BARROW GANG CAPTURED AT DEXFIELD PARK
The abandoned Dexfield Park served as a hideout for the Barrow gang July 20-24, 1933. They picked a location for their camp on the high ground south of the park, tucked away in the underbrush. It is here they could tend to their wounds from a previous gun battle near Platte City, Missouri. The car was filled with bullet holes and a different car was needed. Early on Sunday morning Clyde Barrow and W.D. Jones drove northeast to Perry and stole a car belonging to Edward Stoner. Clyde feared his brother Marvin "Buck" was near death and sensed it was time to make plans to leave for Texas.
A local farmer, Henry Nye, discovered the campsite by chance. Bloody clothing, seat cushions and mats were burning in the campfire and on the ground nearby were bloody bandages. Word spread quickly that the notorious gang was camped outside of town. John Love, Dexter night marshall, notified Dallas County Sheriff C.A. Knee in Adel. Upon this description and investigation the law officers were convinced it was the notorious Barrow brothers and the gang. On July 24, about 6:00 a.m. a posse composed of state agents, county officers and local law enforcement attempted to capture the Barrow gang. The road and bridge were guarded in an effort to block an escape. The officers walked in on the gang from the west in an effort to surprise them. The shooting began. The bandits took refuge behind their car and opened fire with pistols and automatic rifles. Clyde attempted to drive one of the cars out of the park away from the lawmen, but was met by gunfire again. He was hit in the shoulder and lost control of the car, running over a stump where the car could not be pryed loose. Clyde got everyone out and headed for the other car, but it was no use. The posse shot out all the windows and tires and ruined the engine. The only thing left was to run and hide. W.D. Jones, or Jack Sherman, as he was also known, was stunned again by a glancing shot. Bonnie Parker took shotgun pellets to the midsection and "Buck" was hit again. Leaving "Buck" and his wife Blanche behind, Clyde, Bonnie and W.D. Jones waded the South Raccoon River at the east end of the park east of the Spiller's Cemetery and appeared at the Vallie Feller farm. Vallie, his son Marvelle and a hired man, Walt Spillers, were doing the chores. At gun point Clyde forced Vallie and Marvelle to get their 1929 Plymouth ready to go, then ordered the Fellers' to lift the badly wounded Bonnie into the car. They drove away from the farm and back onto the current Dexfield Road heading north making their get- away through Redfield. The Feller car was abandoned in Polk City, Iowa, bloodstained and with a shattered windshield.
A National Guardsman, Dr. Keller and James Young of Dexter came upon "Buck" and Blanche hiding out behind a fallen tree. This well known picture shows Blanche struggling with police officers John Forbes and Ford Knapp as" Buck "lays seriously wounded on the ground, tended by Virgil Musselman in the undershirt and bib overalls. Dexter cafe owner, Harold Myers is crouching down to the left holding the towel. Dr. Keller in the fedora is standing in front of the car which was brought up to take the prisoners away. Harley Pearce, Des Moines patrolman, took" Buck" and Blanche to Dexter for treatment at the Dr's. Chapler-Osborn clinic. An ambulance was called from Perry, 20 miles away, where" Buck" was taken to the Kings Daughter Hospital where he later died. Blanche was treated and taken into custody first to Adel and then to Des Moines where she was booked and fingerprinted. She was sent to Jefferson City, Missouri to stand trial for her crimes.
The only injury to the posse was a slight head wound sustained by Deputy Sheriff C.C. "Rags" Riley.
This location was the beginning of the end of the crime sprees for the Barrow gang. On April 16, 1934, they returned to the Stuart area and robbed the First National Bank. History was made on May 23. 1934, when Bonnie and Clyde were gunned down near Gibsland, Louisiana by Texas and Louisiana police officers, bringing an end to the most notorious desperadoes' crimes in the Depression years.
W.D. Jones and Blanche Barrow served time in prison and were later released.