October 6, 2007

Suit Seeks Buried Treasure

By Aubrey Woods, The Tribune, Seymour, Ind.

Oct. 6--A local company claiming to have found buried treasure in what was once a cemetery has asked Jackson Superior Court for permission to recover it.

In a lawsuit filed Sept. 19 against the city of Seymour and the Jackson County Health Department, Farlow & Fitzpatrick LLC declined to name what kind of treasure had been found and where the now abandoned cemetery lies because doing so might lead to theft.

According to local legend, many area residents have searched over the years for a buried loot from the Reno Gang, a band of robbers and bandits that roamed Jackson County and area in Missouri soon after the end of the Civil War.

The Reno Gang is attributed with staging the world's first train robbery on Oct. 6, 1866, when John and Simeon Reno, along with Frank Sparks, boarded the eastbound Ohio & Mississippi train at the Seymour depot and late robbed it after leaving town limits. They supposedly escaped with $12,000.

There's no mention in the lawsuit whether the Reno Gang's loot is the "treasure trove" sought by Farlow & Fitzpatrick.

No telephone number could be found for the company, which is being represented by Jeffersonville attorney Joseph P. Weber. Neither Weber nor city attorney Jeffrey Lorenzo could be reached for comment Friday.

According to court records, a member of the firm has spent a number of years studying historical figures related to Jackson County and the city of Seymour.

That person has formed the opinion based upon that research that an artifact or artifacts of significant historical and pecuniary value where buried on the land, which once was maintained by the city as a cemetery, according to the lawsuit.

The cemetery site in question is now largely abandoned and no record exists to establish whether any remains are located there, according to court documents.

Members of the firm have traveled to and searched the cemetery for metallic contents of the historical treasure trove and have confirmed that the items in question are located there. The firm also maintains the item or items in question have been abandoned or lost, and that the identity of the property is unknown.

The firm further contends the "treasure" has been buried at the site longer than 100 years and that any claim to the property has been eliminated by the statute of limitations.

The company is asking the court to allow it to retrieve the "treasure" through minimally invasive methods.

Under state law, only the owner of a cemetery may open it for any reason. The petitioners would pay the cost of any work. The cemetery owners and the health department also must sign off on any petition to open a cemetery.


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