Bonnie and Clyde – Reeds Spring History

Bonnie and Clyde in Reeds Spring, MO

by Tara Wolf

Bonnie and Clyde in Reeds Spring The rat-a-tat-tat of a machine gun in the hands of Bonnie Parker, or her lover, Clyde Barrow, spelled death and destruction throughout the southwest during the 1930’s. Newspapers carried headline articles of the crimes committed by the pair of outlaws. The Barrow gang seemed far removed from the hills of the Ozark Mountains Country until a day in February, 1934 when the startling news that Bonnie and Clyde had kidnapped an area man began to circulate in the small towns of Reeds Spring, Galena and Cape Fair. On February 12th, 1934, Stone County officers had been warned to be on alert because “some kids” in Springfield had stolen a car and were headed south. At that time, no one suspected that the car thieves were Bonnie & Clyde, and another member of the Barrow gang, Henry Methvin. A roadblock was set up by Constable Dale Davis and his men near the Missouri Pacific Railroad underpass north of Reeds Spring. When Clyde saw the roadblock, he spun his car around and headed back up Highway 13. Because he had already eluded pursuit in that direction, he turned off onto a rural road to make his escape. Lacking a knowledge of the area’s roads, the gang forced a local man, Joe Gunn, into the car and ordered him to help them escape by guiding them through the back roads to Berryville, Arkansas. In making their get-away, the gang encountered another roadblock south of Reeds Spring, set up by Deputies Earnest Hayes and Sam Thompson. Trapped, the outlaws opened fire and shot their way through the roadblock, careening into a ditch and again, all the while showering the officers with a hail of bullets as the car sped down the dusty road. This is said to of happened near the junction of Highway 76 and 13 (heading towards Cape Fair). Upon reaching Berryville, Arkansas, the gang gave Joe Gunn $20 (the amount varies from story to story) and released him unharmed. Joe was so scared that he made his way home through fields and wooded areas, never traveling on the main road and only arriving back in Reeds Spring the following day. Joe Gunn’s harrowing experience with Bonnie and Clyde is still related in the Reeds Spring area today. In the following May, on the 23rd, Bonnie and Clydes time ran out and they were killed by a Texas pose on a country road between Sailes and Gibsland, Louisiana.Reeds Spring had held a “Bonnie & Clyde Day” for many years.