A Tale of Stage Loot
April 1993 issue Lost Treasure
One of the most robbed areas of Colorado was around Colorado Springs during the 1850s-1860s. At least twenty-five robberies of stagecoaches took place during this period. This is a short story of $20,000 in gold which was buried by 2 outlaws of this time period.
In 1862, Colorado Springs was known as Colorado City. Manny Preston, Sy Samuels and six other outlaws rode into the village on an August afternoon an hour before the stage was to depart, then rode north out of town and set up an ambush. After the shotgun guard was killed, the driver wounded, and the strongbox taken, the gang rode on north
The outlaws thought they had plenty of time. That was a mistake. A patrol of volunteer cavalry came upon the stage a few minutes after the robbery. They overtook the outlaws and after two hours of fighting, six were killed . Preston and Samuels escaped with the gold
They found an abandoned prospector's shack in the timber later that night. On a flat stone they carved Manny Preston's name and the date, 1862, and placed it at the head of a grave so it would look like the real thing and go untouched. The gold was put inside the grave. This site was on the left side of Kiowa Creek, about three miles south of what is now Elbert County.
Preston and Samuels made their way to Kansas and obtained work in Wichita. Samuels died from injuries recieved in a runaway team accident. In 1868, Preston returned to Colorado to get the gold but he could not find the mock grave or cabin. After telling his story to a local rancher Preston left.
An interested treasure hunter should check out the area along the left side of Kiowa Creek, three miles south of Elbert, for any evidence of a miner's cabin. Somewhere nearby is a cache of gold. Early records of stage companies in Colorado Springs could help on this site.