The Trail of Jacob Waltz’s Gold Ore

Discuss information about the Lost Dutchman Mine
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The Trail of Jacob Waltz’s Gold Ore

Post by novice »

When I first became involved in the LDM, one of the first stories that caught my eye was the purported jewelry made from the Dutchman’s ore. Wow! The affidavits of Bob Corbin and Tom Kollenborn published in Helen Corbin’s 1990 book were very powerful. I tried to research the story a couple of times but accomplished nothing beyond getting more confused. From related posts on the forum, it seemed I was missing something.

A few weeks ago my wife and I were visiting the Superstition Mountain Museum and I was looking at the Holmes display. In the back of the case was a two page document and as I began reading it, some light bulbs began to come on. It was an affidavit signed by Brownie Holmes in 1969 and it related to the jewelry. I recognized a lot of the elements that I had seen previously but always wondered about.

A couple of days later at the Rendezvous, I asked Greg Davis about the Holmes’ affidavit. If it is Dutchman related, Greg will have a copy. In this case, he wasn’t immediately aware of the document and offered to pull it from the display case and make copies. I received my copy a few days ago. (Many Thanks!)

While this was all new to me, it was obvious from previous posts on the forum, that a few people were aware of its existence and contents. They had just never shared this document.

For those of you that may not have seen the affidavit, I have transcribed it below. I would have scanned the document but it is on 8 1/2 x 14 paper and I can’t work with that size easily. There is always the risk of introducing errors during transcription and I hope that if they exist, they are minimal. You will notice some portions that are not readable (XXXX). The document in the display case had the information identifying the new owner blacked out.
AFFADAVIT (COPY)

STATE OF ARIZONA } ss.
County of Maricopa }

BEFORE ME, J Yenerich, a Notary Public in and for the said County, State of Arizona, on this day personally appeared Mr. George Holmes, to me well known, and who, after being duly sworn, deposes and says that the following testimony is true to the best of his knowledge.

My name is George Holmes, often known as “Brownie” Holmes, of Phoenix, Arizona.

My family were Arizona pioneers. My grandfather, R. J. Holmes, Sr., landed at the present site of Yuma in 1847. He was from Holmes County, Mississippi, and graduated from college at Ann Arbor, Michigan, as a geologist and mineralogist. He found gold at La Paz in 1853 nearly ten years before Pauline Weaver’s “discovery”.

My father was R. J. Holmes, Jr., often known as “Dick” Holmes, was born at Old Fort Whipple in 1865. He ranched in Bloody Basin, where Holmes Creek and Holmes Canyon were named for him. He was a civilian packer for the Army, having packed for Al Sieber, among others. He married my mother in 1889 in Tempe. I was born in Phoenix in 1892.

My father knew Jacob Waltz, in later years known as “The Dutchman”. Waltz’ friends were convinced he was operating a hidden gold mine in the Superstition Mountains.

Following heavy rains and floods in February, 1891, in which his adobe fell, Waltz made his home with Mrs. Julia Thomas, a colored woman, near the corner of Jackson and 2nd Avenue in Phoenix. She was married to Emil Thomas, but later married Al Schaffer. Both Mrs. Thomas and Schaffer were religious mystics.

Waltz died in October, 1891, at Mrs. Thomas’ home. On his deathbed he gave my father a miner’s candlebox full of gold ore, which he had under his bed. He also made a lengthy deathbed revelation regarding the history and location of the source of the gold, since called “The Lost Dutchman Mine:. The only people present at this time were Waltz, Dick Holmes, and Gideon Roberts. Mrs. Thomas, delayed in locating a doctor, and the others who claimed to have been present at Waltz’ death, did not enter the scene until later.

Keeping several pieces for specimens, my father sold the remainder of the ore to Goldman & Co., who were general merchants on East Washington Street, receiving about $4,800.00 in the transaction.

One piece of ore was taken to Joe Porterie, an assayer, whose office was on West Washington Street, in the next block west of Goldman’s. The assay showed $110,000.00 per ton in gold, the price of gold then being $20.67 per ounce.

