The Station Manager
explained that Wells Fargo, who had been plagued by a rash of recent stage
coach robberies, had attempted to fool any future bandits by packing the
gold and silver into two-five gallon whiskey kegs in each bag.
Seemingly, these outlaws had an inside track to Wells-Fargo’s plan.
A posse was immediately
formed but the bandits were far ahead of any pursuers. Wells-Fargo, no doubt embarrassed by their ill-conceived idea, demanded
the help of the U.S. Army and a patrol of the 6th US Cavalry
picked up the bandit trail with the help of two Indian scouts. The
twelve-man cavalry followed the robbers to an elevation of 8,500 feet to
what was later known as Veit Spring. A log cabin was spotted ahead
where five saddled horses were tethered to a pole corral.
As the posse approached,
the bandits prepared to mount when the troopers rushed them. The
outlaws opened fire, which was returned by the cavalry. In the
end, all five outlaws lay dead. After the gunfight, the bandits’ horses and
equipment were gathered up and the cabin was searched, but no loot was
found. Word, of course quickly spread, and the very next day more
than a dozen men arrived at Veit Spring searching for the hidden loot.
The entire area was searched and dug up, but still nothing was found.
Within a few months the robbery was all but forgotten to most.
However, property owner, George Veit
diligently searched for the stolen
for almost thirty years – digging all over the slopes, the dirt floor of
the cabin, around the spring and in the nearby perpetual ice caves.
But he never found the cache. Family members and other treasure
hunters followed but to date no one has ever claimed to have found the
of America, updated March, 2017.
Arizona Treasure Tales