Treasure hunting can be quite easy or it can be very
difficult, depending on what you need for a particular search. For some
searches, it may be as easy as walking into your own town while for others, it
may require special tools and technology. One thing that a few treasure hunts
require is the ability to imagine what life was like once ago. Only when you
have an idea of how things once were can you continue to search for this
particular type of treasure and the Red River treasure is one story that falls
into this category.
The Red River lies along the border between Texas
and Oklahoma and it is on the south side of this river that lays treasure lost
long ago. It was in 1892 that Lewis Franklin Palmore was appointed to be the
first marshal in what is today’s Oklahoma. It wasn’t until two years later that
he first had an encounter with criminals when four men robbed the First National
Bank located in Bowie, Texas. The criminals went north with the money they had
taken from the bank and they stopped to rest along the bank of the Red River,
which at the time was flooded.
That same night, Palmore received word from the city marshal in Bowie. The Bowie
marshal wanted to let Palmore know that the criminals were headed in his
direction. Palmore gathered other officials and knowing that the criminals would
have to cross the flooded river went to catch them. Just as the criminals were
about to cross over the river safely, they saw Palmore’s gang heading towards
them. Beginning to panic and not knowing what to do, the criminals dove into the
water and swam the width of it while their horses swam alongside of them.
Palmore and his crew were ready and waiting for the criminals with handcuffs on
the other side. The criminals were captured and charged for their crime.
According to the reports, the robbers should have had $18,000 with them in paper
money and other ten to twenty thousand in coin. After searching them, Palmore
and the other officials found the paper money but the coin was never found.
The criminals were quickly taken to Fort Smith,
Arkansas where Judge Roy Parker found them guilty during trial and sentenced
them to death by hanging. Nooses were placed around the criminal’s necks and
they sat atop their horses waiting to be taken to their final destination.
Palmore was beside one of the criminals and while they were waiting, one of the
criminals whispered to Palmore that the remaining coin was hidden around the
area that was their final campout site. Palmore searched the entire area but he
never could find the coin.
It’s believed that because the river and the
surrounding land have changed so much, especially in the way of flooding
conditions, that one must be able to imagine what the river looked like the day
the criminals left to be able to discover the missing coin. Because the river
was severely flooded at the time, it is most likely buried somewhere much higher
above what today would be a standard surface line. Many have searched for this
treasure but to this day, it remains the mystery of the Red River treasure.