Where is the lost silver mine in Moccasin Creek valley?
During the late 1800’s many individuals and families
alike traveled west in the hopes of finding their fortune. However, not everyone
leaving Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and Alabama made it all the way to
California. One such family was the Tobe Inmon family.
Tobe was a quiet man that provided for his family
the best way he could in western Kentucky. He owned a few hogs, chickens and
grew a small crop of corn. He was accused of stealing from a nearby neighbor and
thus left the area along with wife and two sons. Of course, they headed west
towards California with the hogs in front leading the way.
Tobe was not sure of their destination, only that
he wanted a place where he could provide his family with a quiet life away from
He followed the trail for quite awhile, but became
lost in Arkansas. Here he found Moccasin Creek Valley in Pope County, Arkansas
just a few miles north of the Arkansas River. He liked the area and instead of
trying to keep going with his family in tow, he decided to build a life here.
He built a small one-room cabin and thus began a
meager life once again. He would venture into Dover to trade chickens or hogs
for such things as flour, sugar, and coffee. The rest of the time, he stayed at
home and did not talk to any town’s folks or neighbors.
He and family both wore rags and always seem to be
dirty and of course were still living in poverty.
In 1903, Tobe went into to Dover seeking a doctor as his youngest son was ill
and running a high fever. He found Dr. Benjamin Martin, who followed him to his
cabin. Not really wishing to stay in such a worn down and poverty stricken home,
the doctor agreed to stay until the fever broke and the child was out of danger.
Two days went by before the boy was out of danger.
As Dr. Martin was preparing to leave, Tobe asked how much he owed the doctor.
Dr. Martin knew that this family could not pay for his services, so he told him
he could pay him when times got better. Tobe insisted on paying the doctor. He
gave him a small pouch, which held 30 bullets for a large caliber rifle.
Dr. Martin asked Tobe where he had came across such
exquisite bullets when bullets were very rare. Tobe said that he had made them
himself from lead he had found in an old mine back in the hills behind his
Two years went by before Dr. Martin had the chance
to try out these bullets. As he was heading off to go deer hunting, he noticed
the surface coating on one of the bullets was removed. The strange color
underneath puzzled the doctor. He took the bullets to Russeilville to have them
analyzed. He learned the bullets were made from pure silver.
Dr. Martin headed off to talk with Tobe; however,
he found an empty cabin and learned the family had moved to Texas.
Over the course of the next few years, Dr. Martin
searched in vain to find the silver mine. He gave up his patients, his practice,
and literally his life. He never found the silver mine and died penniless. Many
have searched for this mysterious mine to come up empty handed. If only Tobe had
known what he had found he could have lived his life and given his family a