|Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were both natives of Dallas. Though Clyde, the son of sharecroppers,
was born in Telico (Ellis County) and Bonnie's family moved to Dallas from Rowena (Runnels County)
after the death of her father, they both considered the Eagle Ford area - West Dallas - home.
After running from the law for a little over two years, while criss-crossing the Mid-West, they died
together in a violent ambush near Lebanon, Louisiana (close to Arcadia, in Bienville Parish).
Traces of their past can still be seen in the Dallas area and thereabouts. If you are interested in learning
more about their story, check out the article or book - or take an actual tour with me as your guide.
|Bonnie's elementary school, now defunct, sits on Chalk Hill Road.
|After the Barrows moved to Dallas, they lived under the Houston
Street Viaduct before finding a place to live in West Dallas. Henry
Barrow, Clyde's father, built a shack on land owned by one of his
daughters. Henry had been collecting scrap metal for a living when his
mule and cart were struck by a car - and with the modest settlement
he received from the accident, he built the Star Service Station,
attaching the shack to a small store. The building seen above is a the
actual gas station, now bricked over and remodeled some.
|The Kemp calaboose in Kaufman County, where Bonnie spent a long,
sleepless night after an attempted robbery of a hardware store.
Calabooses are small jails built for small towns, meant to hold a crook
until he (or she) can be transferred to the county slammer. From
Spanish, meaning "dungeon."
|Bonnie is buried at the Crown Hill Cemetery off of Webb Chapel
Road. Her mother, her niece and her nephew are also buried here.
|Clyde is buried next to his brother Buck in Western Heights Cemetery,
Fort Worth Avenue.
|Clyde ran off the road
while driving in the Texas
panhandle, near the town
of Wellington. His car
landed in the dry river bed
of the Salt Fork of the Red
River. Bonnie was
severely burnt in the
crash. The Pritchards, a
family who lived closest to
the accident scene, took
Bonnie, Clyde, and their
running mate, W.D. Jones,
inside their house to help
the injured Bonnie. They
ended up being in the
middle of a shootout
between the gangsters
and local police. Above
left are old pillars of what
may have been the bridge
that Clyde thought he was
going to cross back then
(the bridge had been
washed out). Left are the
remains of the old
Pritchard farm house.
|The old McKinney jail housed Raymond Hamilton, one-time member
of the Barrow Gang, before he once again tried to escape. In recent
years, the jail was home to an excellent restaurant (now closed).
The bars that Hamilton tried to saw through can still be viewed, as
well as his jail cell and - supposedly - the gallows plank.
|After the ambush, Bonnie and Clyde, shot to pieces and all gory,
were towed inside their stolen car to the coroner's office in Arcadia.
The way to Arcadia is through the little town of Gibsland. Right in
front of the town school, the tow truck with its gruesome cargo
broke down. Above is that old Gibsland school, where the kids
spilled out of the doors to get a first hand look inside the "death car"
(maybe a lesson that crime doesn't pay?)
|The Texas Prison Museum in Huntsville houses some really cool
stuff, like this pistol that was in Bonnie's lap the day she died. Ted
Hinton, a Dallas County Deputy sheriff and member of the ambush
posse, certified the gun as authentic.
|The Texas Ranger Museum in Waco has a display case dedicated to
the ambush. Above are the weapons that killed the duo; left is a
pocket watch found on Barrow's body.
|Breakin' the Law: Bonnie & Clyde Haunts
|Make sure to visit the
Bonnie and Clyde
Ambush Museum in
Owned by Kenneth
Holmes and run by
Boots Hinton (Ted
Hinton's son), the
museum offers up a lot
of authentic history
and is located in the
same building where
Bonnie allegedly ate
her last meal.
|Bonnie and Clyde stayed at tourist camps whenever they could,
although most often they slept in the car while on the lam. The Texas
Tourist Camp in Decatur, faced with petrified wood, is said to have
been a hideout.
|On May 23, 1934, Bonnie and Clyde were shot down by the Texas
Rangers, with help from Bienville Parish law enforcement and Dallas
County deputies. Henry Methvin, their running partner at the time, is
said to have negotiated a plea bargain if he could deliver the pair to
justice. The order was to shoot to kill on sight, as everyone knew
Barrow would never be taken alive (he already had had a hand in
killing 11 people). Bonnie and Clyde had been hiding out at the old
Cole farmhouse in Bienville Parish, and were completely surprised by
the ambush. Bienville Parish erected this marker at the sight. The
marker has to be replaced quite often, however, as souvenir hunters
chip away at the cement and/or memorialize themselves. Hey, they're
just following tradition; locals apparently tried to saw off Clyde's
trigger finger immediately following the ambush.
|Know Your History!
West Dallas, which Bonnie and
Clyde called home, was once known
as Eagle Ford. Locals called the
southern portion "Cement City"
after the cement companies that
were founded around the limestone
hills. West Dallas wasn't
incorporated into Dallas until 1952.
West Dallas' history is set to change
once again with the opening of the
Margaret Hunt Hill bridge.
|Questions or comments? E-mail me: email@example.com