Joe Porterie had been the assayer at the Vulture Mine at Wickenburg during its operation. The rumor that Waltz never had a mine, but high-graded this ore during his employment at the Vulture, was flatly refuted by Porterie, as the ore in Waltz’ possession was quite different from anything at the Vulture. A man of integrity, Porterie later became constable, deputy sheriff, and Deputy U. S. Marshall.

Of the unsold pieces, my father kept some as specimen ore, and also had jewelry made, consisting of a ring, cufflinks, a stickpin and a stud. These are still in my possession.

Of the ore sold to Goldman & Co., most was cleaned and the gold shipped. To my father’s knowledge, the only other specimen ore kept intact was obtained from Goldman’s by Jimmie Douglas. There were several “James Douglases” in the family, this son being the son of the President of the Phelps-Dodge Co., for whom the town of Douglas, Arizona, was named, and the father of Lew Douglas, the American Ambassador to England under President Truman.

Of the ore which Jimmie Douglas obtained, a gold matchbox was made up and presented to Gus H. Hirschfield. Hirschfield, of whom Leo and Charles Goodman were deeply fond, was a skilled mathematician, who at the time kept books for Goldman’s. A prominent Phoenix businessman, Hirschfield later owned the Palace Saloon, located in the same block as Goldman’s store.

I do not know by whom the presentation was made, nor the identity of the “J.L. & Co.” in the engraved inscription on the matchbox. I can offer a GUESS only.

There was, in San Francisco, a manufacturing jeweler known as John Levy & Co. who, during that period, made jewelry which was sold in the Arizona Territory. Both Levy & Hirschfield were Jewish, and Hirschfield was well known in the early West. This MIGHT POSSIBLY explain the inscription, it being understood this is NOT REPRESENTED AS BEING A FACT.

Hirschfield, a friend of both my father and myself, knew my father to have originally been given the ore by “The Dutchman” Jacob Waltz. Accordingly, he advised Mrs. Hirschfield that, upon his death, the match box was to be given to the Holmes family. My father preceded Mr. Hirschfield in death, and at the time of Mr. Hirschfield’s passing, the matchbox was given to me.

In turn, I have presented the matchbox to my friend, XXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXX of XXXXXXXXXX, Arizona. This affidavit serves as a statement of its historical authenticity, as well as evidence of ownership by XXXXXXXX.

As a means of identification, the matchbox weighs 48.4 grams, and measures 2.489-in. long, 1.317-in. wide and 0.525-in. thick. It is engraved, bearing the inscription “J. L. & Co. to G. H. H.” It is made with inlays of gold-bearing quartz, with free wire fold stringers varying from .06-in. to .13-in. in width, and which would assay an estimated quarter million dollars per ton.

George Holmes

George Holmes
SUBSCRIBRED AND SWORN TO BEFORE ME THS 23rd day of April, A.D. 1969.

J. Yenerich
Notary Public
Maricopa County, Arizona
My commission expires My Commission Expires Aug 30, 1970
We have begun researching the story again and the affidavit certainly doesn’t answer all of the questions and in fact, it introduces several more. At least we now have a more complete baseline of material to use when trying to marry the various stories.

Garry
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Re: The Trail of Jacob Waltz’s Gold Ore

Post by novice »

When examining something, in this case the affidavit, it is sometimes useful to ask ourselves the old who, what, where, when, why, and how questions. Everything in the affidavit is pretty straightforward but it might be useful to visit the “how” question. How was the affidavit created?

The “how” is an objective exercise. Although the document is signed by Brownie, I don’t believe he actually prepared the document, although he certainly had input. The legal document was prepared by the Arizona businessman and Brownie signed the affidavit swearing to the truthfulness of its contents.

What is not so clear is which entries originated from Brownie and which were introduced by the Arizona businessman.

One of the fascinating paragraphs for me is the “means of identification” of the matchbox. Its length, width and thickness were recorded to 1/1000 of an inch. The weight was in tenths of a gram. This was not done with a ruler and bathroom scale but some rather sophisticated inspection equipment. I would attribute this input as being from the Arizona businessman. He also crafted the description of the free wire gold stringers being .06 to .13 thick. Given his meticulousness, I’m sure the inscription reads “exactly” as it is presented. This was the first time that I had been aware of an inscription.

The inscription contains a reference to J.L. & Co. and again we see a well researched “possibility” concerning the identity of J.L. (John Levy). That information would be difficult to find today but this research was done in 1969. I’m impressed!

