Transcription from original document owned by
The Victoria Regional History Center
VC/UHV Library
Materials Use Policy

Jacob's Staff or Brass Rod

As of this date, Jan 1,1965, I have never seen this Brass Rod or Jacob's Staff as it was called or have I talked with anyone who has[,] but people have told me that they knew people (now dead) who have seen the staff and the whereabouts of the staff is not known.

The tale is supposed to be true. A Rancher by the name of Hill owned a ranch on the Lavaca Bay. From the east side of the Garcitas Creek to all most [sic] the Lavaca River[,] in the early 1890's [,] at this ranch between the Garcitas Creek and the Vernado [sic] Creek for quit [sic] a way back is all marsh land except one spot on the west side of the Vernado. [sic] This is a small hill[,] elevation about 25 feet, and slopes off toward the south[,] toward the bay. This land is now owned by Ike West. And is known as the West Ranch. Rancher Hill was a batchlor [sic] and lived on the ranch. Living with him[,] was a Dave Kauffman, a treasure hunter extraordinary [sic], looking for Spanish Gold and some of Jean Laffites money.

One day along in 1894 - or 1895 - a Negro cowboy working cattle below this little hill - found a Brass Rod sticking in the ground near the south base of this little hill. The Negro pulled the staff out of the ground[,] did not mark the spot[,] [and] went to the house. [He said] ["] Boss, look what I have found [and] where is Mr. Dave.["] The Negro and Mr. Hill went right back to the place where the Negro said he had pulled the staff out of the ground[,] but was unable to locate the exact spot. The treasure Hunter Dave Kauffman[,] Mr. Hill[,] and the Negro hunted and looked for several days [f]or the place where the staff was pulled out of the ground[,] but of no use. [They thought] the Negro was not showing them the right spot or it was lost. Dave Kauffman talked Mr. Hill into firing the Negro off the ranch [and] then keep a[n] eye on him [because] he could come back and dig at the right spot. This did not work out. The Negro left the country and the spot where the Jacob's Staff was pulled out of the ground is still lost.

John L. Jarratt Sr.1966


Note/ This hill has an Indian midden on it and a snake den

Drawing of map show area where Jacob's stff was pulled out of ground


Keran [Keeran] Ranch
[Old Hill Ranch]
Kentucky Creek
Garcitas Creek
Placedo Creek
Venado Creek
Lavaca River
Lavaca Bay
marsh land
hill 25 ft.
old creek bed
marsh flats
Jacob's Staff