08. February 2016 · Comments Off on A Clue to a Lost Treasure? · Categories: Luna City in the News

A LUCKY FIND! A CLUE TO THE MILLS TREASURE?

From the Karnesville Weekly Beacon – March 21st 2016

By Katherine Heisel – Staff Writer

The seven-year old son of Luna City residents Araceli and Patrick Gonzalez made a lucky find at the Mills Farm’s Easter Egg Hunt this past Saturday. While searching for eggs in the manicured landscaped grounds of the Mills Farm homestead, Mateo Gonzalez discovered a near mint-condition, 124-year old $20 gold coin. Young Mateo will not say exactly where in the Mills Farm gardens he found the coin, valued conservatively at $2,000, and reportedly one of the most coveted of the so-called 1892 gold “Double Eagles.” When pressed by his parents and Mills Farm management, he would only repeat, “It’s mine,” and “I found it.”

Mateo’s parents, and representatives of Mills Farm’s corporate management all declined further comment when questioned by this reporter, although according to Venue Properties VP for Marketing, Susannah Wyatt, Mills Farm and Venue Properties will not contest actual ownership of the rare coin.

“Finders, keepers,” MS Wyatt replied, when first interviewed by this reporter, who happened to be present and covering the Easter Egg Hunt for this newspaper. “He found it, he should keep it. Do we look like people who would take candy from a baby, or a shiny golden coin from a little boy? Honestly, the bad publicity wouldn’t be worth it.”

Mills Farm - Logo with LetteringThis unusual find is the latest and most convincing evidence for the existence of the Mills Treasure, a trove of coin and gold ingots supposedly hidden somewhere on the property at the turn of the last century by the last private owner of Mills Farm, the legendary bootlegger, Charles Everett “Old Charley” Mills. Treasure hunters have long believed that Mills – as a member of the Dalton and Bent Cactus robbery gangs – returned with his share of the loot from a series of bank and train robberies in the 1890s, and concealed it somewhere on the family farm, near Luna City. Local expert Dr. Stephen Wyler, a past president of the Luna City Historical Association has long insisted that there had never been any such treasure, citing as proof the fact that Charles Everett Mills was all but a pauper by the end of his life. Various representatives of Venue Properties, International, the current owners of Mills Farm have also vigorously denied the existence of the Mills Treasure, insisting that if it did exist, it would have almost certainly been discovered during the period that Mills Farm was undergoing extensive reconstruction of the buildings and grounds. Only two presently-existing Mills Farm buildings date from the lifetime of Charles Everett Mills, and both were moved to their present locations from elsewhere in Bee and Kendall Counties. The grounds themselves have been extensively landscaped and terraced, especially around the area of the original homestead site.

But Saturday’s find will revive interest in the treasure hunt at Mills Farm. The very date of the coin and its excellent condition is, in the mind of long-time searchers such as Xavier Gunnison-Penn, of Toronto, Canada, proof that the Mills Treasure does exist and remains hidden somewhere on the site of the original Mills homestead. In 2005, a similar 1892 $20 gold “Double Eagle” sold at a private auction for an undisclosed sum to a collector with a particular interest in the Mills Treasure. The coin sold together with several personal letters exchanged by Charles Everett Mills’ sisters, Mrs. Mary F. Davis and Mrs. Elizabeth Olson. The letters, purportedly dated 1911-1912, and are said to provide a provenance for the coin itself,  and the existence of the Mills Treasure. Do the letters, now in the hands of a private collector, hint at a possible location? For now, the only clue remains in the existence of the coin found last Saturday by a seven-year-old boy.

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