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Marauding bands of Indians, an ever-present danger in the early gold rush days of the Black Hills, on more than one occasion undoubtedly had help from white outlaws.

In 1875 Joseph Metz left Mankato, Minnesota, and headed west. Settling in Custer, South Dakota, he opened a small but prosperous bakery.

In April of 1876, Metz decided to move again. The fact that the Sioux resented the white mans intrusion, and had recently been attacking mining camps and an occasional ox train, did not deter Metz.

Going against the advice given him by local freighters to wait for an organized wagon train, he sold his bakery for $3,000 in gold dust, and headed for Cheyenne, 200 miles away.

It was April 24, 1876, when Metz, his wife Rachael Biggs, and a teamster named Simpson left for Cheyenne. Meeting a party traveling to Cuter, they were told that it was safe to travel on this side of the Cheyenne River.

Three days after a party, which included a man named Voorhees, who was superintendent of the stagecoach line, was passing through Red Canyon, The canyon, 15 miles south of Custer, harbored the remains of the Metz family, and their last camp site. Joseph Metz was discovered near a creek and the driver a mile away. Both eventually had been shot.

One theory was the Persimmon Bill and his gang were responsible for the killings. Persimmon Bill was a local outlaw who frequented Red Canyon and was known to work with the Indians. The fact that the victims had all been shot seemed to substantiate the theory as the Indians were not very good shots and had very few guns.

Then in May, the servants body, full of arrows, was found. The gold was never found. It was as we all know, a common practice in those days to bury valuables when camped.

Years later, a tin can was dug up near the site which contained a single gold nugget.

Decimal Degrees: 43.408,-103.7798