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  1. #1

    Oct 2005

    Bonnie Kathie Legend...Any Info?

    Hi everyone,

    I am a newbie to the forum and to MD!

    I have been practicing here on our old farm and have several areas to check out. We managed to find about .63 cents the other day in change that is not very old, but I know I have alot to learn about the sounds and how to use my new ACE 250

    My question is this...I live within 10 miles of a treasure legend . Bonnie Kathis is thought to have had a nice cache on her plantation that has never been found. Now I am new to all of this, but I went to the local library and checked in the history dept. I looked up the surname of Kathie in marriage, death and cemetary records just to pull up nothing at all. Now we live in a small town and supposedly her husband died in 1888 followed by her death in 1904.

    Can anyone offer any info on how I would try to verify that this lady lived? The roads have been changed since that time so I cannot go by the original road name. Because I am new to TH I want to be sure I don't sink alot of time in researching a story someone made up... What would you do to verify that a legend is real and not bogus?


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  3. #2
    Charter Member

    Mar 2003
    All types of BFOs owned. Especially want White's Arrow; White's Oremaster; Exanimo Spartan Little Monster; Garrett contract Little Monster.
    9 times

    Re: Bonnie Kathie Legend...Any Info?

    The Terry volume covering Tennessee may give you most of the known facts. In all research projects you are attempting to learn the answers to the five Ws - Who - What - When - Where - Why. the more of those you answer the better the chance you have of success. To start you can check the genealogical sites for the existence of the lady. Try on familysearch.org; ancestry.com and genealogy.com. For more recent deaths (since 1934) you can check the Social Security Death Index.
    For the location of her farm check the plat book from the year before she died. exanimo, ss
    "We have done so much; for so many; for so long; with so little; that pretty soon we'll be able to do anything; with nothing at all."
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  4. #3

    Dec 2004
    8 times

    Re: Bonnie Kathie Legend...Any Info?

    SS has some good advice there.....i would also go to county public records, check out property and tax records , census records and wills during known years.......the tax records are useful in that you can often discern if the supposed cacher had the type of money to bury that is in the ''said '' cache......alot of these can be had online through supersearchsystems in n.c. maybe your state also...........gldhntr

  5. #4

    Oct 2005

    Re: Bonnie Kathie Legend...Any Info?

    Thank you for all the great information. I might check with a few old timers that have been around here forever. I moved to this area from south florida when I was 17 so I don't have deep roots here. Everyone still thinks I talk like a yankee...haha

    I will check at the courthouse and see if I can dig up any clues there, and I might check the library for any old microfilms that could offer some info. If I had an approximate on the address it would not be much trouble from there.

    I will keep you updated if I come across any solid info one way or the other, it might take awhile I have 6 young children so my TH is not something I can run wild with, no matter how much I would love to. I guess I have always had a bit of the "Indiana Jones" spirit in me...haha


  6. #5

    Apr 2003

    Re: Bonnie Kathie Legend...Any Info?


    On the old Selmer road in the southeast part of McNairy County, Tenn, near Selmer, stands the old homeplace of Bonnie Kathie. Weeds & vines now cover the once beautiful showplace.

    Bonnie Kathie lived here from 1890 until her death in 1904. Her husband died in 1888, leaving her a great deal of money. She bought the plantation home known as Woodlawn. She also purchased several hundred acres of land a few miles to the north.

    Mrs. Kathie sold timber from the land from time to time. She also rented some bottomland to local farmers. Bonnie Kathie had a nice income from her business dealings. She was believed to have an estimated $12,000 in gold.

    The local banker in Selmer tried many times to get the old woman to keep her money in his bank where it would be safe. But she refused. She did not trust banks because her father had lost some money he kept in one in the 1850's.

    Mrs. Kathie had three large guard dogs at the place to discourage visitors. She also had a reputation for being trigger happy, as she had shot at a few people who came close to the house without calling out to her.

    On the warm spring morning of May 9, 1904, a local farmer named Sam Ayers came to see her on a business matter. He called out several times, but did not receive an answer. He did not go too near the house because of the dogs. Instead he went for the sheriff.

    The sheriff had to shoot the dogs before he could enter the house. There he found Mrs. Kathie dead. She had been dead several days.

    A search of the house uncovered only $300.00 in silver. This was but a small part of the old woman's wealth.

    It is quite apparent she buried the rest on the grounds somewhere.

    Winter would be the best time of the year to search this old place because of high weeds and the many copperhead snakes that are present during the summer months.

    This article appeared in the Jan. 1979 issue of LOST TREASURE magazine.


  7. #6

    Oct 2005

    Re: Bonnie Kathie Legend...Any Info?


    Thank you for sharing your findings. I have gone to the local courthouse and also the historical room at the library. I checked census, and cemetary/death & marriage records. I could not come up with anything close to a Bonnie Kathie.
    I am begining to think it is nothing but a tall tale as well. I have one lead I am going to check into that is based around a property record. I started to trace back the ownership of the land but had to stop to get back to my children so I will try to resume that next week.

    I guess for now I should stay focused on learning my swing technique here in the yard..haha...so far we have found nothing but junk, but I realize that is the verdict more often then not!!

    Thanks again for the info, if I discover anything about the legend I will let you know!


  8. #7

    Dec 2004
    8 times

    Re: Bonnie Kathie Legend...Any Info?

    there is a possibility that bonnie and kathie are first and middle names, not the last name,,,, if this is the case you might luck up and find both these names along with the last name by going over old census records in the area and year of your search.........it would take time but might pay off....................gldhntr

  9. #8
    Kentucky Kache

    Re: Bonnie Kathie Legend...Any Info?

    I've done allot of genealogical research, and can tell you that any given name in those old records can have fifty different spellings. Search everything that could be the name, and a few that couldn't be.
    If you find her in the census records, check property values, that can tell you allot.
    Also, your librarian should be able to help you.

  10. #9

    Jun 2006

    Re: Bonnie Kathie Legend...Any Info?


    Sorry for the delay in replying but I just ran across this forum a few days ago.
    I believe the person you are looking for is Bonitha Caffey, she was a widow who lived in southern McNairy co TN. She was suppose to have alot of money but she did not spend any. In her later years she always called a taxie from Corinth to take her to town to do her shopping, once a month or so she would go to Memphis to shop. She donated the land to the church to build a new curch on (New Hope Church) so I would say she lived in this area, also the old county maps show a community in this area called Caffey. You can read more about her in a book called Reflections of Mcnairy County, It is in the Selmer and Adamsville library. I look for civil war relics in this area but I would be glad to help you look if you find the location and get permission. Also you can email me at zane0913@aol.com if I can be of any more help.
    Good Luck



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