Alf Bolin’s Outlaw Loot, Missouri

Murder Rock, Missouri courtesy KY3 News

Murder Rocks, Missouri, courtesy KY3 News

Somewhere in the Fox Creek Hills is supposed to be the buried treasure of Alf Bolin, a Missouri outlaw who operated in the mid-1800s. Many years ago, a man came to a farm on Highway JJ south of Kirbyville in Taney County, Missouri, looking for the buried cache. He had been told by one of Alf Bolin’s gang, that Bolin had buried gold and silver from his many robberies near a cave in the Fox Creek country. The cave is located in the vicinity of Section 20, Township 22, Range 20 in Taney County, Missouri, about two miles southwest of the Old Mincy Store and Mill site. The old man told the farmer that the treasure was not buried in the cave but according to the story, nearby, using the cave as a landmark.

Bolin’s loot is probably buried in those hills. The activities of the Bolin Gang centered around “Murder Rocks” on Pine Mountain south of Kirbyville, Missouri. “Murder Rocks,” also known as the “Alf Bolin Rocks,” are located on Highway JJ about 10 miles south of Forsyth, Missouri, the county seat of Taney County, Missouri.

This is a rugged section of the Ozark Mountains in southwest Missouri. The present highway up the mountain is about 60 feet east of the old road. The old road passed within a few feet of these great limestone rocks.

The great limestone rocks stood beside the Springfield-Harrison Road near the top of the mountain. The outlaws hid behind these rocks with a perfect view of the north and south roads. Many travelers were held up and robbed here, and the gang murdered several others.

During the Civil War, Bolin and his gang of about 20 men raided northern Arkansas and southwest Missouri. While all the able-bodied men were off to war, the gang easily terrorized the farms, left with only old men, women, and children to defend them.

Though Union soldiers were sent to capture the outlaw, Bolin and his band were hard riders, and good woodsmen and the bandit eluded every attempt to capture him. Finally, the soldiers devised a plan to trap him instead. Held captive by the Union was a Southern soldier by the name of Foster, who was from Bolin’s area. His wife, living near the Arkansas-Missouri state line about three miles south of Murder Rocks, was approached by the Union soldiers. If she helped to capture the outlaw, the Union soldiers would release her husband. Though a dangerous plan for Mrs. Foster, she agreed.

A union soldier named Thomas, pretending to be a sick Confederate soldier, stayed at the Foster home for several days. As was Bolin’s practice when he was in the area, he often took his meals at the Foster home. Finally, Bolin came to the house alone for dinner, and Thomas, upstairs, made a noise. When Bolin asked what it was, Mrs. Foster explained that he was a poor Southern soldier making his way back home. Bolin demanded that the man come down from the attic, threatening to kill him.

Alf Bolin killed by Zack Thomas

Alf Bolin killed by Zack Thomas.

Appearing weak and hardly able to move about, Thomas joined the pair at the dinner table. Still suspicious, Bolin laid his pistol on the table as he ate his meal. However, as time passed, the outlaw calmed down, and when he turned his back to Thomas, the union soldier struck Bolin with a fire poker. Though his death was not immediate, Thomas continued hitting him until he died. It was February 1, 1863, and Bolin was 21 years old. When Bolin’s body was brought to Forsyth, Missouri, his head was cut off and taken to Ozark, where it was placed on a pole. The entire area rejoiced at the death of Alf Bolin.

During his many raids along the main road from Harrison, Arkansas, to Springfield, Missouri, the outlaw amassed a considerable fortune in gold, silver, and other valuables. Obviously, he couldn’t keep his ill-gotten cache in a bank, so he buried it near the cave on Fox Creek near the Missouri and Arkansas border. The exact location of the burial spot died with the outlaw, the treasure remaining in the ground near the cave for more than a century.


© Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated December 2022.

Also See:

Ghosts, Legends, Myths, & Mysteries

Hidden Treasure in Missouri

Missouri – The Show Me State

Treasure Tales Across America