It occurred on January 30 1895. A train was heading from Lordsburg New Mexico to Tucson Arizona carrying passengers, as well as mail, several canvas bags of Mexican silver coins numbering 18,000 coins in total, a Wells Fargo Safe with over 1,000 $20 gold coins as well as freshly made paper money amounting to $30,000. Wells Fargo went to enormous efforts to make sure the money on board was kept quiet… sadly as usual it was never a secret.
The train was scheduled a five-minute stop in the cow town of Willcox where the mail was to be loaded and also unloaded.
Unknowingly to the workmen and guards, the train gained two new passengers. Once the train was about to get under way and continue its trip to Tucson, one of the men held a six shooter to the conductor and told him to stop just four miles down the track and he won’t be hurt. The second man began to separate the train, Hal’s was being left behind and half was continuing to the robbers chosen spot. At a dry lake bed the train stopped and two more men walked out of the brush with dynamite in hand.
The aim on the armed men was the safe. So not holding any value to the Mexican currency, they packed the dynamite around the Safe and then began stacking the dynamite with the Mexican silver coins possible to concentrate the explosion or as a very cruel joke because when the explosion occurred, Mexican silver coins shot EVERYWHERE! They went through the train cars and some were even stuck inside of the Telegraph poles near to the train.
The robbers took jewelry and cash from what passengers there were and picked up what cash and coins they could before mounting horses that were hidden in the brush. Two of the men were recognized as being men from Bisbee and one of them was named Walker and that they had actually purchased the dynamite in Willcox just days before.
The Sacramento Daily newspaper wrote on February 1st, 1895 that “only $700 of the $18,000 Mexican silver dollars were able to be recovered and the exact amount of money the robbers made away with there is no telling”.
I hear rumors that some of those Mexican coins are still being found in small yet scattered numbers through the years. If while on your adventures this weekend you find yourself near Willcox, maybe take a moment and look around.
This is one of the few treasures that is documented in numerous reports not only from newspapers but also by Wells Fargo. It’s still there!
(The picture above is of the very train car that was blown up)
Please respect privacy property, State & Federal lands. If in doubt just ask permission, it never hurts to ask. I hope everyone has a great and adventurous weekend!
Stay Safe, Stay Alive & Keep Treasure Hunting!