State Treasures - Arkansas

By Anthony M. Belli
From page 28 of the November, 2012 issue of Lost Treasure
Copyright © 2012 Lost Treasure, Inc. all rights reserved

Secret Treasure Cave
on Brushy Creek
CARROLL COUNTY - Two stories exist regarding a secret cave containing a vast treasure that is thought to be located near the old Brushy Creek School.
The first account dates to 1541 when Spanish explorer and Conquistador Hernando de Soto (c.1496/1497–1542) led an expedition of 600 men into the Ozarks searching for gold.
The expedition suffered sickness and Indian hostilities during their journey.
By the time they reached present-day Carroll County, it is said they discovered a cave while traveling through the Brushy Creek area roughly 8-1/2 miles south of Berryville. Here DeSoto decided to cache the expedition’s treasure and quite possibly anything else that would impede their travel.
Before departing the area, the entrance to the cave was walled up and hidden from view.
According to the tale, DeSoto planned to return by the same route he’d taken so, when he hid the treasure, it was his intention to recover it on his return trip. But that never happened.
DeSoto died on May 21, 1542, at the Indian village of Guachoya near present-day McArthur, 215 miles southeast of the Brushy Creek area.
According to the story, the cave discovered by DeSoto has never been found - or has it?
The second story took place in the same area where DeSoto concealed his cache, but almost 315 years later.
In 1855, legend claims a country doctor was making his rounds through this rugged area when a party of unfriendly Indians stopped him.
It was understood that he was a medicine man, which the Indians happened to be in need of.
The doctor was blindfolded and taken to a nearby cave and told to treat an Indian boy who’d suffered a broken leg.
Once the doctor had set the boy’s leg, he told the Indians how to treat him until he recovered.
Grateful for the doctor’s help, the Indians filled his medicine bag with gold specie.
He was again blindfolded and taken back to the road where he could find his way home.
Later the doctor told the story, saying when the blindfold was removed after reaching the cave he was stunned to see piles of treasure all around him.
He reported seeing Spanish coins, bars of gold and silver, ancient Spanish armor, and weapons that filled a number of the chambers inside the cave.
The doctor, whose name is lost to history, is said to have kept the coins; after the Indians had been removed from the area the doctor searched for the cave many times without success until he died.
The doctor believed the cave was located within a half mile of the Brushy Creek School where he concentrated his search.
The skeleton of an Indian was found on Brushy Creek a short distance from the Schoolhouse in 1910.
Examination revealed the deceased had a broken leg that had been set many years before.
Old-timers who knew the story believed the Indian boy was the one treated by the doctor who’d returned to the area to search for the cave.
As far as is known the cave has yet to be re-discovered.
The Brushy Creek Schoolhouse was located adjacent to the Brushy Creek Cemetery, which I understand requires a 4x4 and some walking to reach this site.
The directions from Berryville are: Leave Berryville southbound on AR-21 for about 6.5 miles then turn right onto Brushy Creek Road and continue for almost 4 miles to County Road 5607 where you will make a left turn.
Continue south on County Road 5607 for 0.15 miles and stop. From here you’ll be on foot.
There is an unmarked trailhead here that will take you across Piney Creek (dry).
From the trailhead the walking distance is about 0.27 miles. The cemetery is marked and surrounded by a chain link fence.

Jesse’s Hideout:
Nelson Hollow Cave
BENTON COUNTY - Located in the Ozark Mountains of northwest Arkansas you’ll find the spectacular man made Beaver Lake with 483 miles of natural shoreline that extends into Benton, Carroll, Washington and Madison Counties.
Known for its wide variety of tress, wildlife, lofty limestone bluffs and natural caves, today Beaver Lake is a popular tourist destination. 
But after the Civil War, Frank and Jesse James were frequent callers in the Ozark Mountains where old timers living in this region during the time when the James gang was in the saddle claim the Nelson Hollow Cave was one of Jesse’s frequent hideouts, though no one specific treasure is linked to the site. For more than 140 years these tales passed from generation to generation.
The question today is where is the Nelson Hollow cave?
My research failed to turn up a single reference to the cave in historic accounts or on maps from that period, except the reference made in W.C. Jameson book, Buried Treasures of the Ozarks, (1990).
Unfortunately, Jameson does not provide a Bibliography so his source is unknown.
I believe the cave was inundated in 1966 when the Army Corps of Engineers completed the dam across the White River and flooded the valley to create Beaver Lake.
If so the cave should be found in the vicinity of the Nelson Hollow inlet on the western shore of the lake.

Miss Daisy’s Whiskey
Mountain Hoard
STONE COUNTY - Miss Daisy D. Dean was born on April 18, 1909, and died on December 24, 1996, at 87-years-old.
Eccentric, independent, fierce, well armed and well known for making Miss Daisy’s Shine, her own home brewed illicit whiskey that was legendary around these parts and enjoyed by locals for decades.
Once married, she divorced young in life and remained single for the remainder of it. When asked about her husband all she’d say was, “I sent him packing.”
Miss Daisy lived more than a half century on a 40-acre tract of land atop a hill or mountain overlooking the White River in Allison, Arkansas.
Up into the 1950’s, she was the proprietor of a dance hall in Allison, but after a suspicious fire destroyed the dancehall Miss Daisy sold the property.
The old dancehall site is where the Holiday Mountain Resort is today at 473 Swinging Bridge Road, Mountain View, Arkansas. 
Every Friday and Saturday night, Miss Daisy’s dance hall was a jumping place where locals gathered to sing, play music and dance well into the wee hours of the morning.
It was also the only place a connoisseur of fine liquors could lay their hands on a Mason jar full of Miss Daisy’s Shine.
Arkansas being a dry state at the time presented Miss Daisy with the opportunity to sell all of her premium whiskey at top dollar prices.
Neighbors, family and friends knew Miss Daisy was both a shrewd businesswoman as well as a miser.
She lived in a two-room cabin where she hunted and fished as well as raised and slaughtered goats and chickens for food.
Water was plentiful from a nearby spring, and she grew all of her own produce.
Daisy was never known to spend money frivolously; when she came into town it was to buy staple goods such as sugar, flour and coffee.
Miss Daisy had plenty of money, how much no one knows. She had no bank account and dealt strictly in cash.
Two relatives visiting Miss Daisy one evening sat up counting paper money totaling over $70,000 and later verified that her money was kept in fruit jars and buried nearby.
She also had an impressive collection of gold coins and arrowheads displayed in her home.
Around 1993, Miss Daisy slipped and fell, breaking her hip. At 84 years relatives became concerned for her living alone in such a remote area and her nephew petitioned the court for power of attorney over Miss Daisy’s affairs.
When county elderly care workers arrived at her home one day to check on her, Miss Daisy cut loose with a barrage of gunfire which became an issue in court.
The court soon after granted the nephew power of attorney and Miss Daisy was forced off her mountain and into a care home.
Shortly after her nephew sold off the property, $15,000 in cash was found stuffed into an old mattress.
The cash, however, was so old it had deteriorated to the point it could not be turned in to the U.S. Mint for replacement.
Daisy’s family knew the $15,000 was a far cry from what the old woman had and, despite their best efforts to locate where she buried her money, none of it was ever found.         

Sources:, Arkansas, # 7,
Henson, Michael Paul, “Dr. Gold Coins,” December 1988, Lost Treasure, p. 49
Jameson, W.C., “Buried Treasures of the Ozarks,” 1990, Little Rock, AR, August House, Inc, p. 83
Wikipedia research: Beaver Lake, Arkansas,
Saylor, Shania, “Miss Daisy’s Moonshine Money,” October 2006, Lost Treasure, p. 22.