I also believe that some of the details regarding the backgrounds of Gus Hirschfeld and Jimmie Douglas were researched by the businessman and added to the affidavit. Again, he did a nice job.

The story of Jacob Waltz and Dick Holmes originated with Brownie with possibly some input from the businessman. Brownie also introduced Gus Hirschfeld and Jimmie Douglas to the story.

In proceeding, I think, it is also important to keep in mind the answer to the “why” question. The affidavit was created for the matchbox “as a statement of its historical authenticity, as well as evidence of ownership.”

Garry
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Re: The Trail of Jacob Waltz’s Gold Ore

Post by novice »

In an effort to begin putting our arms around this story, I have prepared a flow chart, with input from Larry Hannah, that I call “The Trail of Jacob Waltz’s Gold Ore”. I have incorporated the bones of the Holmes’ affidavit up to 1969 and then I attempted to bring the story up to the present day using additional resources. I am under no illusion that this is the final sequence. We are quickly aware that there are still many questions that remain unanswered.

Image

Image

I have provided dates for many of the events in the flow chart but in the case of Dick Holmes selling the gold, I have not done so yet. Logic would seem to strongly suggest the selling of the gold and the subsequent events occurred in 1891/1892 but I am hesitant to close that window so tightly at the present time.

Hopefully we will be able to build on the story from this baseline.

Garry
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Re: The Trail of Jacob Waltz’s Gold Ore

Post by pippinwhitepaws »

excuse me...nice chart...seems you left out between 1953 and 1989.
while some dutch hunters will have you believe there was a huge void in the study of the superstitions..until they moved here from somewhere else...
over twenty yearws of vacume
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Re: The Trail of Jacob Waltz’s Gold Ore

Post by Gregory E. Davis »

Hello Gary: I just read your comments regarding the Holmes Affadavit. I was wondering how and where you came to the conclusion that "The legal document was made by the Arizona Businessman". I can see no where in its structure or statements that it says it was made by the buisnessman. Was this really only an openion or do you have some facts/documents to substain the statement? Just a friendly "Put you on the Spot question". Cordially, Gregory E. Davis
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Re: The Trail of Jacob Waltz’s Gold Ore

Post by Ozarker »

pippinwhitepaws/All:

I don’t believe Garry’s intent was to illustrate the history of the mountains, but instead is to show the trail of Waltz’s ore based on the sources he cited, including Brownie’s affidavit, the affidavits of Tom Kollenborn and Bob Corbin, and the published details of the ore testing conducted by Dr Glover. There are claims of other gold being discovered in the Superstitions, and in fact Dr Glover had some of these ores tested as described in his book. However, Garry has initially (and in my opinion, wisely) focused on the ore that can be pointed to as having allegedly come from the candlebox beneath Waltz’s bed.

While the chain of custody is sure to be incomplete, the information that Garry has presented gives us a “starting inventory” of the Waltz ore and the jewelry fashioned from it, and a logical picture of what transpired based on the statements and actions of people who either owned, currently own, examined, or tested the ore and jewelry. This is a better-defined starting point than what could be gathered from the various versions of the story that appear in print and on the forums. It also opens up some exciting new research possibilities that, at least for me, had not been previously identified.

Great job, Garry!

Larry
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Re: The Trail of Jacob Waltz’s Gold Ore

Post by Roger »

Gang,

Let's not forget the gold ore ring that Bob Corbin showed us at the Rendezvous and a photo of it is in the thread "2009 Rendezvous". My understanding is that the ring ore came from under Jake Waltz's bed.

I spent time digging in Greg's collections after the Rendezvous this year and found several color photo's of a ladies link bracelet with gold ore inset in each of the links. The ore was VERY rich and I asked Greg if it was Dutchman ore and I think he was positive in his response. He also said the bracelet is for sale at $40k if someone wants to pick it up today!!

Greg, you might comment on these comments if I am off course and add some details.

Net-Net: There may be other "under the bed" ore samples out there than what Gary has on his flow chart so far.

