Bonnie Parker’s Family

Bonnie Elizabeth Parker was born October 1, 1910 in Rowena, Runnels County, Texas to Charles Robert Parker and the former Emma Krause. She was the third child born to Charles Robert and Emma. The first was a brother named Coley who was born and died in 1905, possibly of sudden infant death syndrome, while the couple was living in Young, Freestone County, Texas. Coley’s burial place is unknown.

A second son, Hubert Nicholas “Buster” Parker, was born on December 20, 1908 in Post City (now known as Post) in Garza County, Texas to Charles Robert and Emma. Bonnie was born in 1910 while the couple was living in Emma’s home town of Rowena, followed by Billie Jean who was born in 1912 at an unknown location in Texas. Charles Robert Parker had been killed in a construction accident in 1914 and by 1920, Emma and the three children were living on Fish Trap Road in Cement City, west of downtown Dallas with Emma’s mother, Mary Krause, who was also a widow. Emma’s father Frank Krause had previously passed away in 1919 due to stomach cancer. Emma’s occupation was listed as a helper at a printing company.

In the 1930 census, the family was living at 1406 Cockrell Street and consisted of Emma who was listed as a seamstress at an overall manufacturing company, Hubert (a truck driver for a construction company) and his wife Edith Clay Parker, Billie Jean Parker, her husband Fred Mace (a truck driver for an express company) and their newborn baby Fred, Jr. , and Bonnie (by then about 20 years old) whose last name was Thornton. Her husband, Roy Glenn Thornton, was in prison. Emma’s mother Mary Jane Krause had passed away in 1935.

By 1940, per the census, the family was living at 2420 Inwood Road (a residence that is no longer standing but was formerly located roughly where Onesimo Hernandez Middle School stands) and consisted of Emma, Billie Jean, Hubert, Vivian Parker (maiden name unknown, in the census listed as a daughter, but instead, she was a daughter-in-law of Emma and spouse of Hubert) and Lillian Smith (Emma’s sister, Lillie Bell Krause Smith). Bonnie had died in 1934. Fred Mace and Billy Jean were living apart by 1940. One account says that they were divorced in 1935 and Fred is believed to have been incarcerated in the Texas prison system in 1940. The Mace’s two children, Fred Mace, Jr. and Jackie Mace, had both died within days of each other in October of 1933. Hubert and Edith had one daughter together but were also apparently divorced after 1930. Edith had married Samuel Gratis Heaberlin in 1938, shortly before she passed away in 1939 from complications of meningitis.

Of Bonnie’s siblings, Hubert lived in the Dallas area until his death in Irving, Texas in 1964. His death certificate lists his occupation as retired plumber. The informant was his daughter. Billie Jean also appears to have lived near Dallas, for the most part, until her death in 1993. She had been married to Arthur B. Moon since 1957.

It is not the purpose of this article to discuss the incarceration of any family members, but some members of the Parker and Barrow families were incarcerated in the prison system over the years for charges connected to crimes of the Barrow gang and/or for other unrelated charges. Others had no brushes with the law.

Emma died in 1944 of tuberculosis and is buried at Crown Hill Cemetery in Dallas. Also buried at Crown Hill are Bonnie and Buster along with the children of Fred and Billie Jean Mace: Fred, Jr. and Jackie. The remains of Bonnie, Fred Mace, Jr. and Jackie Mace were originally interred at Fish Trap Cemetery and relocated to Crown Hill many years ago.

Notwithstanding the fact that Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were never married, from time to time various parties, primarily members of both families, have proposed the idea of posthumously “reuniting” Bonnie and Clyde Barrow at Clyde’s burial place at Western Heights Cemetery in West Dallas by relocating Bonnie’s remains to Western Heights Cemetery. Thus far, the efforts to accomplish the removal of Bonnie’s remains to Western Heights have been unsuccessful. Some outsiders may have strong opinions either for or against the proposal, but there is a legal process to be followed and if it is completed, the relocation could take place.

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