The Search for the Thorne Mine
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The Search for the Thorne Mine

[Music] welcome to the Mysteries of the
Superstition Mountains where we explore the history and the mysteries
surrounding the Superstition Mountains the first lost mine of the Superstition
Mountains which was not the Lost Dutchman mine it was a Dr. Thorne mine
our story really begins just prior to the Civil War when CE Cooley moved from
Virginia to Santa Fe New Mexico when the civil war broke out he joined
the Union Army and sometime during the Civil War or shortly thereafter he met
this doctor thorne. Dr. Thorne convinced him about this mine that he he had been
taken to by the Apache Indians just as a short review in the late 1850s Dr.
Thorne was captured by some Apache and these people realized this was
an unusual individual and a very valuable person and he treated the
Indians while he was in under captivity eventually he got away from him and
ended up at Fort McDowell which was established in 1865 that although he
wasn’t an army doctor he did continue to treat the Apaches that lived in and
around Fort McDowell and a couple of you know the things that we consider normal
everyday occurrences with a doctor were somewhat mysterious to the Apaches and
they were so happy with Dr. Thorne and his treatment of the Indians that they
wanted to reward him so they took him blindfolded from Fort McDowell into the
superstitions to a mine where he was allowed to take all the ore he could
carry and then of course they took him blindfolded back to Fort McDowell you
would think from hearing the story that this was just a one-day trip wouldn’t be
that far getting documentation on stuff like this
is rather difficult I mean we can’t sit here and say Dr. thornes mine ever
existed or the Lost Dutchman mine there existed but you can’t disprove a theory
just because you didn’t find it you know but there is documentation about the
search for Dr. Thorne’s lost mine C E Cooley after talking to Dr. Thorne who
gave him all the clues of the things that he saw how he when they took the
blindfold off the ability to see Sombrero Butte in the distance a stone
Corral and a few other things he described and perhaps even showed him a
piece of the gold that he had the ore that he had left over CE Cooley took it
to heart and organized a search for the mine in 1869 Cooley was an unusual
individual when he came to Arizona he acquired with a partner a considerable
amount of land and when the time came to divide that land up to see who got the
best piece they decided to do it over a card game and it was Cooley that drew
the low card and won the best piece of land and that’s how Show Low got its name
because he showed the low card Banta was also in the group AF Banta all
these men were former military they were all Scouts for the army and while Banta
was scouting one group of military he was the man that discovered the
meteorite crater and the leader of the army squad that he was scouting for
nicknamed it Franklin’s hole AF Banta Franklin was these usually went by
Franklin even though that was his middle name and of course the day they just
call it the meteorite crater and Henry W Dodd was the third man he was a
colonel but I couldn’t find much information about him or even find his
picture but these three men left a Zuni village in New Mexico and they had
several Chaya torille Indian scouts and guides and they made their way from the
Zuni villages all the to approximately where cibecue is today
part of the Indian Reservation there they meant friendly Indians cartera
indians because cooley was married to a Chiefs daughter chief Pedro, Pedro I’m
not sure that’s the way you pronounce it but in the bargain
I guess according to Indian tradition the younger sister of the wife went
along with the package so he had both of them on his hands whether he married them or
not is I don’t know but he was well-known among the among the Indians
Cooley in fact was the man who suggested the White Mountains as an Indian
reservation at Fort Apache and so they recuperated two or three days you know
today we get in a car and we we can go anywhere in Arizona in three and a half
hours but these guys you know that they had to follow the military rule of 30
miles a day on beans and hey so they spent a lot of nights in the field
getting to cibecue and as they prepared to go further west in a search for Dr.
thornes mine they were met by some Pinell Indians who warned him that if
they crossed their boundary there would be trouble and although the cartero
guides were willing to go on the three white men decided that it wasn’t worth
starting a war over with these friendly Indians behind them so they called off
the search so 1869 was the first search for Dr. Thorns mine which it didn’t
absolutely nothing but Banta became a newspaperman and he took copious notes
of everything that he did and this is some documentation that you will find in
the Journal of Arizona history put out by the Arizona Historical Society from
Tucson some of these old journals that have been around
and Banta also published some of his treks like this in the Prescott paper
and later on in the Payson paper I don’t think that any of those things survived
but it stirred up the imagination of a lot of people in fact another trek to
look for Thorne’s mins occurred still in 1869 when a Thomas Miner, Thomas
Miner was his name organized 28 men from Prescott who came
down to Verde River and they were all to meet at the Salt River just just below
