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Thread: The Hawestone train robbery of PA?

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  1. #1
    Muttlys

    The Hawestone train robbery of PA?

    Does anyone have any info on this legend?

  2. #2

    Dec 2003
    Western Schuylkill County
    MINELAB EXPLORER SE PRO ....... Garrett Pro Pointer…… Sovereign XS-2 Pro
    65,614
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    Re: The Hawestone train robbery of PA?

    REPORTS from Philadelphia Ledger & Lewistown Ledger.

    On Dec. 1st. 1909. the PITTSBURGH EXPRESS coming from Washington D.C. to Pittsburgh, just passed Mifflin & Entered the "NARROWS" near Lewstown.
    "JAMES LAWLER" of the Lawler Brothers. had a Pistol in each hand,
    and Sticks of Dynamite in his pockets. He set the Dynamite off Shaking
    the train.
    The Engineer stopped, and James with a burlap bag mask on,
    confronted him and the conductor. after entering the express car,
    he fired several shots and wounded the conductor. "POFFENBERGER"
    in his hand he forced the Conductor, Fireman and another to carry
    bags of money up a mountain several hundred yards. then orderd them down the mountain.
    ONE BAG : $5,049 in GOLD
    2 BAGS Lincoln Pennies $100.00 Each, all 1909
    and a small bag of $10.00 in silver Dollars.
    PINKERTON DETECTIVES & Railroad Employees, plus law , found a trail of money up the mountainside. 1st. the Bag of Gold, ALL of it.
    then another bag, then the others. the Bag of pennies was split open.
    only $65.00 worth of Pennies were unaccounted for.

    HE WAS Never caught for this, & Believed to have Died in the Mountains west of Lewistown. JOHN his brother was Hung in West Virginia.

    THE VALUE of $65.00 worth of 1909-S-V.D.B.'s in near mint, ?



    IN DEC. 1954, 3 hunters ALBERT & JOHN DUBENDORF & CHARLES BELL, were about a half mile east of HAWSTONE, when they found some pennies.

    TOTAL : 3700 1909's


  3. #3
    us
    Chile Head, FLYERS FAN

    Jan 2005
    Sunbury, PA
    DFX 300, Classic ID
    1,103
    33 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: The Hawestone train robbery of PA?

    Jeff, I'm only 45 minutes from Lewistown. There's still a few bucks in pennies out there.

  4. #4

    Dec 2003
    Western Schuylkill County
    MINELAB EXPLORER SE PRO ....... Garrett Pro Pointer…… Sovereign XS-2 Pro
    65,614
    29124 times
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    Re: The Hawestone train robbery of PA?

    Quote Originally Posted by eathabs
    Jeff, I'm only 45 minutes from Lewistown. There's still a few bucks in pennies out there.
    IF the general area where the hunters found the pennies in '54
    could be located,
    that would be the best place to look.
    they didn't have detectors back then. so unless they screened all the dirt, they should have missed some.
    LAWLER was probably Bummed when he realized he took a bag containing all pennies, and afraid to backtrack to check the
    other bags he discarded earlier.
    he may have filled his pockets, but 2800 pennies would still
    be alot to pile in pockets.

  5. #5

    Dec 2003
    Western Schuylkill County
    MINELAB EXPLORER SE PRO ....... Garrett Pro Pointer…… Sovereign XS-2 Pro
    65,614
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    Re: The Hawestone train robbery of PA?

    a little food for thought on this one.

    The TRAIN was comming from D.C. to Pittsburgh.

    So the Pennies were Most likely from the Philadelphia Mint
    Originally.

    This means to me They are NOT 1909 - S - V.D.B. Pennies.

    They would be Most Likely 1909 Plain
    OR 1909 V.D.B.

    IF they were to grade at EF yet.

    1909 Plain $3.00 Each that's a chance at $8,400.00

    1909 - V.D.B. $6.00 Each $16,800.00

    and by chance GRADED to MS-60 $15.00 Each

    1909 Plain $42.000.00

    Even at $1.00 a piece your looking at a possible $2,800.00
    CACHE.


  6. #6
    Muttlys

    Re: The Hawestone train robbery of PA?

    Thanks for the info everyone. I was born and raised in Lewistown and as a youth trampled all through the local mountains, as well as the old train tracks passing Hawstone. As a young lad, I remember stories of such a robbery. I will do some research based on your provided information and see what I can dig up (please excuse the pun). I will keep you all posted. Thank you again.

  7. #7
    us
    Chile Head, FLYERS FAN

    Jan 2005
    Sunbury, PA
    DFX 300, Classic ID
    1,103
    33 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: The Hawestone train robbery of PA?

    Mutt, have you found any more info?

  8. #8

    Jul 2006
    Wisconsin
    1,558
    22 times

    Re: The Hawestone train robbery of PA?

    Man! I would do all I could to locate one of the people who found the pennies in the fifties.. if you could get them to narrow the area down or even show you... wow, that would be cool.
    Old Rerntern likes this.
    "A culture truly grows great when old men plant trees in who's shade they know they will never sit"

  9. #9
    us
    Rich

    May 2003
    Shamokin Pennsylvania
    White's Eagle Spectrum
    641
    134 times
    Honorable Mentions (1)

    Re: The Hawestone train robbery of PA?

    OK here is the true story..........
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
    us
    Jan 2007
    Potter County, Pa.
    Garrett Ace 250
    227
    7 times

    Re: The Hawestone train robbery of PA?

