Legend Says a Missouri Parson Hid His California Gold in a Cave
There once was a parson in the early days of Missouri known as Keithly. He left in the California gold rush and came back with riches. Many believe his treasure is hidden somewhere in a cave near Galena, Missouri. To this day it has never been found, but there are hints to its whereabouts.
The lost gold of Parson Keithly is one of the top 7 treasures yet to be found in Missouri. The Legends of America website does a good job of telling the tale of Parson Keithly and his gold. I'll summarize.
Who was Parson Keithly?
According to the Legends of America, the parson preached in the mid-1800's in the Missouri Ozarks. He would meet with his congregation, but did disappear in the middle of the California Gold Rush. He notified his family by letter of his adventures in California.
How do we know he found gold?
As the story goes, Parson Keithly returned just over 2 years after he left Missouri. He would hold service with his congregation. During time with his family, he would often show them $10 gold pieces and say "Look what I found". He claimed to have found what would have been worth $8,000 worth of gold during his time in California.
How much is Parson Keithly's gold worth now?
Using the Inflation Calculator, $1 in 1850 is now worth nearly $38. Doing the math, that would make Parson Keithly's gold worth a whopping $228,000.
Now, about that legend...what did Parson Keithly do with his gold?
The parson was quite fond of a cave he found near Galena, Missouri. He wanted to be buried in it and allocated a room for that inside of the cave. The legend is the parson hid his gold where he planned to be buried.
Where is this cave located?
This is tricky. The legend says the cave had two stone doors built at its entrance, but was sealed after the parson's death. It's now somewhere beneath the earth near Galena in Stone County, Missouri. Efforts have been made over the years to find the cave.
The cave has never been successfully unearthed as of this writing. It's near Galena and just might have a fortune in gold coins buried inside of it where it will remain unless a lucky adventurer discovers it.