John Singer, his wife, and son were shipwrecked in their vessel the Alice Sadell on Padre Island while en route to Point Isabel in 1847. The Singers were attracted by the island and bought part of the southern half of the island from the Padre Balli estate. The Singers established a profitable ranch and home on the the island. Singer was the older brother of the inventor of the sewing machine.
During the Civil War, Singer sided with the Union and was chased from the Island by the Confederates. Before making his escape, he buried the family fortune of about $80,000 near his ranch. After the War, he came back for his treasure but storms had changed the Island so much that he was never able to find it.
To this day, treasure hunters still comb Padre Island, looking for Singerís buried treasure.