It's a proven historical fact that Jesse James and his gang hid in Hannibal's Mark Twain Cave at some point, but as of today there's no solid evidence of where he hid his legendary treasure. I have been exploring multiple theories and this is the latest I can find.

One of the highlights of my family's frequent tours through Mark Twain Cave are the Jesse James Hideout portion. It has some fun staged items to give you an idea of what it might have been like for Jesse and his gang to seek refuge there. The fact that his signature is on the cave walls proves his passing through and holing up there for at least awhile.

There is a much-publicized legend that Jesse James buried much of his stolen loot in a location that has yet to be discovered. Since Jesse had strong ties to parts of Oklahoma, KSWO did a report last year about the possibilities of it being hidden there. Edmond Life & Leisure also agreed with the Oklahoma theory putting the treasure somewhere in the Keechi Hills of the state.

But, I found another story that makes this much more interesting and possibly applicable to our area. A couple years ago, James Gang gold was Minnesota as reported by Fillmore County Journal.

Since there are solid James Gang treasure connections in Minnesota and Oklahoma, let's see what travels between the two look like on a map.

Google Maps Satellite View
Google Maps Satellite View

We know that Jesse James and his gang spent a lot of time in Missouri including Hannibal. It would seem fair to me that parts of Missouri should be considered as potential treasure locations.

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To finally locate the legendary Jesse James treasure, you need to ask yourself some questions that James would likely have had to ask himself:

  • Do I hide the treasure in the area where I'm known to have firm ties like Oklahoma or someplace not commonly connected to me?
  • What would be the best place to hide a treasure?

We know that parts of Mark Twain Cave have yet to be fully explored. It wasn't until 2019 that Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) signature was found in the cave. What else might be hidden there?

Is it crazy to wonder if Jesse James hid some loot in Mark Twain Cave? Probably. Many media sites like KOCO predict it will be found somewhere in Oklahoma. But, there are also theories that Jesse hid treasure in hundreds of different places in Kansas, Nebraska and just maybe Missouri, too. The fact that Jesse James left his signature on the walls makes me daydream about the possibility that he left that as a sign of something more being there.

The Mark Twain Cave has some fascinating history and backstory on their website about the discovery of the cave and how it came to be in its current form. Who knows what might still be discovered there in the future.

Hannibal's Historic Stonecroft Manor

Historic Quincy Home Built in 1890

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