Biggest train robbery in history loot still buried in Texas

Does a buried treasure still exist north west of San Antonio?

For 93 years, tens of thousands of dollars left over from one of the biggest train robberies in history, has laid buried somewhere northwest of San Antonio, Texas under a rock. The last person to have a reasonable clue of where it lays hidden under a large rock, died over 30 years ago. Jess Newton buried it there.

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Between 1919 and 1924, the Newton Gang would rob 87 banks and six trains, taking more loot than the Dalton boys, Butch Cassidy, and the James Gang, combined. Stretching all over the United States, the gang hit their home state of Texas, as well as Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota, Illinois, Wisconsin, and even Canada.

Will and Joe Newton (Photo by State House Press)

Most of their bank heists were committed at night after they cased the building for several days. Using nitroglycerin, they would blow open the safes, take the cash, and quickly disappear. On one occasion, they robbed two banks in Hondo, Texas on the same night.

Though they preferred to do their “work” at night to avoid meeting anyone, they were known to commit robberies during the day on some occasions. Victims and law enforcement officials described them as being very polite. They went out of their way to make certain that people in the bank or on the train were comfortable and not too upset, explaining that they would never hurt anyone. During their many capers, their victims and onlookers were never harmed.

Amazingly, these many robberies were not connected to the Newton brothers. They were never suspected until their final robbery which, due to the large amount taken, brought down the combined forces of several law enforcement agencies.

Map of San Antonio in 1924. (Graphic by Jack Dennis)

By 1924, Jess and three brothers Willis, Dock, and Joe, along with explosives and safecracker expert  Brent Glassrock, made up a gang known as the “Newton Boys,” had grown sophisticated in their craft. After 80 bank and five train robberies, the oldest brother and leader, Willis masterminded their sixth train robbery in cahoots with William J. Fahy a corrupt postal inspector in Chicago.

The targeted loot was Federal Reserve money destined for delivery across the Midwest to banks along the tracks carrying a postal train. But Dock was shot five times, mistaken for an armed postal agent by Glassrock. Soon, brothers Dock, Joe and Willis were arrested and much of the $3 million take was recovered.

Glassrock and Jess escaped with at least $135,000 worth of loot.

“Later, Jess told us Brent (Glassrock) took most of it,” said Joe Newton during a 1976 interview in Uvalde with News Legit’s Jack Dennis. “It was bonds, diamonds, and money, most of it, but Jess had a lot of it (some reports indicate near $35,000) with him that he brought back here (to Texas).”

Newton Boys Movie.

“Hell, he was drunk when he buried it, so we never did know exactly where it is,” laughed Joe Newton.

“They arrested Jess later at a rodeo in Del Rio,” recalled Joe.

All the Newton’s were given fairly light sentences for committing the largest bank robbery in history at the time. Jess died in March 1960 after living most of his life as a cowboy in Uvalde. Dock died in 1974, and Willis in 1979, at ages 83 and 90 respectively.

In October, 1988, not long before Joe’s death in February 3, 1989, Joe appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Hollywood released a movie, “The Newton Boys,” starring Matthew McConaughey in 1998.

The only clues to the where the money is buried are:

  1. On top of a hill, Jess dug a hole, and place a large rock over it.
  2. Jess testified in court it was buried off of Fredericksburg Road, but Joe, in 1976 said, “Nah. He buried it on the road to Bandera.”

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