Roger
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Re: The Trail of Jacob Waltz’s Gold Ore

Post by Gregory E. Davis »

Hello Roger: The Gold Ore in Bob's ring did not come from the ore found under the Dutchman's bed, however it was found in the Superstition Mountains. I would have to check with the person who gave that gold to Bob before I could reveal it source or other historic information pertaining to it and its ties to the Dutchman. I will have to review my notes to provide you with the provenience regarding the necklace which actually used to be a watch chain and is alleged to hold Gold Ore from under the Dutchman's bed. Cordially, Gregory E. Davis
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Re: The Trail of Jacob Waltz’s Gold Ore

Post by novice »

Greg,

If I have made a bad assumption as to who prepared the document, it is your fault! You are the one that told me Brownie was just an old cowboy and I don’t believe an old cowboy prepared that affidavit. :)

Garry
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Re: The Trail of Jacob Waltz’s Gold Ore

Post by Joe Ribaudo »

Greg,

I have asked Bob a number of times if he would say who/where he got that ring ore from. Needless to say, I never got an answer. I believe the source is still alive, so I can't imagine he would give up that information. I would assume, if anyone could get that information, it would be you, or maybe Tom.

That's a story I would love to hear........someday. :)

Take care,

Joe
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Re: The Trail of Jacob Waltz’s Gold Ore

Post by SGnAZ »

Joe Ribaudo wrote:Greg,

I have asked Bob a number of times if he would say who/where he got that ring ore from. Needless to say, I never got an answer. I believe the source is still alive, so I can't imagine he would give up that information. I would assume, if anyone could get that information, it would be you, or maybe Tom.

That's a story I would love to hear........someday. :)

Take care,

Joe
Hello Joe,I remember during last years Rendevous-sunday am-with Bob at your camp,you mentioned a name to Bob-I won't post it here-and he gave a smirk and we went on with the conversation.
Hope all is well with Carolyn and you.
Happy Thanksgiving.
Steve
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Re: The Trail of Jacob Waltz’s Gold Ore

Post by Ozarker »

In his 1944 (?) manuscript, Brownie Holmes stated that he currently had in his possession:

a pair of cufflinks,
a tiepin,
a “priceless” ring, and
a number of pieces of quartz

If the above date for the manuscript is accurate, Brownie’s mother, Ida Davis Holmes, had recently passed away (within the previous year at most) and it is reasonable to assume that most or all of the remaining ore and jewelry had passed to Brownie.

Although it is possible that Jesse Franklin Holmes, Ida’s son by William Roberts, may also have had possession of some of the ore and/or jewelry, there is currently no indication that was the case. Regardless, Jesse’s death in 1947 probably would have resulted in Brownie receiving any of the items Jesse might have possessed, as Jesse had divorced and had no children, making Brownie his next surviving heir.

While Brownie was very descriptive of the cufflinks (“a beautiful pair of cuff links each of which contains an elaborate setting of polished quartz”), and the ring (“priceless”), I find it curious that he only describes the ore as “a number of pieces of quartz”, and I wonder if this might not indicate that the ore that remained contained little if any gold.

I’m also curious what others think of the difference between a tie clip and a stick pin and stud. Is there a difference, or was Brownie and later witnesses describing the same item using different terms?

Larry
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Re: The Trail of Jacob Waltz’s Gold Ore

Post by novice »

Larry,

That is an excellent data point. I had forgotten that Brownie mentioned the jewelry in his manuscript.

That fits nicely with the flowchart. There is also no mention of the match box in Brownie's manuscript? 1944 (?).

The part of the story where the matchbox is given to Brownie after Gus Hirschfeld dies (1953) also tracks.

Garry
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Re: The Trail of Jacob Waltz’s Gold Ore

Post by pippinwhitepaws »

left to right.
tie CLIP and a tie stud.
stick pin
two types of studs/cufflinks/removable buttons
Attachments
01010004.JPG
01010004.JPG (52.91 KiB) Viewed 17164 times
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Re: The Trail of Jacob Waltz’s Gold Ore

Post by Ozarker »

Garry:

I don’t believe the matchbox is mentioned in Brownie’s manuscript, at least not in the rare reprint copy I bought from SMHS. I’ll need to reread it today and then revisit Dr Glover’s second book to see if it is mentioned there in some of his editorial comments. I’ll let you know if I run across it.