Fort McDowell no much no numbers were mentioned but Wickenburg sent a party
and Phoenix sent a party met with the Prescott party and Cooleys Show Low party so
if you just averaged out 30 men for a group you’d have over a hundred men in
this first group but another group was organized in Tucson and governor Sanford
a territorial governor was a leader of that group and also involved in that was
some prominent names but Al Sieber of all people was one of the people in
governor Sanford’s group there was a there was a roster of people that listed
as 267 people involved in this whole thing and they met in Florence Superior
didn’t exist at that time Mesa didn’t exist at that time Goldfield
hadn’t been discovered yet but they they all group together in Florence and went
over to globe and then up into the Tonto basin where Roosevelt Lake is now
established further north into the Sierra anchors mountains which would be
near her Payson is today one man was killed by accident which did nobody
explain another man was killed by Indians they lost a few horses
and the Tucson group after a couple of weeks in the field decided to call it
off and went back to Tucson the Cooley group decided then to go on
back to the Show Low but the Phoenix, Wickenburg and Prescott group
went down the Salt River through the Superstition Mountains exploring all the
way for the Dr. thorne’s lost mine when they got back to Fort McDowell they
disbanded the Prescott group went back up the Verde River Wickenburg
followed the Phoenix group to Phoenix and then went on back to Wickenburg
except for one man one man decided to do it on his own and that man was no other
than Jacob Waltz now since we don’t have a roster that existed how do we know
that Jacob waltz was among this group well there was contemporary author by
the name of Milton Rose who wrote a book and he made several verbal claims that
he had a relative that was in the Phoenix group and that he knew that
Jacob Waltz’s in that group and evidently Jacob waltz continued his
search he reacted and continued his search and and indeed we know that he
did find gold and it was under his bed when he died I was enamored with Al
Sieber I couldn’t believe the history of this gentleman he was brought over from
Germany at about age five and they came into the Arizona Territory at about the
age 12 it was said that if you took some of these prominent Indian fighters of
the past and put the three worst ones together they wouldn’t have been as many
Indian fights as Al Sieber was he had he was wounded many times he also before he
became a scout for General Crook was in the Civil War he was in some of the
bloodiest battles took place it mentioned Antietam
Fredericksburg and Gettysburg Fredericksburg was a was a terrible
disaster for the Union there wasn’t a blade of grass to hide
hide behind and they sent wave after wave of these soldiers up against
Confederates were behind a stone wall and it was just a slaughter and the
angel of Fredericksburg had a monument there because this Confederate soldier
had such sympathy for the wounded who were crying out during the night that he
asked three times to take water to him and was rejected but the third time the
the commanding officer just said it’s your life go ahead and although they did
start shooting at him when they realized what he was doing they cease fire and he
went and gave water to hundreds of these wounded soldiers in the field but at
Gettysburg Al Sieber was a member of the 1st Minnesota the 1st Minnesota was held
in reserve when Pickett’s Charge took place
Pickett’s group made it to the Stonewall and actually was crossing the
Stonewall when a general rode up to whoever was in charge and said what have
we got in reserve to stop these guys and he pointed to the first Minnesota said
that’s all we got and the general sent them in and they stopped the the
charge out of 234 men in the 1st Minnesota
only 47 of them came out unscathed Al Sieber wasn’t one of them he got a ball
in his ankle that went all the way up and come out he’s knee
it was the wonder he survived that in the medical condition of the the Civil
War later on he was transporting the Apache kid and some other prisoners to
Yuma and was again shot in that same ankle and it pretty much crippled him
for life also Al Sieber was the mentor of Tom
Horne and Tom Horne was present and interpreter at the surrender of Geronimo
when General miles took place of General Crook he did
banning the use of Apache Indians and Al Sieber was out of a job well Al Sieber
in nineteen three Apache trail was being built from between 1903 and 1905 Al Sieber
was in charge of the two hundred Apache Indians that was building the Apache
Trail and he was getting his workers from San Carlos and of all people the
Indian agent at San Carlos was Yellowstone Kelly now think of all these
famous people in Arizona that that you don’t hear about that much but these
people were the roughest toughest pioneers you ever laid your eyes on and
Al Sieber after the Apache trail was built they were widening a strip of it
up at the dam and a huge boulder fell and crushed him to death but this is
documentation that exists that you can find and it just depends on who’s
telling the story you can see that they are all using the same source but one
thing was more important to one author than the other but it’s it documents
that this actual this search actually took place thank you for watching this
episode of mysteries of the Superstition Mountains [music]


