Memories > Canyon Station Robbery


Mohave County's very own buried treasure legend
Arizona is legendary for its lost mines and hidden treasures. Nearly all long time residents of Arizona know about the tale of the Lost Dutchman Mine of the Superstition Mountains. Other notable fabled treasures include: Lost Escalante, Iron Door Gold Mine, Monterey Loot and Irish Cavalier Gold. All of these hidden fortunes of the past are located outside of Mohave County, but believe it or not Mohave County is home to many legends of its own including one such legend known as the Canyon Station Robbery.

Canyon Station is located at the foothills of the Cerbat Mountains near Kingman. It was the site of a stage station near the mouth of the narrow canyon, through which the road twisted up the Cerbats before descending to Mineral Park. All that is left of Canyon Station today is the diminishing foundations of well-aged structures and a weed infested road leading to them.

Tradition claims that a robbery took place near the Canyon Station in October of 1873. A man named Macallum (McAllen) and his partner received information from an unnamed source that a shipment of government funds, $72,000 worth, in gold coins was in route to Fort Mohave from Prescott. The two men made careful plans to rob the stagecoach of its precious contents. With his partner standing guard Macallum stopped the stagecoach, demanded the strongbox and sent the coach on its way. The coach traveled a short distance and soon a posse was formed to pursue the two bandits. 

Meanwhile the robbers had no chance of carrying their unwieldy prize with them any extended distance, so they decided to bury the strongbox containing the loot. It wasn't long before the sheriff's posse caught up with them killing Macallum's partner. Macallum was sent to the Yuma Territorial Prison for an undetermined sentence. He did not reveal the location of the hidden money, hoping to enjoy the loot after serving his prison term. While in prison Macallum became well acquainted with another inmate. Macallum became very ill and before his death he relayed information regarding the robbery to the inmate.

It is believed that this inmate returned to Canyon Station and talked to Andy Goodwill, who at the time was living in the Canyon Station building and cultivated a fine orchard and garden there. Goodwill reported that he had no objection and the man continued the search for the money, staying in the area for a few days. At the time of his departure, the man told Goodwill that the place had changed and he couldn't find any marker described by the old inmate. Discouraged after his extensive search, the man left to no avail.

What makes this story more creditable is the fact that a few years later Nelle Clack, who owned Clacks Canyon at the time, told of a hideout she believed the robbers used. It was a cave formed by two large boulders. There Nelle Clack found a few personal belongings left by persons who had been living there for a short period of time. It was an ideal spot for observing the movements of people and wagons at the station.

Copyright © 2008 Mohave Pioneers Historical Society
Mohave Museum of History and Arts
400 West Beale Street
Kingman, Arizona 86401