Greg:

Is the 1944 date for Brownie’s manuscript a pretty solid date? Or is the date an estimate based on Brownie’s accident? (I know the SMHS rare reprint copy was dated 1990, but 1944 appears on the cover).

Brownie’s narrative carries us through his mother’s death in November 1943, and then mentions his return to the mountains in January 1944. He discusses taking part in the 1944 spring roundup for the Barkleys, and then makes a comment that could seem to indicate he was discussing the year 1945, but I’m just not sure if I’m interpreting it correctly.

Pippin:

Thanks for posting the jewelry photo. It helps to picture these items (I was really hung up on the stick pin, and still am not sure of its purpose?).

Larry
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Re: The Trail of Jacob Waltz’s Gold Ore

Post by Cubfan64 »

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Re: The Trail of Jacob Waltz’s Gold Ore

Post by novice »

Guys,

I couldn't find the example of the spiral groove that Paul's page referenced. That might reinforce the date of Brownie's stickpin.

You guys did such a bang up job, How about sharing some links for inlay matchboxes.

I'm always amazed at what those fellows can tell you about jewelry on the Antique Road Show.

Garry
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Re: The Trail of Jacob Waltz’s Gold Ore

Post by Cubfan64 »

I noticed that too about the stickpin photo not being in the that link. Looked a little for it but never located it.

I'll see what I can find on inlay matchboxes :)
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Re: The Trail of Jacob Waltz’s Gold Ore

Post by pippinwhitepaws »

ok..the sprial..or thread on some stick pins was a later invention i believe...

the one i showed...has points on both ends.
one to hold the tie, one to hold the pin in place.
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Re: The Trail of Jacob Waltz’s Gold Ore

Post by djui5 »

Gregory E. Davis wrote:I would have to check with the person who gave that gold to Bob before I could reveal it source or other historic information pertaining to it and its ties to the Dutchman.

Greg,
I'll save you some time. I asked Bob a few times about where the Gold came from and he wouldn't answer that question. :lol: He did tell us the quartz was a 90% match for the Dutchman quartz, while the Kochera ore was a 20% match. Ask Paul to tell you about the conversation. It was rather amusing.

The area that Gold came from is still being searched. I'll talk to you more about it when I come over to give you the mugs. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised :D
Randy Wright
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Re: The Trail of Jacob Waltz’s Gold Ore

Post by Gregory E. Davis »

Good morning Garry: I would like to clarify some personal views I have about Browne Holmes for you and the users of this site but first lets go back to my previous post. Regarding my comment about Browne Holmes during our last visit as, "Being just an old cowboy", and please correct me if I am wrong, but as I recall we were discussing Browne with regards to the Holmes Manuscript when I made that comment. That it pertained to his having had a ghost writer prepare the manuscript after he had given the writer the basic story. I do not recall discussing the affidavit at that time. Had you gone to the SMHS Museum prior to, or after I made the statement? I should have elaborated more on that comment for you and for that I am sorry. I knew Browne and visited with him on several occasions and spent an entire day tape recording some of his adventures in Arizona other than those about his search for the Lost Dutchman. Browne was no dummy as can be attested to in his tape interviews. He had a mind like an iron trap and could clearly remember events at the age of 80 that took place 70 years prior. He could speak intelligently on a variety of subjects. In my opinion, based on personal observations, had he been born under different circumstances, with different guidance, and the opportunity to go to college to obtain the scholastic tools necessary, he might very well have become a university professor of history. That is the addenda I shoud have added for you when I made the statement about Browne being just a cowboy. I am still curious about what circumstances and avenues of investigation you took that caused you to come to the conclusion that "the businessman" made the affidavit? Hope both you and Carol have a very happy Thanksgiving. Cordially, Gregory E. Davis
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Re: The Trail of Jacob Waltz’s Gold Ore

Post by Cubfan64 »

djui5 wrote:
Gregory E. Davis wrote:I would have to check with the person who gave that gold to Bob before I could reveal it source or other historic information pertaining to it and its ties to the Dutchman.

Greg,
I'll save you some time. I asked Bob a few times about where the Gold came from and he wouldn't answer that question. :lol: He did tell us the quartz was a 90% match for the Dutchman quartz, while the Kochera ore was a 20% match. Ask Paul to tell you about the conversation. It was rather amusing.

