Thursday, April 23, 2009

Toby Tubby's Gold (1)

I am not a researcher.
I am not a great history buff, even though my life is intertwined very closely with the history of the rural south, the Civil War and the generations of people that have lived and struggled here.
I am a real estate broker in a small town just south of Oxford, MS, while my father and his family are all from the Oxford area. I grew up learning all about Oxford and it’s deep and wonderful history. Growing up, my grandmother took us to all the old family homesites and gave us the history of all the people of the area. She was a Burt from out at Clear Creek and seemed to either know or to be kin to everyone in Lafayette county. My father graduated from University High School as did my Aunt Marilyn (Melly) and Uncle Jim and I loved the stories they told of growing up there, attending Ole Miss, hunting the swamps of the Tallahatchie Bottom, and all the antics my Dad would tell of his wild childhood.
I would not have paid a second thought about Chief Toby Tubby if my Aunt Melly, had not mentioned it one day when I stopped at her house for a quick cup of coffee. She is part of the Oxford Heritage Foundation and a member of the D.A.R., plus a myriad of other things as I found out later. She said that she was upset because the marker out near College Hill Church honoring the old Chief has disappeared again. It was the second time and the marker was very expensive. She doubted they had the money to keep replacing it.
Going home, I reviewed in my head the legend that I had heard about the famous Indian Chief.
Chief Toby Tubby had operated a ferry crossing the river north of Oxford near Wyatt.
He was very wealthy and even owned slaves.
When he died, the funeral procession left from near the College Hill Church up the Old Chickasaw Rd never to be seen again.
He was buried with all his possessions and the site was marked with a cedar tree planted on top. No other sign was left because they were afraid grave robbers would dig him up for his fortune.
His grave has never been located.
Not much information, but just enough for a buried treasure legend I laughed to myself, but later, the idea of finding it began to grow in my mind.


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