Gold shipments were occassionally shipped by stage from Leadville on the old stagecoach road between Leadville and Buena Vista. For obvious reasons, the scheduling of these gold shipments was a well guarded secret. In spite of this security, robberies were occurring much too often. It was a mystery how anyone would know when gold would be on the stage.
A "sting" operation was devised to catch the culprit. The plan was a success! The robber hid in some rocks, which lie beside the old stage road just outside of present day Balltown. But, when the robber jumped out, the law was waiting and the robber was shot to death. The real surprise came when the robber's hood was removed, and one of the law officers discovered that the robber was his wife!
Shocked and ashamed, the officer couldn't bear the thought of bringing the body back to town, and so he buried the robber, his wife, beside the trail where she was killed. The gravestone, which is still easily seen from highway 24, reads: "My Wife - Jane Kirkham - Died March 7, 1879 - Aged 38 years, 3 months, 7 days"