Buried Treasure At Bedford
Posted By: Ken Wright (email)
Date: 5/12/2010 at 10:45:41
October 23, 1919
Search Long for Buried Treasure
Hidden Fortune has Lured Men to Toil for Half Century on Iowa Farm.
Tragedy Woven in Romance
Murder of Man 46 Years Ago Brings Strange Characters Into a Court – Mystery Yet to Be Solved.
Bedford, Ia. – The mystery of a hidden treasure, a mystery that has puzzled the people of southwestern Iowa for half a century, has been brought nearer solution by an investigation which has shown how a little group of picturesque characters of that section of the state toiled for years in quest of riches buried, according to tradition, on the Klondike farm.
Lying 15 miles southwest of Bedford, Ia., is the Huntsman farm, and adjoining it is the Anderson homestead. Pitted with holes and scarred with many excavations, the farms prove the arduous toil of men driven by dreams of gold. First it was Dr. C. R. Huntsman and his brother, Bates, who searched for the treasure. Now it is Bates and his two sons and their families.
Searching for the Treasure.
Samuel Anderson moved to Iowa in the early seventies. Soon after he located on the farm Anderson received a call from the Huntsmans, who told him that there was a lot of gold buried on the place and that they wanted to dig for it. Anderson was asked to aid in the work. For nearly a quarter century the three dug, plowed and excavated.
One day 17 years ago the searchers uncovered three stakes set in a direct line pointing to a spring. Anderson, inspired by the vision of his share of the fortune, dug on feverishly. He first came onto some white sand that he knew was not common to that part of the country. Anderson then uncovered a big rock, under which was a metal box. One of the Huntsmans told Anderson that he could go, promising him his share of the fortune when the money was counted. He never saw the box again nor learned of its contents.
Soon after the discovery of the metal box the elder Huntsman died suddenly. Samuel Anderson, wearying of long waiting for his share of the treasure he believed he had uncovered, filed a suit against Bates Huntsman, asking pay for his years of toil. So peculiar was his story that state officials became interested. An investigation followed, and other persons acquainted with some of the circumstances of the affair were found. One of these was Maria Collins Porter of Quitman, Mo., who spent her girlhood in the vicinity.
The woman’s story seemed to throw clear light on the source of the treasure the Huntsmans had sought so long. The story, too, seemed to link the treasure with the hoard found in the cabin of old Dr. A. M. Golliday of Bedford, whose body was found in his cabin 11 years ago. It was a story of a murder gang, of stolen thousands, of a crime committed so far back in time that even the identity of the victim was a matter of uncertainty.
Held on Murder Charge.
Following swiftly upon the story of Maria Collins Porters came the arrest of Bates Huntsman, Sam Scrivener, a rich farmer, and John and Hank Damewood. They were charged with the murder of a man of unknown identity, presumably a rich cattle buyer from Missouri, 46 years ago. Even before the Trial began speculation as to the identity of the murdered man became rife. Although there were found to be many contradictions in the evidence presented by some of the witnesses the case of the state might have proceeded further but for one of the primary technicalities of the law of homicide. The state could not establish the existence of the man alleged to have been killed. The young attorney for the aged defendants only had to move that the case be dismissed to have this action taken.
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