|Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were both natives of Dallas. Though Clyde, the son of sharecroppers, was born in 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. The school, Eagle Ford No. 79, has separate entrances for girls and boys.
Workers from Cement City built the school with cement donated by the cement plant.
|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 the gas station, now bricked over and remodeled some.
|The calaboose in Kemp, Kaufman County, was the town's "drunk tank."
After a failed robbery attempt of a hardware store, Bonnie spent a long,
sleepless night with fellow gang member Ralph Fults. Clyde was able to
escape capture. Fults was sent back to the Eastham Prison Farm, and
Bonnie stayed at the Kaufman County jail in downtown Kaufman for six
weeks until a Grand Jury no-billed her for the attempted robbery. It was
from this episode that Clyde realized he could trust her explicity, as she
never "squealed" on him during her incarceration.
|Bonnie is buried at the Crown Hill Cemetery off of Webb Chapel
Road. Her mother, brother, niece and nephew are also buried here.
|Clyde is buried next to his brother Buck in Western Heights Cemetery on
Fort Worth Avenue. Their parents and one brother are also buried here.
|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.
|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
|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 Gibsland, Louisiana. 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.
|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. (Dallas Public Library, used with permission).
|Questions or comments? E-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, laid out in Conger's Funeral Home after the ambush. (Dallas Public Library, used with permission).
|Exclusive to those who scrolled down this far: a letter from Bonnie's funeral director about what he
experienced as Bonnie's funeral director. (Southern Methodist University Archives)
|My book, Traveling History with Bonnie and
Clyde, offers five tours those who want to find
the traces of the Barrow Gang.