On 80th anniversary, Clyde Barrow no longer said to be Sherman murder

By: Steven Powell Email
By: Steven Powell Email

Thursday marked the 80th anniversary of the legendary robbery/murder in Sherman by Clyde Barrow. The infamous bandit of the Bonnie and Clyde duo is said to have killed a store clerk.

But 80 years later, historians - like Austin College history professor Dr. Light Cummins - no longer believe Clyde was the robber.

"Digital research and the availability on the internet and the availability to consult jail records, arrest records, and other search documents made it possible for historians to conclusively prove that Clyde Barrow was not at Sherman at the time of the robbery," he said.

He said about 15 years ago, historians began to doubt Clyde's involvement.

"They however weren't even in the area at the time," he said. "Clyde and Bonnie were on their way back from Michigan."

But someone did rob The Little Grocery Store, which stood on the corner of Vaden and Wells. And he killed Howard Hall, a store clerk who was trying to prevent the robbery. Cummins said the day after the robbery, witnesses identified the gunman as Clyde - and that's all it took.

"Bonnie and Clyde were big news, so most of the papers across the United States reported this robbery as the work of the Barrow gang," he said.

But Cummins said the duo did frequent the area - and may have had a few hideouts here.

Joe Pollaro, a Denison resident, said one of the legendary hideaways is on his property.

He said he and his family like to imagine Bonnie and Clyde sitting around the fireplace.

"We've even speculated that they have a little stash on the side where they would go under and stash their money," he said. "I think my sons have already been down there checking it out."

Pollaro said the History Channel even re-enacted the Bonnie and Clyde shootout here a few years ago.

But even he admits that there's no way to know for sure whether clyde was the true killer - or if he ever spent a night at the bungalow.

"It could be myth, I don't know, it could be total fiction," he said.

Cummins said Bonnie and Clyde sightings were always popular, especially in this area.

"When it comes to Bonnie and Clyde, one can even say they're the Southwest version of 'George Washington slept here,'" he said.

Regardless of the legends, Bonnie and Clyde do have a major tie to Grayson County. Cummins said a former Grayson County sheriff - and Sherman resident - was the man who ultimately took down the infamous duo.


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