The following article was taken from "A Centennial History of Morland and Community 1881 - 1981

The Treasure Hunt

     In May and June of 1936 Morland was the center of much excitement and of nationwide interest when workman digging a well in the business area brought up bits of metal. Some of the metal taken out of hole was sent to laboratories to be analyzed. Rumors started flying about a mysterious metal box believed to be of brass, about 18 by 18 inches by three feet long. The digging was slow because of the quick sand and an underground stream of water.

Difficult Digging In Quick Sand!
     A hole about six feet square and 18 feet deep was cased up in an attempt to keep sand from filling it but the underground current of water kept the hole filled to about a foot above the metal chest. Workmen feeling the top of the lid under the water believed it had engraved or raised letters on it. A little later the workmen found rocks placed around the box, seemingly by human hands, and that the box of "King Tut #2" as it was sometimes called, was perfectly level.
Workmen discover a "Metal Box"
Workmen discover a Metal Box
     The Hill City Times posted a bulletin in the window each morning telling the progress of the digging and with all the publicity, people came for many miles, from different counties and from several states, hoping to be there when the box was finally brought to the surface. It was estimated a thousand people visited Morland on May 24 and 25, but had to be satisfied with only looking at the hole and muddy water.

     Of course with anticipated treasure, it was felt necessary to have representatives of the law there so on June 8, 1936 Dan C. Dever and Wayne Owen of Salina and Edgar W. Heye of Oakley, members of Patrol #1, Kansas Division, arrived with their Tommy Guns and other fast shooting equipment in case some unforeseen difficulty might take place. They expected to stay until the mystery box was removed from its watery grave.

Armed Guards Watch!
     Money was needed to carry on this project of getting "King Tut" out of his grave so a company was formed and shares were sold at $10 per share. Many transactions took place and business was brisk.

     Finally the day came when the mystery box was finally to be brought to the surface. The following article found in the Hill City Times of June 18, 1936 tells the story:
     "Last Thursday it was flashed to the Times Office that the box was brought out and reporters went to cover the story. It was not until about four o'clock, however, that the mystery box was brought out of its resting place, and much to the amusement of others, the valuable, much talked about "King Tut" had petrified and turned into a large blue limestone rock. There were a lot of 'I told you so's,' by the spectators and the tension was high. However things ran very smooth because the state troopers and local officials had been called to protect the valuable box.
     The startling news was flashed by the Times to the Associated Press and there by to all the newspapers of the country. People all over the world have been reading about the Morland mystery and probably were shocked to hear the tragic news of "King Tut."
     During this entire episode, the Morland Monitor had not carried many news items stating they did not want to create a sensation. Perhaps their final comment was fitting: "It was 'Old King Tut' all right but owing to the length of time it took to get him out, he had become petrified."

Click Here
© 1997 Graham County Historical Society

This page hosted by

Copyright © 1997, All Rights Reserved.
D & M Consultants
Hill City, Ks