Villa, Benito, “Buried Gold Near Paris, Texas,” June 1977, Lost Treasure magazine, p. 25
Dobie, J. Frank, Legends of Texas – Volume I, 1924, Gretna, LA, Pelican Publishing Company,
Carson, Xanthus, “Treasure At Dead Man’s Hole,” July 1975, Lost Treasure magazine, p. 18.
El Muerte Springs, aka Dead Man’s Hole, is located about 27 miles northwest of Fort Davis, Texas, as the crow flies. The watering hole was a well-known frontier stage relay station along the El Paso-San Antonio Trail
The place had a reputation as an outlaw refuge was well known. It is also the site where a treasure in silver bars and other church treasures is said to be buried.In 1879, Dead Man’s Hole was the site selected for a meeting between the Estrada gang and a group of four Americans. The Estrada gang consisted of 21 well-seasoned banditos; the Americans were Dr. John Neal, James Hughes, Zwing Hunt and Curly Red, aka Sandy King.
Curly Red was the mastermind behind the plan to cross into Mexico for the purpose of robbing the mint at Monterey.After outfitting themselves for the journey by attacking a military detachment from Fort Davis, the 25 men rode to the Presidio Crossing on the Texas side of the Rio Grande, 80 miles south of Dead Man’s Hole.
There several of the men filled their gunnysacks with bat guano from the bat caves below the crossing. Once this task was complete, the outlaws crossed into Mexico and rode onto Monterrey.At Monterrey, several gang members made a strong showing as legitimate guano dealers offering their guano at $100 per ton. It was a great cover for the real reason they were there. Meanwhile, Red Curly, Hunt, Hughes, and Dr. Neal bought two kegs of tequila and set off for the Mexican mint.
At the mint the men started talking to a couple of the guards and pretty soon the tequila was being poured. Lighthearted conversation followed as a few more guards joined in. Eventually all 12 mint guards joined the party, then, without warning, the Americans swiftly murdered every one of them.
Immediately the four Americans set to clearing out the mint. An undisclosed number of silver bars were placed into panniers and loaded onto the mules. Once the mint had been emptied, the bad guys robbed a nearby 18th century cathedral of its church treasures.
Long before sunrise the outlaw pack train was well underway heading north. Their plan was to return to Dead Man’s Hole where they’d cache the treasure until the heat was off. They entered Texas through Reagan Canyon and worked their way northwest to the Davis Mountains.
On reaching Dead Man’s Hole, the final phase of the Americans’ plan was executed. All the Mexicans in the Estrada gang were murdered. The Americans moved quickly and divided up a small portion of the hoard for travel money and buried the rest in a 12-foot hole.
The Americans stopped in El Paso before continuing onto Tombstone, Arizona. They supported themselves by pulling a number of robberies and burglaries along the way. In 1881, they decided to recover a portion of the hoard and move the cache site to another location. They enlisted the help of four Mexican miners they’d met on the road to Dead Man’s Hole.
The story goes that the eight men sunk an 85-foot-deep shaft into solid rock. The Monterrey plunder was then transferred to this hole and it filled in. The last few feet of the hole also served as a common grave for the four Mexican miners whom they’d murdered.
Some of the treasure was divided up among the Americans who then rode onto Silver City, New Mexico.
There they hooked up with a nefarious character known as Russian Bill. Their downfall came after one of the Americans shot and killed a man for refusing to drink with him. A Silver City posse ran the bunch out of town and continued to chase them over much of the Arizona Territory.
One by one the outlaws were run to ground and all were killed except for Hughes, who vanished for sometime. He later turned up tending bar in a saloon and was arrested and sent to prison for his crimes. He never returned to Dead Man’s Hole.
To date this treasure remains missing. Perhaps in the area of Dead mans Hole?
The administrator has disabled public write access.