The area that Gold came from is still being searched. I'll talk to you more about it when I come over to give you the mugs. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised :D
Randy, that was indeed an interesting short conversation with Bob which led me to form some of my own conclusions as to where the stone for that ring may have come from.

It also brings up a discussion I've been having with Garry (novice) regarding the analysis of the ore that Thomas Glover had done. In his book, there are no "percentage matches" or anything - it's really more of a match/no match qualitative type of thing. I wonder if Bob's specific % comments were something that were truly statistically and scientifically determined, or if it was more of just an "eyeball" conclusion of the results.

I really should get ahold of Dr. Glover and see what specifics he's at liberty to share on that.
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Re: The Trail of Jacob Waltz’s Gold Ore

Post by Ozarker »

Hello All:

I revisited both Dr Glover’s second book and the SMHS rare reprint of the Brownie Holmes manuscript, and am certain that the matchbox was not mentioned in either copy. Brownie did mention the involvement of Joe Poterie in the following passage:

“Some stories have been related at various times that Wolz might have been robbing the field. Several assayers, oneof (sic) which I mention, Joseph Poterie who was one-time assayer at the Vulture Mine and who has seen lots of ore from the Black Queen, upon examining the ore I have in my possession and which was obtained by my father from Wolz, stated that he was positive that that (sic) it had not come from either of the two mentioned mines deposit it was obtained (sic).”

The above passage is verbatim from pages 40 and 41 of the 1990 rare book reprint copy of the SMHS. The passage in Dr Glover’s second book is found on his page 158, and is essentially the same, except that Dr Glover corrected the obvious typographical errors and incorporated some of the missing passage from what I assume was a more complete copy of Brownie’s original.

{Note: One curious change in Dr Glover’s version, is that it reads as if Brownie himself had obtained the LDM ore specimens directly from Waltz, which we know was not the case since Old Jake had died before Brownie was born. Apparently, this was more of the residual contamination of the story from Brownie’s “helper”.}

As for the date of Brownie’s manuscript, Dr Glover’s version has a date of “Circa 1947" for Brownie’s introduction (see his page 18), which fits well with the ending of Brownie’s narrative. As mentioned before, the SMHS rare reprint has a date of 1944 on the cover, suggesting a window of 1944 to 1947 for the compilation of the original manuscript. Hopefully, Greg Davis can help refine the date, although I think this is pretty close.

The apparent consistency of Brownie’s story between his manuscript and his 1969 affidavit is striking, and tracks well with the trail that Garry has illustrated. Hopefully, we can gain a better understanding of the time line as it relates to Gus Hirschfeld as we go along, as I think that part of the trail of Waltz’s ore still needs some work. There is also the question of how the items mentioned by Brownie track with the items mentioned in the later affidavits and ore testing.


Larry
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Re: The Trail of Jacob Waltz’s Gold Ore

Post by novice »

Greg,

I had gone to the museum “after” our visit and first spoke to you about the affidavit at the rendezvous. I certainly interpreted nothing disparaging from your “old cowboy” comment regarding Brownie.

As to who prepared the affidavit, I obviously wasn’t there. But I did make the statement that I felt it was prepared by the businessman with input from Brownie, and you have reiterated your question, so I do owe you an honest response.

My Take: When someone transfers ownership of a valuable piece, it is in the interest of the receiver to record as much background as possible. There would seem to be little benefit to the one transferring the item. Were it me, I would suggest what I would like included and any items that might not be what I considered relevant to be omitted. I would have also done my research on the artifact up front and be very familiar with its provenance.

I pointed out several areas where I felt the items entered had been researched and requested by the receiver. The first thing that struck me was the dimensions and weight of the box. I would have thought that about 2 inches by 3 inches would suffice but someone had gone to a great deal of trouble to record the dimensions down to 1/1000 of an inch and tenths of a gram. I worked around aircraft inspection areas and I do know what kind of instruments it takes to obtain those kinds of measurements.

As to who prepared the final draft and had the affidavit typed and notarized, it seemed logical to me that it was the businessman. If you know that is not the case, I am at your mercy. :oops:

I went back and reread my post and I must have inadvertently omitted some I believe and I think qualifiers. :)

Garry
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