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  1. #1
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    206 times

    Freeport ......Gold Coins Lost in Stream

    Adam Heckert, a very busy 'explorer,' was in one of the first group from Missouri to make it into the 1849 Calif
    gold fields. Adam returned to NE MO the next year with probably a fairly good stash of gold. John Strayer
    stayed with the families in NE MO and operated the mill they owned together. Adam was and would be a very
    experienced frontier explorer and probably was instrumental in heading into NE Iowa. Both of these men were
    experienced travelers and structure builders. Not first generation mills but more complex and larger second
    generation mills. They returned to NE MO for their families and by the fall of 1852 had sold out their milling
    operation at the now lost village of Clinton/Jonesburg in Monroe Co. MO, on the Salt River, and had made the
    complete move to the Freeport area, apparently by Steamboat?? Thus my side would be gone from NE MO and be
    found in NE Iowa from the 1850's on.

    There is an old family tale passed down to my grandmother Strayer saying they came into Winn. Co. by ox wagon
    and that on one of the major stream crossings near Freeport, one of the wagon's tipped over in the water. They
    recovered many of their goods and supplies but could not find a couple of rather large bags of gold. The
    families went on to Freeport, where the men must have thrown up some type of cabin before going back to Missouri
    to pick up the families and to take care of their mill business. The next day they returned to the crossing
    scene only to find the area frozen over enough that they could not manage any level of exploration. The
    families must have come into the area in the mid to late November time frame. The story goes; the men return to
    the lost gold location as soon as possible in the spring and found the gold still in the leather pouches. The
    story was of several thousand in gold, which I am guessing means that Adam returned from Calif with a pretty
    good stash, even though they sold their Missouri mill operation.

    John Strayer and Adam Heckert would build a mill at Freeport almost immediately. As young men they had with the
    rest of the Heckert family build a very large mill at Walkersville on the Salt River in Shelby Co, MO. They
    were very experience and very good at mill building by this time in the early 1850's. I have not had a lot of
    time to pursue that exact Freeport mill location and there is little or no mention of the first milling
    operation in any resource I have or could find on a limited visit or two to the Decorah resources. Nor have I
    had the time to extensively pursue and study all the land records. My best guess on the mill location is
    upstream from the present bridge at Freeport. The old paper mill was downstream of that bridge and built
    probably numerous years after the Strayer/Heckert mill

    From: "iowaz" <iowaz@swbell.net>
    Subject: Re: [IAWinneshiek] Roll Call - STRAYER, HECKERT/HECKART
    Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2003 18:06:50 -0600
    References: <a05210600bbfb86f0b516@[]> <000b01c3be60$81c64b60$6001a8c0@launchmodem.com>


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

  2. #2
    Freelance Artist/Former 12Bravo/21Bravo

    Oct 2007
    Tesoro Cortes,Golden Sabre II, & Inca!
    7 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Freeport ......Gold Coins Lost in Stream

    Nice lead there gypsy.. sounds worth investigation.

    Combat Engineer * 2006-2014 * "Operation Enduring Freedom" * Afghanistan * 2010-2011
    2nd Brigade * 34th Infantry Division * 832nd Combat Engineer Co.
    Attached to 113 Cavalry/Task Force RedHorse



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