The wild West Dallas Barrow brother you don’t know

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Image via the Dallas Morning News Historical Archives

The wild and wonderful Barrows of West Dallas knew how to start trouble.

While Clyde and brother Buck made headlines for robbing banks and killing cops in the early 1930s, they weren’t the only criminals in the family.

Our Back Story feature in the October Advocate tells of the aftermath of Bonnie and Clyde — many of their close family members did jail time for aiding and abetting the outlaws during their crime spree.

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Of seven siblings in the Barrow family, two were killed by lawmen (Clyde and Buck), and three were felons. Only two stayed out of trouble.

The oldest Barrow brother, Jack, was convicted of murder in 1939, when he was 46.

He shot 25-year-old Otis Jenkins through the heart during a petty argument at the Dreamland Cafe on what is now Singleton at 3 in the afternoon. His brother, L.C. Barrow, was out on parole and present at the cafe shooting.

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Image of Jack Barrow courtesy of the Dallas Morning News Historical Archives
Image of Jack Barrow courtesy of the Dallas Morning News Historical Archives

Jack Barrow was sentenced to 99 years in prison. It’s unclear how much of that time he served, and he died in 1947.

During his time at the Dallas County jail, Barrow ran a monopoly selling candy, cigarettes and pies to other prisoners. Perhaps it was his celebrity as a member of the world-famous Barrow clan. The sheriff allowed Barrow the exclusive right to traffic treats in the jail.

“It has been estimated that he earns between $2 and $3 a day from his candy selling, and since he has no overhead to pay, he probably gets more profit per sale than the man on the street with the same product,” a newspaper reported at the time.

Jack Barrow, legal name Elvin Wilson Barrow, is buried, along with Clyde, Buck and their parents, at Western Heights Cemetery in West Dallas.

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