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Hi, I am researching the Gardner gang. I found these outlaws mentioned in a 1928 Decatur, Illinois news article about Herbert Cody Blake, a former Wild West performer, hunting treasure buried by the bandits. Their treasure is legendary.

According to the article, the Gardner boys had robbed a smuggler's pack train from Mexico, (I believe the smugglers were Mexican bank robbers) and the outlaws stole gold bars and jewels. A box of diamonds stolen during a famous Mexican bank robbery was with the loot. The Gardner gang was forced into the Guadalupe Mountains where the outlaws buried their loot in one of the many caves of New Mexico near Carlsbad. I believe the robbery took place in west Texas.

The news article also stated that anyone hunting for a job in West Allis, Wisconsin should go treasure hunting and will get free sample newspapers that mention the Gardners. It also stated that long time residents of the Southwest remembered the Gardner boys. An uncle of one of the Gardner boys was enlisted in the search and had a supposedly authentic treasure map.

I have met two people who have heard of the Gardner gang. I have contacted every great historian and none can help. Do you know of anyone who has old newspapers that mention these bad hombres?


Corey, so happens this historian has heard about the Gardner Boys, their so-called lost treasure and Herbert Cody Blake's pretty much forgotten search for it. Below is a clipping I located. It is likely a reprint of the same article you have. This one was published in The Chronicle-Telegram of Elyria, Ohio on Friday, October 12, 1928. I think I can unearth numerous other newspaper accounts of Blake's search for the treasure over many years. Some are as recent as the 1980's. But I offer this word of caution, if you are researching this to write a story of this myth, it's a fine old treasure tale and these things are fun to delve into. However if you are doing this in hopes of finding the treasure, I advise you to not waste your time. It's just an old, much repeated story that sounds like so many of those written by J. Frank Dobie.

J. Frank Dobie started much of this lost treasure stuff many years ago in his books and he sold a lot of books doing so. He was also an old newspaper man who learned how to sell his work with stories of lost treasure. Over the years, I have come across so many of these lost treasure myths in far west Texas that I, at the moment, cannot recall a lot of them. One that does come to mind, however, is the story of Maximilian I the Emperor of Mexico's lost gold treasure pack train that was supposed buried somewhere in west Texas said by some to be along the Pecos River following his execution by Benito Juarez in 1867. Somebody had a map of the location of the treasure.

Many folks searched for this lost gold, some spending their entire lives doing so. Even one published historian got sucked into the story: namely Clayton Williams Sr. The treasure never existed in the first place; Mexico was broke at the time and had no gold. Perhaps, the Gardner boys were real people. No doubt Herbert Cody Blake was a real person. Dig deep enough and you will find out. But don't think you can find a lost treasure that never existed in the first place from this old B.S. They all have common elements used by Dobie: treasure, usually gold, somehow lost due to some unfortunate event, a vanished map that exists somewhere and somebody who knows where the map is; the kind of stuff that even today sells newspapers, magazines. This is classic J. Frank Dobie, he must be laughing in his grave.




ALBUQURQUE, N.M. Soldiers of fortune in the southwest continue the careers that entitle this section to its "legendary romance".

Herbert Cody Blake, 62, former member of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, a veteran of British and American military campaigns, is searching for a perhaps mythical treasure in the Guadalupe Mountains near Carlsbad, N.M.

After months of prospecting through the tree chains of Guadalupe peaks, Blake encountered bad weather and sought help in Albuquerque for food and money to carry on his hunt before winter comes.

The Gardner boys were forced to flee to the mountains with a rich booty of gold bars and jewels, from a smuggler's pack train from Mexico. All members of the gang died, Blake believes, before they could remove their treasure. A box of diamonds stolen during a famous bank robbery in Mexico also was supposed to be with the loot.

Blake traced the history of the Gardners through old newspapers and inhabitants who had long been in the southwest. He found, he said, unmistakable evidences of the gang's activities and of the cache in the mountains.

An uncle of one of the Gardner boys was enlisted in the search and furnished a supposedly authentic map of the county where the treasure would be found. Blake located the country shown on the map after several months of wandering through the mountains and started working his way into what he believes to the hiding place when he ran out of provisions and was forced to return here.

"There's more than a million dollars in there," he said. I'm satisfied of that and I'm going back after it."

In a few days, if he is fortunate in finding the grub stake, the soldier of fortune will continue to follow the trail of the storied treasure.

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