June 20, 2017

Marvin "Buck" Barrow

   Buck Barrow was born Marvin Ivan Barrow in Jones Prairie, Marion County, Texas, the third child of Henry and Cumie Barrow. He got the nickname Buck from an aunt, who said he ran around like a horse. In the early 1920s, Marvin went to Dallas, ostensibly to work for his brother Clyde repairing cars, but he quickly became part of the West Dallas petty-criminal underworld. He began his criminal career as a cockfighter, but moved up quickly; just before Christmas 1926, Marvin and Clyde were arrested with a truck full of stolen turkeys they intended to sell. Marvin took the rap for himself and his brother and went to jail for a week. He met his future wife, Blanche, on November 11, 1929 in West Dallas and she soon became part of the loose Barrow gang. He was shot and captured two weeks later after a burglary and given four years in the state prison.

   He escaped from the Ferguson Prison Farm on March 8, 1930 by simply walking out and stealing a guard's car. He and Blanche married on July 3, 1931 in Oklahoma. Blanche convinced him to return to prison and serve the rest of his term, which he did. After two years, he was issued a pardon by the governor, mostly due to the lobbying done by his wife and mother, partly due to the effort to reduce prison overcrowding. Upon his release on March 22, 1933, he and Blanche joined Clyde, his girlfriend Bonnie and W. D. Jones and began the crime spree the Barrow gang became notorious for. A few robberies and murders later, Buck was mortally wounded during a shootout with the police at the Red Crown Tourist Court in Platte City, Missouri. He hung on for a few days in a delirium until July 29, 1933, when he died of pneumonia aggravated by his head injury.

Note: Marvin's year of birth on his stone is incorrect. His mother gave the engravers her daughter Nell's birth year by accident.

32° 45.957, -096° 84.663

Western Heights Cemetery

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