The lost treasure of Parson Keithley.



Where is the lost treasure of Parson Keithley?

Many tales have been told about the gold rush days in California, some true, some concocted out of pure imagination. Whether to believe these tales is always left up to the person that hears the story. Then as the story is passed down through the years, many times, more is added to the actual facts making it even harder to believe. Just like the story about Parson Keithley.

Parson Keithley was a bizarre and odd character even for the gold rush era. Prior to the gold rush, Parson Keithley was known to be strange fellow. He would wander the countryside of the Ozarks in Stone County, preaching on Sundays and just roaming the rest of the week. He always carried his gun on his shoulder and had his trusty dog along side. His family never knew where he was or when he was coming home. He would leave for days on end and then appear just as quickly as he had left. No one knew exactly what he did while he was out roaming and he never even spoke a word of his adventures.

When the news of the California gold rush made it to Missouri, Parson Keithley was an elderly man, still roaming the countryside and preaching on Sundays. One day, he left home like any other day but was not heard from for many months. This was out of character. He might disappear for a few days, but never for a month or more. Finally, after quite a few months, his family received a letter from Parsons Keithley stating he was in California. One day, two years and eight months later, he reappeared at home and began his old rituals, preaching on Sundays, roaming the rest of the time.

The family finally found out what Parson had found while in California and that its value was at the time around $6,000. He never mentioned where he hid the gold. However, he would pull a $10 gold coin from his pocket now and then to hand to his daughter. All he would say was “See here what I’ve found.”

Parson Keithley had a favorite cave in which he used for mediating as the story goes and the town folk even fondly called the cave “Keithley’s Cave”. After the end of the Civil War, the parson prepared the cave for his burial. He walling off a room and had a five-foot entrance leading to the room. He built a double stone door inclined at an angle at the entrance of the cave. He lived to be over 90 years of age. The story does not state whether he was buried in the cave or not. However, even at his death, he never admitted have found gold in California, but many believe he did find gold and that he buried in either his garden or the cave.

The cave can be found close to Galena, Missouri.

The lost treasure of Parson Keithley.

 The lost treasure of Parson Keithley.

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