A PRINCELY FIND
John Hughes, Who Lives Near Guthrie,
Digs Up a Mystery
He Finds a Skeleton and $2,000 In Gold and Bills
His Wife Makes Him Dig a Well
and Digging He Strikes a Bonanza
The Gold Pieces Are of All Denominations
Submitted by: Mollie Stehno
May 31, 1893-Guthrie Daily News
John Hughes, whose claim is located about six miles east, struck it rich on Monday and, at the present writing, can hardly contain himself. For some time past John has been contemplating the digging of a well on his farm and for reasons best known to himself, has put it off from time to time, until last Friday Mrs. Hughes would stand her husband's dilatoriness no longer, and John assisted by Bob McHenry, went to work and began digging for water about twenty feet south of his house which stands upon an elevation overlooking the Cimarron. The rear of Hughes' house is covered by a large number of trees; indeed quite a grove and it was in among this bunch of trees, about ten feet from the edge that he began the excavation for his well.
After digging about three feet, for some reason or another he desisted from his work as did his assistant McHenry, and did not resume it again until Monday noon when he again seized his pick and, with his co-laborer McHenry, they proceeded to plough their way into the bowels of the earth. Hughes said that they had not been working ten minutes when his pick struck something hard and became entangled. He gave it a vicious wrench and at last succeeded in dragging it out of the ground and with it, a number of bones, which, he says he recognized at once as ribs, but whether human or animal he could not tell. He then began digging carefully about the spot where the bones came from and, in a few minutes, he uncovered the perfect skeleton of a man, perfect with the exception of the few bones he broke off when his pick became entangled.
His find appeared to be the skeleton of a man nearly six feet high. Remnants of tattered clothing were still clinging to the bones, but fell immediately into the dust upon removing the skeleton.
The ghastly find was lifted from the well when McHenry jumped back into the hole, and after removing some dirt, he says about two buckets, he found a navy revolver and a long Bowie knife, together with a belt of leather, which was almost eaten away with age and damp. Continuing his search his eyes fell upon a large leather or chamois pouch. He picked it up, when it fell to pieces, and a large lot of mouldy coins and rolls of bills, damp and worm-eaten, fell to the ground. He gathered them up, put them in the bucket, and passed them to Hughes, who remained on the surface watching with distended eyes the movements of his companion. Hughes then turned the contents of the bucket onto an old blanket, and picking up one, of what appeared the coins, rubbed the mould away, and found it to be a 10-dollar gold piece of the date 1852. Of these coins there were seventy-four, thirty-five 20 dollar gold pieces and fifteen 5-dollar pieces, in all $1,585, in gold.
The bills were damp and mouldy, and stuck together so that it was impossible to separate them. He judges that there must be over $2,000 in the bunch. He expects, when they are fairly dried, that he can take them apart without injuring them.
Hughes, who is a very intelligent man, is quite elated with his find, and sys that if can't separate the bills without breaking them he will write on to the treasury department as to what he shall do as to having them redeemed.
The skeleton was taken in charge by Dr. Nolan, who lives in the vicinity, and who sys that the bones must have been in the ground thirty years or more.
Hughes has ceased working on that well, and Mrs. Hughes is not very anxious to have him resume digging, at least in that hole.
The copyright (s) on this page must appear on all
copied and/or printed material.