State Treasure - Indiana

By Anthony M. Belli
From page 21 of the August, 2010 issue of Lost Treasure
Copyright © 2010 Lost Treasure, Inc. all rights reserved


A Fortune Missing
DELAWARE COUNTY - It was the morning of October 10, 1935, when a black and grey armored truck bound for Indianapolis came upon the scene of a downed power line across the highway several miles outside of Muncie. Inside the armored car, three armed guards were transporting a shipment of $75,000 in cash carried in canvas bank bags and two small crates, each containing four bars of gold that had been picked up at the Farmers & Merchants Trust Depository in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
As the armored car driver approached the hazard, he saw a man standing on the highway waiving his arms to stop traffic while pointing to the downed line. On the opposite side of the highway the two forward guards inside the passenger compartment could see a man sitting behind the wheel of an old pickup truck next to the telephone pole where the power line had gone down. With few vehicles on the highway that morning, it appeared likely that the man flagging traffic was the passenger from the pickup truck.
As the driver slowed to a stop he opened his window to ask the man flagging traffic what the trouble was. The man held up two pairs of rubber gloves and said he needed help moving the line off the pavement. As the guard driving stepped out of the truck to help, he noticed a motorcycle approaching from the rear that he’d spotted behind him a few miles back.
When the guard stepped away from his truck, the driver of the pickup, from across the highway, leveled a doubled barreled shotgun through his driver’s window and, without warning, cut loose with both barrels killing the guard instantly. Seeing his partner go down, the guard in the passenger seat pulled his revolver and exited from the passenger door using the armored truck as cover from the shooter in the pickup truck.
As the guard moved into a shooting position to engage the shooter in the pickup truck, a second assassin appeared from the brush behind him. Leveling his shotgun at the guard, he fired, striking him in both legs. As the guard went down he spun around and got off one shot that hit the shooter’s right shoulder.
The motorcyclist jumped off his bike and ran towards the rear of the armored truck. He carried a string of firecrackers, which he lit. Once at the back of the armored car, he lifted one of the gun-ports open and tossed the firecrackers into the truck’s rear compartment. The firecrackers exploded, filled the rear compartment with smoke, forcing the guard to throw open the rear doors and stumble out onto the highway. The motorcyclist then shot him three times; he was dead before he hit the pavement.
The motorcyclist, flagger and driver of the pickup truck then quickly transferred the sacks of money and crates of gold from the armored car to their pickup and sped off, with the motorcyclist following close behind.
The daring daylight robbery and murders were carried out by Fred Dunn, the motorcyclist, and his associates, Cliff Boone, Kerry Logan and Dick Walsh. An inside man was later identified as an employee of the Farmers & Merchants Trust Depository, Gary Schnall. Logan was the suspect hit in the right shoulder by the passenger guard’s single shot. He fell unconscious when hit and was arrested at the scene by police.
After the hold-up Dunn, Boone and Walsh met up at an abandoned farmhouse just south of Muncie where they’d been squatting for two weeks prior to the robbery.
They split up the loot three ways and each buried his portion in a grove of trees near
the farmhouse just until the heat died down. Meanwhile Logan, who’d been promised leniency, was signing like a bird to the cops about the farmhouse and about their inside man at the depository.
Before that night was over no one would be left alive that knew where the loot had been buried. Logan was murdered in his jail cell. Dunn and Walsh were killed outright by police gunfire at the farmhouse hideout, while Boone was critically wounded. Once out of surgery Boone remained in a state of delirium and uttered something about burying the loot amidst some elm trees. He died early that morning. Schnall was arrested for his part, but knew nothing of the farmhouse or cache location.
Investigators from Muncie and the state police searched the farmhouse and surrounding areas, but never found any trace of the armored car loot. As far as anyone knows the loot is still buried just outside of Muncie in a grove of trees.

Lost Ten O’clock Line Mines
OWEN / PUTNAM COUNTIES – This little known tale appears in Lost Treasure for the first time. The story of the lost Ten O’clock Line Mines comes from Chief Little Turtle of the Miami Indian Confederacy. It’s a known fact that, before the arrival of the white man, the Miami Indian Confederacy had crafted small statues, ornaments and ceremonial figures from gold and silver, which they acquired from their own mines.
Gold and silver were used as trade items with other tribes and, when white settlers moved into the area, the Indians traded nugget gold for goods. In 1809, the Confederacy sold what later became south Indiana to the U.S. government. Before leaving the area, they closed their two mines and erased all signs of their existence.
As more whites arrived in the area and heard the stories of the Indians trading with gold and silver, the question always came up, “What was the source of the Indians gold and silver?”
The question was put to Chief Little Turtle one day by two U.S. government surveyors. Little Turtle replied by thrusting his spear into the ground, which cast a shadow in the direction of Cataract Falls.
He told the surveyors that the shadow would lead them to the mines. They searched the area of Cataract Falls and Lake, but no mines were found.
Then, in 1925, two brothers, Ivan and Grover Parrish, obtained a mining claim to land in the vicinity of Cataract Falls up around the Putnam County line. They discovered gold-bearing ore, which led them to argue over where the second tunnel should be dug.
In 1930, the argument ended when the brothers blasted shut the tunnels and shafts and closed their mine.
In the early 1970’s there was a report that mining activity had resumed in the area and what was thought to be the main tunnel of a mine was discovered and re-opened.
It is unknown if the tunnel discovered was the Parrish tunnel or one from the lost Ten O’clock Line Mines. Local research could help determine if the lost mines have been found or if the tunnel was part of the Parrish Mine.

Harris Farmhouse Treasures
JEFFERSON COUNTY – Before and during the Civil War, the Underground Railroad helped slaves in the south escape to the north.
One stop on the Underground Railroad was the Harris Farmhouse on the Bear Farm three miles northeast of Madison, Indiana, along the Ohio River.
Legends claim several gold caches were hidden on the premises, but two specific caches have been documented.
One cache of “pay-off money” was used to pay those who helped transfer slaves to their next stop on the railroad. This lost cache was hidden in a small cave that could be accessed from the farmhouses basement.
The second cache is supposed to be buried at the rear of a 300 to 400-foot tunnel that was accessed from the farm where a hollow in the Ohio River is found. Local research should help.

Cowgill-Bryant Farm Treasure
FULTON COUNTY – According to the late Michael Paul Henson, this little known treasure tale originated in the 1905 issue of Home Folks, edited by Marguerite Miller. A man named William Ward claimed a cache of Indian gold was buried on “Mrs. Cowgill-Bryant’s farm” north of Rochester.
Ward claimed an Indian from Kansas appeared at the farm one day with a map showing the location where his grandfather had buried their family’s gold after the U.S. government had paid the Indians for their lands before being moved west of the Mississippi in 1838.
The Indian was certain he was at the proper site, but rocks and trees shown on the map were no longer there. He failed to locate his grandfather’s cache.
A visit to the old farm with a good detector may help find this one.

Sources:
Ferguson, Jeff, “Missing Armored Car Loot,” September 1974, Treasure World magazine, p. 32.
Kildare, Maurice, “Questions and Answers,” January 1975, Treasure World magazine, p. 54.
Marx, Robert F., Buried Treasures You Can Find, 1993, Dallas, TX, Ram Publishing Company, p. 170.
Henson, Michael Paul, “INDIANA – Gold Buried on Farm,” August 1994, Lost Treasure magazine, p. 50.



Comments

1JimRook's picture

1935 armored car robbery

As a resident of Indiana, I found this article intriquing.  I have not been to the sight but hope to in the future.  Thank you for posting this.Jim Rook

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Jim

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