• Dennis McCaslin

Chronicle of the Old West: Jimmy's lucky find didn't turn out to be so lucky after all...


Throughout the west there are stories of buried treasures just waiting to be found. Today we have the story of silver and gold coins in Arizona ripe for taking.

In the past we have told the stories of two of Arizona’s lost treasures. One was the lost Dutchman’s Mine located in the Superstition Mountains a short distance from a busy Phoenix freeway. Another was a treasure comprised of gold coins lost when a dam broke on the Hassayampa River just north of Phoenix.

This week we’re going to learn about another Arizona lost treasure.


It all started on May 10, 1881. A Wells Fargo Stage was taking passengers and mail from Canyon Diablo to Flagstaff. On the way the stagecoach was robbed by five bandits.

Two mailbags were taken containing $125,000 in gold, silver and coins. When the stage made it to Flagstaff the authorities were notified and a Cavalry detachment was dispatched to run down the outlaws. And that’s just what they did. A shootout ensued and all the outlaws were killed. But, the loot wasn’t found.

Now, fast forward some 32 years to 1913. The regulars were enjoying their libations at Black’s Saloon in Flagstaff when an excited Jimmy McGuire came into the saloon and ordered a drink. Quickly downing it, he ordered another. And Jimmy didn’t stop until he had four empty glasses in front of him.

He then pulled some gold coins from his pocket to pay for the drinks. They were immediately recognized as coming from the 1881 stage robbery. A crowd gathered around asking about the treasure.


As Jimmy started explaining where he found them, he began gasping and holding his chest. In no time Jimmy was on the floor dead of a heart attack.


And the location of the treasure died with him.


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