I have a little update for all of you before we get to today’s topic. Do you all remember the photo of Rich Saemisch presenting couples at the 1976 prom? Well, thanks to some help from Kathy Lenz, we have figured out who they are! Two people in the front closest to Rich are Janice Godwin and David Wempe, and the couple in the back are David Hanson and Lynn Paulsen. Therefore, for those of you who were wondering, now you know!
Now for today’s topic. If you look around Perry today, many of you may think that it is a quiet little town. You may think that nothing much of national importance ever happens here. However, that has not always been the case. For instance, here is one story that got Perry quite a lot of national attention: the death of a Bonnie and Clyde gang member! The year was 1933, and Perry had a hospital called the Kings Daughters Hospital. On July 24, Marvin Barrow was admitted with four wounds: One .45 caliber bullet in the shoulder, two in the hip, and one in the forehead. He was in serious condition, and near death. He received these injuries during a gunfight near Dexfield Park, an area between Dexter and Redfield. During the escape after the gunfight, the gang had to ditch their cars. Unable to continue on foot due to his injuries, Marvin had to stay behind and his wife stayed with him. Bonnie and Clyde, along with another member got away from Iowa police. On July 25th, police question Marvin about a recent murder, and he apparently responded “unconcernedly.” Many officers from around the country came on the 25th, attempting to identify him for various crimes. On the 26th, Barrow’s mother came to the hospital, and Barrow, who had slipped into a coma, awakened briefly and was able to see his mother. It was discovered from his mother that his nickname was “Buck.” Unfortunately, Marvin “Buck” Barrow was to die on July 29th at the age of 31.
As you can see, Perry has had some interesting brushes with criminals. There are also stories about a man who faked his death for insurance money, someone who owned a bank and took all the money to flee to the Bahamas, and of course the KKK march that happened here. If you wish to know more about Marvin’s story, or about any of the other interesting stories, please do not hesitate to stop by!