    Speaking of the Lewistown area, I used to live there back in '78, belonged to Fame Fire Company. Some of the guys there told me that back shortly after WWII ended, just across the Juniata river in Lewistown there was a rather large factory and the military used to send traincar loads of brass there to be smelted into, I think, brass artillery shell casings?? and after the war there was a lot of train car loads of brass left there and they "didn't know what to do with it all so they just dumped it off the tracks into a kind of culvert". Does this ring a bell with anyone?? Isn't brass worth quite a bit today? especially big ingots of it?? Is this story true??...potter poker

  11. #11

    Jun 2005
    Bellefonte, PA
    393
    7 times

    Re: The Hawestone train robbery of PA?

    Jeff you are right. Because it was a money train the loot was very well documented, the pennies that were being shipped were the beginning stages of the mint. They were Philadelphia mint VDBs. $16,800 is the cash deal on this one...

  12. #12

    Jun 2005
    Bellefonte, PA
    393
    7 times

    Re: The Hawestone train robbery of PA?

    I have worked on this lead for a few years now, and after some luck, I was told by one of the hunters from 1954 to look at the article that was printed in the Dec. 1980 Lost Treasure Magazine for the most accurate information on the finding. He is the only survivor of the 3 hunters and even though I spoke with his niece before I spoke to him, he told me he will not give out the actual area to anyone. He himself and his niece were interested though in receiving a copy of a song that was sung and recorded about the robbery. The pennies were divided between the three of them, and his niece told me she still has one. She got it out when I spoke with her on the phone, saying it was really moldy and cleaning does take away from the value so they hadn't been. She also said that they had taken the pennies to a local coin dealer who told them back then that they weren't worth much. I couldn't tell you how bad the condition of the remaining pennies would be if they were found today, but it doesn't sound good. I asked her to look for the VDB initials below the bust of Lincoln, but she couldn't confirm it to me and said she probably could see that if they were cleaned, so they must be in very bad shape. I posted this to save the time of any of you trying to locate the hunters, it's been done with nothing to gain. Even though the remaining survivor warmed up enough during my telephone conversation to give me his address to mail a copy of the song to him, after first turning me down on the offer, he expressed very distinctly to me that he never has revealed the actual spot where he found the pennies to anyone. I even asked him if he could help me clear up a few discrepancies within different news articles such as finding them under a few tarnished leaves vs. in a rabbit hole along with a deteriorating burlap bag. He said he couldn't remember. Once the copies of the song are made for them I'll see if his niece would let me take a few pictures of the penny/pennies that she has so I can post them here for your enjoyment. So, sorry all, but the search continues.

  13. #13

    Dec 2003
    Western Schuylkill County
    MINELAB EXPLORER SE PRO ....... Garrett Pro Pointer…… Sovereign XS-2 Pro
    65,614
    29124 times
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    Re: The Hawestone train robbery of PA?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1liquigirl
    I asked her to look for the VDB initials below the bust of Lincoln, but she couldn't confirm it to me and said she probably could see that if they were cleaned, so they must be in very bad shape.
    The V.D.B. Isn't below the Bust on the o9
    it's on the Back Bottom between the Stems on the Wheats.
    & is Very easy to see on all my Dug ones

    As far as the Song, I would have wanted to say,
    No Location, No song.

    Don't know if I would have.
    But that is what I would have Thought
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  14. #14

    Jan 2007
    Hummelstown, PA
    Exp II
    88

    Re: Anyone interested????????

    In Hawstone the local and only road is not very far above the RR tracks. Now the article stated 1/2 mile east of Hawstone. That may seem like a large area, but I would start within 1/4 to 3/4 mile and search near the road. I plan to hunt there in the future. Now is the best time due to foliage. You will cover the ground in a better pattern. Once the leaves poke out your search patterns will start to separate. This would take a lot of hunt and crawl, but it can be done. I do not believe that the robber went above the road, just to it. And any lost on a steep bank up the first incline is probably buried after a century off RR maintenance. Anyone interested in looking in April? I prefer to hunt with associates to speed the coverage.

    Any takers?

    P.S. I work in these type environments and I have not seen a snake in a long time. But this area would be a spot to see them. I do have snakeproof gators but rarely use them.

    I will be in the office tommorow and try te calc the acreage that I feel needs covered

    Chuck

  15. #15

    Jun 2005
    Bellefonte, PA
    393
    7 times

    Re: The Hawestone train robbery of PA?

    Mr. Mojo, I may see you out there. I have been working from the Blacklog Mountain's old look out tower and down the paths from that, you can drive all the way up there to where the tower was. But, other articles said Shade Mountain, which is even further yet from the tracks. And the report your refering to would be Blue mountain. If you're interested, I can get a list of property owners in the area that you want to search to get the ok. I've had help with getting a list of the owners on Blacklog so getting more would be just as simple. And to be honest with you, the men at the court house in Mifflin told me I was the first one they knew of who had done that. But that doesn't mean there isn't many others who are doing this too. Jeff, that was my mistake, but when I call her back with the song copies, I'll ask her to check the back. There haven't been any reports of anyone finding anything more, but that means exactly that. There may have been more found and they just haven't reported it. Would you report finding something if you hadn't the information on who the property owner was to get his okay to hunt there? But, then they may have not told the guys at the courthouse why they needed a certain owner's contact information after they found something. Not the best way to hunt though, in my opinion.

 

 
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