforts to those that originate from known areas of significent mineralization. Unless you're interested in coal or uranium, the Navajo Res is not such a place. Of course, as they say, 'Gold is where you find it'.

    ​Adios, amigos - it's been interesting.







  11. #11
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    Re: Two Lost Adams

    I agree on the Navajo reservation; and I do not recommend that anyone should head there to search for the Lost Adams of either version. Geologically it is not promising, with the Carrizzo mountains area being a possible exception.



    <from Arizona silver belt. (Globe City, Pinal County, Ariz.) December 15, 1888, re-affirms what Springfield just posted concerning the geology of the Navajo reservation>

    My purpose for starting this thread is simply to sort out what belongs to the original Lost Adams and what belongs to trader Henry Adams; the cave full of treasures version is not the original and appears to be pure embellishment, the oldest Henry Adams version has only a rich gold lode, no cave packed with the treasures of Montezuma. At least the oldest I could find.

    The Carrizzo mountains are an extension of the Colorado mineral belt, and both copper and silver have been found there; if prospecting were allowed on the Navajo reservation that mountain range would be the most interesting for me.
    Oroblanco

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  12. #12
    Charter Member

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    Re: Two Lost Adams

    Hi Roy,

    "Adams was appointed the agent at the Wells Fargo station at Date Creek Aug of 1878. There was a historical Henry Adams in Arizona during the requisite time period, whether he was the same of the story of course remains to be seen."
    ________________________________

    Not that it makes any real difference, but I don't believe the Date Creek station was established until 1879. In that year the Casa Grande, Maricopa, Picacho, Terminus and Tres Alamos Wells Fargo agencies were also founded.

    As far as I know, there was only one Wells Fargo agent named Adams. That would be H.G. Adams (Henry?) who would be the agent in Jerome Junction, Yavapai County, from 1899-1902. There was only one agent for Date Creek, and he was only there for one year, 1879. His name was C.W. Brown.

    I have a number of books on Wells Fargo, and the above information is from one of them.

    Interesting discussion. Please excuse the interruption.

    Take care,

    Joe

  13. #13
    us
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    Re: Two Lost Adams

    Actually, there was a stage robbery October 11, 1878 on the stage going from Date Creek to Yuma, reported on by "The Miner", so, I do believe it was in operation before 1879.

    Beth
    "Irony is the rule"

  14. #14
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    Re: Two Lost Adams

    Quote Originally Posted by cactusjumper
    Hi Roy,

    "Adams was appointed the agent at the Wells Fargo station at Date Creek Aug of 1878. There was a historical Henry Adams in Arizona during the requisite time period, whether he was the same of the story of course remains to be seen."
    ________________________________

    Not that it makes any real difference, but I don't believe the Date Creek station was established until 1879. In that year the Casa Grande, Maricopa, Picacho, Terminus and Tres Alamos Wells Fargo agencies were also founded.

    As far as I know, there was only one Wells Fargo agent named Adams. That would be H.G. Adams (Henry?) who would be the agent in Jerome Junction, Yavapai County, from 1899-1902. There was only one agent for Date Creek, and he was only there for one year, 1879. His name was C.W. Brown.

    I have a number of books on Wells Fargo, and the above information is from one of them.

    Interesting discussion. Please excuse the interruption.

    Take care,

    Joe
    I can not prove that the Date Creek station was established prior to 1879, but am not making up the statement;


    The Weekly Arizona miner., August 02, 1878, names Adams being appointed to receive packages for Wells Fargo & Co at Date Creek note the date

    This passage in a book:
    http://books.google.com/books?id=Rxy...page&q&f=false

    ..mentions Henry Adams going in pursuit of stage robbers along with a Mr Gilson, reported in the same paper Oct 11, 1878. Perhaps your source has the year off by one, or the newspapers had it wrong in 1878? It is not a point of any extreme importance by any means, the only reason for even mentioning Henry Adams was that there was some question as to whether there was anyone with that name in Arizona in the 'pioneer' days period, which might be then associated with the Henry Adams lost gold mine, later converted to "cave of Aztec treasures" on the Navajo reservation. I have a couple of other clippings relating to this too, one of which dismisses the entire thing as a hoax but mentioning another party arrested on the reservation for searching for it, and a later one claiming that it has been found on the reservation and "proved" true.

    There was a legal requirement for anyone wishing to open a trading post on an Indian reservation, that they must post a bond between $5000 and $10000, which step many traders were not able to do and thus operated illegally; I have a number of short clippings mentioning that traders were arrested for trading in whiskey on the Navajo reservation but not one of these has the name of the trader involved. I half suspect that Henry Adams did not have a license for trading with Indians, perhaps based on his inability to post the requisite bond, and this may be why there seems to be no "official" record of his having a legal trading post at Fort Defiance.

    I have another Adams account here somewhere, which relates to the original Adams too that differs from some others; it dates Adams discovery to 1859, and that he was brought to Fort Bliss by the Army detachment. If I can find that I will post it too as it is a very old account, I think one of the oldest but unless I can locate it can not prove that. Fort Bliss is on the NM/Texas border and was in operation in 1859, besides being well south of the usual Adams hunting grounds it is interesting.

    Been rooting through our old files, ran across one on the Belle McKeever mine that stated it was located out on the flat lands, with all the surrounding area having no remarkable landmarks - which if true would explain the great difficulties in ever rediscovering that "lost Soldier" mine.
    Roy



    Oops sorry, I did not realize that Beth was already answering this.
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  15. #15
    Charter Member

    Dec 2005
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    Re: Two Lost Adams

    Roy & Beth,

    Wells Fargo never ran a stagecoach line in Arizona. Any coach that was robbed, was from another commercial line.

    My source was "Wells Fargo in Arizona Teerritory" by John and Lillian Theobald. It was published by the ARIZONA HISTORICAL FOUNDATION, TEMPE, 1978.

    It's always possible they were wrong but their research was extensive.

    Take care,

    Joe

 

 
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