$10,000 in Lost Gold Near Skull Valley

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$10,000 in Lost Gold Near Skull Valley

Post Number:#1  Postby Igor » Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:08 pm

It is believed that somewhere near Skull Valley a cache of $10,000 worth of gold bullion lies buried at the edge of the Sevier Desert in western Utah. The loss of this $10,000 worth of gold ore was one of the very few times Orrin Porter Rockwell, Utah Territorial Marshal, ever failed to recover robbery loot, or to get his man.

A stage robbery took place near Simpson Springs in the 1860s. The lone bandit had picked the most unlikely spot and method to use. Pretending to be hurt, he caused the stagecoach to stop. After taking the bags of gold bullion and loading it onto a pack-horse, the bandit headed south. The stage continued on to Simpson Springs, where Marshal Rockwell happened to be. When he heard the story, Rockwell started after the bandit. After several days of trailing, he located the outlaws camp at the mouth of Cherry Creek, in what is now Tooele County.

Taking the bandit prisoner, plus two bags of bullion to Lookout Pass, the bone-tired marshal went to bed. Sometime during the night the outlaw escaped. When Rockwell delivered the two bags to Wells Fargo, he was shocked to learn that there had been three bags of bullion and that $10,000 was still missing.

Although a search of the outlaws campsite at cherry Creek was made, the bullion has never been reported found.

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Re: $10,000 in Lost Gold Near Skull Valley

Post Number:#2  Postby KsTHer » Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:17 pm

It's possible that the escaped prisoner went back and retrieved the cached loot and made off for points unknown well aware that the Marshal knew who he was and what he looked like. Knowing that the law would 1) go back to the site looking for the cache and 2) would probably be following him, he would be more careful to cover his tracks. He probably took an alias and stayed low key. We'll never know. :kl:

Igor, thanks for the story!
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Re: $10,000 in Lost Gold Near Skull Valley

Post Number:#3  Postby Tanelorn » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:11 pm

Great story thanks for posting it Igor. If you want to read some interesting stuff check out the life of Orrin Porter Rockwell. He invented the sawed off shotgun and was labeled "the Destroying Angel of Mormondom." In Nauvoo Illinois, Joseph Smith blessed him by saying "I prophesy, in the name of the Lord, that you — Orrin Porter Rockwell — so long as ye shall remain loyal and true to thy faith, need fear no enemy. Cut not thy hair and no bullet or blade can harm thee."

Take care,

"Pack it in, pack it out. Keep our wilderness pristine."
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Re: $10,000 in Lost Gold Near Skull Valley

Post Number:#4  Postby mrjimsfc » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:24 pm

Igor wrote:When he heard the story, Rockwell started after the bandit. After several days of trailing, he located the outlaws camp at the mouth of Cherry Creek, in what is now Tooele County.

Actually, ALL of Cherry Creek is in Juab County! The "mouth" of Cherry Creek is pretty much at the Jerico sand dunes. It's possible (maybe even probable) that Rockwell killed and burried the bandit where ever he happened to find him and concocted the rest of the story, keeping the one bag of bullion for himself. 8-8
"Nobody wants to listen to the voice of reason when there's a good hysteria to be had. Humans are like that."
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Re: $10,000 in Lost Gold Near Skull Valley

Post Number:#5  Postby monsterdave » Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:08 am

That's what I was thinking- also possible the guy got a way and Rockwell just kept one bag.
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Re: $10,000 in Lost Gold Near Skull Valley

Post Number:#6  Postby Scipio » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:32 am

C'mon guys, where's your research. That's about the 10th iteration of that story I've seen published. The most common, and believable had gold bullion bars, not bags and had Rockwell killing the bandit near Point Lookout Station (see Thompson's "Some Dreams Die" page 9).

We should never speculate on a story before researching it's source. Unless we simply enjoy the thrill of hunting in the wrong place, for the wrong thing based on the wrong information.

There are also at least 4 other "credible" stories centering on Rockwell's killing of a bandit or bandits near Point Lookout Station. Unless Rockwell simply made a habit of killing bandits at Point Lookout (who all, coincidentally, had stolen loot hidden anywhere from Cherry Creek to Simpson Springs to Fort Bridger), it would seem there is a snippet of truth to this story and a mountain of speculation, interpretation, fiction and quite possibly, banana peels.

Here is a TRUE story. Two fellows, one of whom worked for me, lied to their employers and called in sick for a week in the mid 80's. They had, in-hand, an iteration of this story placing the lost gold at Simpson Springs. They spent the entire "sick" week digging at Simpson Springs and ended up with a hole 6' deep and 10' across and a few coins, an old cavalry uniform button, bits and pieces of pottery and iron ... and a lot of blisters. They also ended up fighting over the junk they had found.

Oh what fun (idiotic) treasure hunting can be.
Last edited by Scipio on Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:45 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: $10,000 in Lost Gold Near Skull Valley

Post Number:#7  Postby Scipio » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:41 am

Also Daniel,
How are you my friend? Long time.

That quote about Rockwell and Joseph Smith. I'd really like to trace its origin.

My research reveals the blessing was (allegedly) given at a Christmas dinner / birthday celebration for Joseph at the Mansion House in Nauvoo when Porter returned from a long stint in Jail (he served voluntarily to keep the heat off Joseph) and showed up at the dinner unannounced.

This is all from memory ... I'll look it up again and see where I'm wrong. The point is, by all credible accounts, the blessing was given after the celebration, but never recorded. Thus, the exact wording couldn't have been quoted as it was in your post. Thus, I'd love to look further into it.

If you have time, PM me here or on ToU or better yet, call me.

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