Clyde Barrow’s childhood home fails to dodge a bullet, falls to the wrecking ball

‘A piece of West Dallas’ infamous past is headed to the landfill,’ says local paper, The Oak Cliff Advocate

Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker with 1221 Singleton Boulevard (Getty, iStock)
Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker with 1221 Singleton Boulevard (Getty, iStock)

Clyde Barrow’s childhood home has been reduced to rubble and hauled to the landfill after a last-ditch effort to win landmark status failed to save it.

The Barrow filling station, the family home of the outlaw Clyde Barrow of Bonnie and Clyde fame, was demolished April 20, according to the Oak Cliff Advocate.

When plans to tear down the historic house were introduced by owner Brent Jackson in March 2020, the Dallas Landmark Commission voted to initiate landmark status for the building — a process which must be completed within two years. It wasn’t completed in time.

“A piece of West Dallas’ infamous past is headed to the landfill,” the paper said.

Barrow’s father, Henry, bought the then vacant lot on 1221 Singleton Boulevard sometime in the early 1930s. Back then, the street was called Eagle Ford Road. Barrow used a mule team to move his three-room shotgun house from Muncie Avenue to the lot and then built and ran a Star Service Station out of the side.

Henry and Cumie Barrow were running the filling station during the 21 months that their son Clyde and his partner Bonnie Parker were on their multi-state crime spree. The family continued running the service station after Bonnie and Clyde were killed in an ambush at Gibsland, Louisiana in 1934, but not for long.

In 1938, the filling station-slash-home caught fire in what the family believed to be retribution on behalf of former Barrow gang members. That September, Cumie Barrow and her nephew, Lewis Francis, were shot and wounded while standing outside the filling station. Former Barrow gang member Baldy Whatley was arrested in the shooting. While he was out on bond, the filling station was firebombed twice.

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Bonnie and Clyde were accused of 13 murders, including two Texas highway patrolmen, two police officers in Missouri, a sheriff in Oklahoma and a deputy in New Mexico.

That history should not be celebrated, the property owner said in 2020.

“He did murder a number of first responders,” Jackson told the Landmark Commission. “The guy murdered multiple multiple multiple people.”

In the 88 years since their crime spree, the story of the couple has been resurrected across popular culture, including several Hollywood films and Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s song “‘03 Bonnie and Clyde”— the inspiration for their 2014 ‘On the Run’ world tour.

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[Oak Cliff Advocate] — Maddy Sperling