The West Dallas house where Clyde Barrow killed Tarrant County Deputy Sheriff Malcolm Davis in 1933 has got to go.
Wesley-Rankin Community Center owns the shotgun duplex at 3111 N. Winnetka Ave., known as the Lillie McBride house because of its place in the history of Bonnie and Clyde, and the nonprofit wants it demolished or moved.
The house, once used as part of the community center, held storage for many years and is now vacant.
It’s been broken into several times over the past few weeks, says Wesley-Rankin executive director Shellie Ross.
The break-ins “raised safety concerns for the community we serve,” she says. “Our board decided to either demolish the house or have it removed from the premises.”
Ross says they haven’t come to any agreement about the house, and they’re weighing whether to move or demolish it.
A guy in Fort Smith, Arkansas is trying to raise money to buy and move the house to that city, according to the Southwest Times Record.
Few places in West Dallas tell the story of the Barrow Gang as well as the Lillie McBride House.
It’s two blocks from the Barrow Filling Station, Clyde’s family home on Eagle Ford Road, now Singleton Boulevard. He grew up with Lillie McBride, who was the sister of Barrow Gang member Raymond Hamilton.
On Jan. 6, 1933, Barrow crossed paths with law enforcement there, resulting in a murder that would ramp up the manhunt that ended less than a year and a half later with the deaths of Bonnie and Clyde in May 1934.
Six lawmen were lying in wait at the McBride house for Otis Chambliss, a West Dallas criminal who was cozy with McBride, because Chambliss had robbed the Home Bank of Grapevine about a week before.
Around the same time, Barrow was scheming to break Hamilton out of jail by having his sister smuggle hacksaw blades inside a radio she’d brought to him in the Hillsboro jail. That night, Barrow dropped by her house to ask if she’d done it.
When Barrow walked up, armed with a shotgun, McBride’s sister, who knew the cops were there, screamed for no one to shoot because her children were asleep in the house.
Barrow immediately started shooting, and he killed Davis, who was 51.
Barrow managed to escape, and Bonnie drove around and picked him up on the next block. They headed west on Eagle Ford Road and out of Dallas via the Devil’s Back Porch.