Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker
On Easter Sunday, April 1, 1934, state Troopers H.D. Murphy, Edward Wheeler and Polk Ivy were patrolling Texas 114 in present-day Southlake. It was Wheeler’s second day on duty, and the three had stopped near an open field for some target practice. As they returned to the highway, Ivy rode north toward Roanoke, but Murphy and Wheeler, seeing what appeared to be motorists in trouble, turned up Dove Road.
Ivy had ridden several miles up the highway before he realized his partners had stopped. He retraced the route and found them both lying in Dove Road, dead – pistols still holstered and their murderers gone.
A farmer living nearby who had been sitting on his porch was a witness to the shooting and provided information to help identify the killers.
The pair had been murdered in cold blood by members of the Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker gang. The next year, Bonnie and Clyde and other gang members were themselves killed by police in Louisiana, and the gang’s bloody saga came to an end.
In 1996, a historical marker (see below) was placed in the spot on Dove Road to memorialize the slain troopers. To see the marker, go west on Texas 114 to East Dove Road, and turn east at the stop sign. The marker is about 1/10 mile on the right.
Jack Cook, longtime Lonesome Dove Cemetery caretaker
Southlake resident Jack Cook, born in 1917 in the Dove community, was a teenager when he nearly encountered Bonnie and Clyde on Easter Sunday, 1934.
In an oral history he gave the Southlake Historical Society, Mr. Cook describes the scene:
“We’d left church, and Hubert [Long] wanted to go somewheres up towards Roanoke. And we passed by Dove Road and there was a car up there. And the car looked like Mamie Cook’s. Mamie Cook had two daughters and she used to take them around to meet their boyfriends. But it was exactly the same car. Then we decided it wasn’t them. We tried to get Hubert to go up there and see who they were. He wouldn’t do it; he just kept on going.
“We wasn’t gone 30 minutes and then we came back, there was that big crowd of people there. Went up there and there was a great big blood spot right there on the road and they’d already come and picked up them [troopers’ bodies]. We’d just missed them a little bit. And someone said too bad, good thing that Hubert didn’t want to go up there, and I said I was satisfied that they wouldn’t have bothered us because they wasn’t afraid of us. They would probably had been friendly with us.”
In 1996, a new historical marker commemorating the state troopers gunned down by Bonnie and Clyde gang members on Easter Sunday in 1934 was unveiled on Dove Road east of Hwy. 114. Courtesy of City of Southlake
We the people of the state of Texas acknowledge and thank Troopers Edward Bryan Wheeler and H.D. Murphy for the great sacrifice they made to keep the public safe. Troopers Wheeler and Murphy were shot to death Easter Sunday, April 1, 1934, near this site on West Dove Road by the infamous criminals, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. Wheeler and Murphy stopped their motorcycles near Parker and Barrow’s car, thinking a motorist needed assistance. When they approached, they were shot. Their efforts will stand the test of time. May God bless their souls.
The memorial was erected 1996.
Location: West on Texas 114 to Dove Road; turn east at the stop sign. The marker is about 1/10 mlle on the right.