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BY MIKE AVITT
The story of Bonnie and Clyde visiting Ringgold County never gets old so I’ll tell it again. Thanks to Doug Still for this week’s photo.
The story is really about Marvin “Buck” Barrow, who was one of five members of the Barrow Gang when the outlaws passed through Ringgold County on July 20, 1933. The other members were Clyde Barrow, Marvin’s little brother; Bonnie Parker, Clyde’s girlfriend; driver W. D. Jones; and Blanche Barrow, Marvin’s wife.
On the evening of July 19, 1933, law enforcement officials engaged in a shootout with the Barrow Gang at Platte City, Mo. The gang escaped but both Marvin and Blanche were wounded, Marvin seriously. Blanche suffered an eye injury but Marvin had been shot in the head and his injuries would prove to be fatal.
As the gang approached Caledonia the next morning, driver W. D. Jones passed through the town stopping about one fourth of a mile north on the Frank Marsh property. The reason was the bullet-riddled car and the blood-soaked passengers. Jones then walked to the store for food, soda pop, bandages, mercurochrome, and gasoline. Jones made multiple trips.
After the gang left, authorities found the Barrow Gang had attempted to burn bloody clothing on the Frank Marsh land. This is all that is known of the gang’s visit to Ringgold County on July 20, 1933. The Barrow Gang traveled north after leaving Caledonia.
On July 24, 1933, the Barrow Gang again was under fire by local authorities at Dexfield Park, a tourist camp between Dexter and Redfield, Iowa. Marvin was again wounded in the shootout. Clyde, Bonnie, and Jones escaped, but Marvin was unable to flee and Blanche stayed by her husband’s side.
Marvin was taken to the hospital in Perry, but his condition worsened. He died on July 29, 1933 of pneumonia and gunshot wounds.
Subsequently, Blanche and Jones did prison time. Bonnie and Clyde were gunned down by law enforcement officials in Louisiana on May 23, 1934. My information for the Ringgold County part of this article came from the July 27, 1933 edition of the Mount Ayr Record-News.