By Margaret Thomas – Special to the Navarro County Gazette
In 1934, my great uncle gave my dad a book written by Clyde Barrow’s sister, Nell Barrow Cowan and Bonnie Parker’s mother, Mrs. Emma Parker titled Fugitives: The Story of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker.
Mrs. Cowan said her first childhood memory, outstanding among other memories, is of her little brother, Clyde Barrow. She continued, “We were a large family – there were eight of us children and Clyde was third from the youngest. Clyde was born March 24, 1909.”
Clyde’s family lived on a farm at Teleco, Texas. Just poor tenant farmers, she said, with barely ever enough to eat, scanty clothes and very few pleasures.
She continued her story saying Clyde loved guns from the time she could remember (she was five years older than him). Toy guns, if he could get them, if not, he’d use a stick for a gun. He was never afraid of anything, even as a baby.
Mrs. Cowan said she nor Clyde ever wanted to attend school. When she was 11 years old and Clyde was 6 they began spending a great deal of time with their father’s brother, who lived on a farm in Eureka. They were especially fond of this uncle as he was very easy-going and he didn’t see why children should be made to go to school if they didn’t want to, therefore he did not make them attend.
This background explains why in later years Clyde came to be in the Eureka area often, even when on the run, and how so many locals in those years knew him. Of the men I have heard share stories of Clyde, never did even one express fear or dislike of Clyde.