On October 24, 1879, an article in the Cass County Times-Courier described the location of a hidden Spanish treasure near Harrisonville, Missouri. The text read:
“Before being massacred by attacking Indians in 1772, several hundred Spaniards buried 15 loads of gold averaging 130 pounds each and 1,000 bars of silver weighing an average of 20 pounds to the bar… in the area four or five miles west and one or one and one-half miles north of Harrisonville. The silver was buried within one-fourth of a mile of where the present-day Rodman School stands; the gold is three-fourths of a mile farther northwest.”
More than 50 years later, a construction crew built a bridge in 1930. The location was several miles southeast of the old Rodman School. During the excavation, the crew found evidence of a battle between the Spanish and the Indians, locating old weapons, skeletons, and part of old armor.
Harrisonville has dramatically grown in the last several years, so locating the exact location of the old Rodman School will, no doubt, require some sleuthing skills.
Reader Update: I live in Cass County, just north of Harrisonville and a little east of Peculiar, Missouri. We had always heard the legend of the Spanish gold and have been told that it was on some land that we had when I was a child, and I think mom and dad still own it. My sister, brothers, and I will hunt this weekend, weather permitting. There is an area where dad could never get any grass or anything to grow on. We will look there. Thanks for the research that backs the claims that we have always heard.
– Teresa, October 2004
Reader Update: I’ve been researching the “Harrisonville” legend and have found the “Rodham” school. I am planning on a trek this weekend to the area. I viewed some of the maps online and found a topographic map and aerial photo of the area, approximately a 1/4 mile from Rodham school. In the aerial photo, there appears to be a concentric ring that does not appear on the topo. I am still trying to find other aerial photos of the area. See here: Treasurenet. For some reason, this “legend” kind of gets my blood pumping. While the Spanish were in the area at the time, I would like to see if I could find records from the Spanish missions in the area. Perhaps they might hold more documentation of the massacre. I believe the Indian tribe was the Osage. I can’t say for sure, but that seemed to ring a bell. Perhaps some of the old Osage tribal leaders might have information about it.
– From Rex, “Flatlander With Gold Fever,” April 2005
© Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated December 2022.
Ghosts, Legends, Myths, & Mysteries