  • Joe Guzman

    Thank you very much for your time guys ,I'm just wandering if today's young Indians that may know where lots of gold mines are not cashing out ? I'm sure that inside the reservations the older Indians had told the young people where the locations are .

  • Pretty Little Dancer

    Hank and Larry…. so lovely to see you both…… thank you so much for this…. God bless you both and yours….. 🥰👍❤️🙏🏻

  • mike rusch

    I still say the Dutchman was a high grader , he worked for the vulture mine and definitely couldn’t say he got it from there
    By now someone would have found the Dutchman mine with all the drones and people out in the desert in there side by sides

  • Panama Red

    First off I would like to say thank you for sharing your stories regarding the history of the local area. I could sit and listen to you for hours. My family came here to the territory of Arizona in the mid to late 1800's, settled in Duncan and my father came here to Mesa in 1935. On his birth certificate it's stated that he was born in the territory of Arizona. A little bit about me, I spent my summers at canyon lake and the winters in the superstitions. I know most of the stories with some variations. In the mid to late 70's I got into mining and prospecting, worked the gold shows for a&b prospecting store. Before the internet I spent a lot of hours at Mesa library reading every book that was related to the the superstitions and all the books at a&b store. I have personally found several mines and even found gold in the superstitions. There's no way of telling if one of those mines was the Dutchman's or the Thorne's. If I commit on the videos I'm not suggesting that I'm an expert and that I'm right and you are wrong I'm just passing along the stories that I know. Regarding the Thorne's gold, what I read was the the Apaches wanted to reward Thorne for his kindness of helping the Apaches. The Apaches before going to fort McDowell took the gold out of a mine and piled it up in a canyon then went and got Thorne, blind folded him and took him to the location and told him to take as much as he could carry. From what I've read it was about a two hour trip up there. The Apaches did not want the white man to be mining on there land so I don't think they took him to the mine. In the early eighties I pinned topo maps on the wall of my living room that extended from Roosevelt lake to the Gila river, from Apache Junction to Globe. Taking several lost gold maps I found the clues and the heart but life has responsibilities. Fast forward to now, I'm planning a trip this early spring to see if my theory is correct and I will give you an update. Thank you so much for sharing and keep the stories coming.
    P.S. the gold I found didn't come out of one of the mines, it came out of an outcropping by the Apache trail. Hundreds of people drive by it every day.

  • Mike Donner

    It'll never be the same without Charlie but i very much look forward to this new chapter with Hank and the rest of the guys. Thank you so much for carrying on and providing all these interesting stories from this amazing state. Great job to all involved.

  • lonalwest

    There were a few mistakes in this story, but overall enjoyable. C. E. Cooley was my great grandfather. He came to Arizona Territory in 1869 with two partners in search of the Doc Thorne gold mine. The story teller said he couldn't find a picture of partner Henry Wood Dodd. I have one that I wish I could post here. It was his brother who was a colonel, not Henry. Henry was a captain and had an interesting military career as a spy for the Union during the Civil War. He later worked as a civilian Army scout in Arizona and helped Cooley in surveying and constructing Crook's Trail from Fort Apache to Camp Verde.

  • Trapper 62

    Great video my friends, the stories of these mountains will never die and that's a good thing for us .see you on the next one.

  • Rodney Harris

    I'm glad that you guys are continuing on it just solidifies the need to get these stories down by the people who know them still exist thank you for your work and bless you may the rest of you be blessed with longer than normal lives

  • larry hedrick

    I don’t find anyway to contact you but if you will google Larry Hedrick you can find me on Facebook and message me a way to contact you without sharing you address to the whole world.
    I would like to have Dodd’s photo and other information including how to pronounce Cooley’s middle name.

  • Mike Donner

    I'm so glad you guys parked it Al Sieber for a bit, what a legend! That guy is a true bad ass. I became familiar with him studying the Battle of Big Dry Wash and read his book "Al Sieber Chief of Scouts" by Dan Thrapp. After reading that, the hunt for further info began and hasn't stopped.
    I would love to see you guys do an episode on him, please!! The connection is there with the Apache Trail, he also had his own mine operation in Tonto Basin. He deserves to be remembered, an Arizona legend!

    For those not familiar: He told a young boy at camp one day his secret was vinegar, and put it on everything. He could motivate the Apache like no other Chief of Scouts could, and had their respect from not only his bravery but because he (paraphrasing) "never lied to them. If he said he was your friend, he was. If he said he was going to kill you, he would". What a fascinating character, anyone interested in the subject should read that book.

  • larry hedrick

    This should answer your question about high grading gold from the Vulture Mine.

  • Kasey Jones

    Hank and Larry you guys are such great story tellers and thank you for keeping Charlie's legacy and Arizona's history alive. Also I'm originally from Mesa so the Superstitions always have a special place in my heart🏜

  • Rebecca Swilling

    I’m so happy y’all are keeping this channel going, Charlie would be so proud of y’all. This is an awesome channel. Love y’all

  • Brad Bahr

    Glad to see you guys are keeping the show going. I watch every episode and think it's a great program. Thanks Hank and Larry and the production team. Great job everyone!

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