Legends of America

Follow the links to the various pages of Legends of America

The Old West Legends of America Outhouse Madness Ghostly Legends Outlaws Old West Saloons Rocky Mountain General Store Legends Photo Store The Book Store Route 66 Native Americans The Old States - Back East

Legends of America    |    Legends General Store    |    Legends Photo Shop 


Legends Of America's Facebook PageLegends Of America's Twitter PageLegends on Pinterest

Legends Home

Site Map

What's New!!


Content Categories:

American History


Ghost Stories

Ghost Towns

Historic People

Legends & Myths

Native Americans

Old West

Photo Galleries

Route 66

Treasure Tales


   Search Our Sites

Custom Search



About Us


Article/Photo Use

Copyright Information


Facebook Page




Privacy Policy

Site Map

Writing Credits


We welcome corrections

and feedback!

Contact Us


Legends' General Store

Old West/Western

Route 66

Native American

Featured Items

Sale Items


CD's - DVD's

Nuwati Herbals


Wall Art

Custom Products

and Much More!


  Legends Of America's Rocky Mountain General Store - Cart View


Legends' Photo Prints

Legends Photo Prints and Downloads

Ghost Town Prints

Native American Prints

Old West Prints

Route 66 Prints

States, Cities & Places

Nostalgic Prints

Photo Art Prints

Jim Hinckley's America

David Fisk (Lens of Fisk)

Specials-Gift Ideas

and Much More!!

Legends Of America's Photo Print Shop - Cart View


Family Friendly Site













Kansas - Legends of Ahs IconKANSAS LEGENDS

Fleagle Gang Buried Cashe

Old West Prints & Wanted Posters

  Bookmark and Share


Garden City, Kansas 1909Fleagle Gang Buried Cache

In the late 1800s, the Fleagle family traveled from Iowa, settling in the flatlands of western Kansas. Raising four boys, the two oldest boys were hard working and conscientious, but the other two, Ralph and Jake Fleagle would grow up to be early 1900s outlaws.

Heading out to San Francisco, California, Jake became a card shark. Later, they traveled to Oklahoma, where Jake was arrested and sentenced to one year at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary for burglary.


When he got out, Ralph was waiting and they returned to western Kansas, to what was, by then, called Garden City.


Neighbors began to notice that Ralph and Jake were constantly coming and going to the farm and the family was beginning to prosper with a new house, tractor and increasing numbers of cattle stock. The brothers convinced their family that they had done well in the stock market, but what no one knew, was they were really leading a gang of gunmen who were terrorizing the western states. Jake, the leader of the gang, led them up and down the Sacramento Valley for years, usually raiding big money crap games and high stake gambling houses. Periodically, they would return to Garden City when the heat was on in California. Jake was a philanderer and a drinker, but still managed to accumulate a sizable bank account. Ralph, on the other hand, was a tightwad and secretly buried his money in places all over California, Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas. Historians estimate that the Fleagles and their gangs were responsible for 60% of the heists in and around Kansas and California during the 1920s.


The brothers rented a new place not far from their parents where they could plan their capers more privately. Here, in 1928, along with three new members of their "gang,” they planned to rob the First National Bank of Lamar, Colorado. Corazon Gargullio, an escapee from San Quentin, cased the bank for the crew. The other two handpicked members were George Abshier from Colorado and Howard Royston from California. Though planned very carefully, the heist was put off several times due to Jake’s superstitions. Gargullio got tired of the waiting and left the gang, only to be shot down within days by the FBI.  


When the day finally arrived, the four men entered the bank, filling their sacks with $220,000. In their 15 years of stealing, the Fleagle brothers had never shot their weapons, but on that day in Lamar, Colorado, the bank president, A.N. Parrish fired at Royston with a 45, hitting him in the jawbone. Jake fired back at Parrish, killing him. The bank president’s son, J.N. Parrish ran to help his father, and was also shot down by Jake. In the ensuing panic, the alarm was triggered and the gang fled with bank employees Everett Kessinger and Ed Lungren as hostages, with the sheriff close behind them. When one of the gang’s shots hit the radiator in the sheriff’s car, the gang sped away leaving the lawmen behind. Once outside of town, they dropped off Ed Lungren, the bank teller, but Kessinger was kept on the running board to be used as a shield in case they encountered more law enforcement.



With Royston lying on the rear floor moaning from the slug he had taken in his jaw, the gang sped down the back roads of Colorado until they reached western Kansas. Once back on their ranch, they tied up Kessinger, and the Fleagle brothers buried the money. Around midnight, they finally roused a Dr. W.W. Wineinger with a gun to his head, bringing him back to the ranch to tend to Royston.


However, when Dr. Wineinger did not return home, the townsfolk began a wide search. The doctor was finally found under his old Hudson automobile at the crisscross of a cowpath. He was bound, gagged, blindfolded and shot in the back. A few days later, cashier Kessinger's bullet riddled body was found in a weedy patch north of Liberal, Kansas. Like the Doc, he had been bound, gagged, and shot in the back. Citizens were outraged. The town newspaper cried for revenge. The law sent out dozens of man hunters but the gang had already fled to St. Paul, Minnesota.  

However, Jake Fleagle had made a fatal mistake, leaving a single fingerprint on Doc Wineinger's old car. In those days, a single print was a long shot, but the law got lucky when a transient named William Holden was arrested on suspicion of a train stickup. Holden was later freed after providing a solid alibi, but the sheriff sent his fingerprints to Washington on a hunch.  The prints were identified not as belonging to a William Holden, but rather to Jake Fleagle who had served time in the Oklahoma Penitentiary, and matched the print on Dr. Wineinger’s car.

Sheriff s deputies hurried to the Fleagle ranch where Ralph’s address was provided as Kankakee, Illinois. Chief Harper rushed to Kankakee, taking Ralph by surprise and brought him back to Garden City in shackles. Ralph started talking.

Royston, still bearing the Lamar bullet scar, was living a quiet exemplary life as a father and husband when he was arrested in San Andreas, California. He tattled on George Abshier, and Abshier was picked up.

With no lead on Jake Fleagle, over a million posters prominently displaying his prison photo were distributed to almost every city and town in the nation. Twenty-five thousand dollars was offered for his capture. Finally, he was shot down in a running gunfight with police in Branson, Missouri.

Ralph Fleagle, Royston, and Abshier were all hanged in the Colorado State Penitentiary at Canon City.

As for the hundreds of thousands of dollars of Ralph Fleagle's buried booty, one cache was dug up in Nebraska in 1952, another in Kansas in 1961; near Murrieta, California, another Fleagle cache was found, approximate figure unknown.


BattleCanyon-ScottCo-KsGeoSrvy.jpg (306x210 -- 12634 bytes)

Battle Canyon, Scott County, Kansas courtesy Kansas Geological Survey

There are many Fleagle bandit caches scattered throughout the Inland Empire of Southern California, as well as in the Sacramento, California, and Garden City, Kansas, areas.


One buried cache of $100,000 taken from a bank in Nebraska is said to be buried in one or two places: in the area of Battle Canyon, in the badlands of the Logan-Scott County area; and/or on Ralph’s Fleagles ranch where he lived before he was captured near Branson, Missouri.




© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated October, 2012.


From Legends' General Store

Saloon Style Advertising Prints - What were on the walls of the saloons in the Old West?  Likely, much of the same as those you find today - advertisements for liquor, beer, and tobacco.  Plus the "decadent" women of the time.  In our Photo Print Shop, you'll find dozens of photographs for decorating your "real" saloon or den in a saloon type atmosphere.



                                                            Copyright © 2003-Present, www.Legends of America.com