The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Joplin Metro

October 12, 2009

Pastor loses request for bed, breakfast at site of Bonnie, Clyde shootout

By Debby Woodin

Neighborhood opposition once again shot down a permit request to operate a bed and breakfast at the site of the 1933 Bonnie and Clyde shootout.

While business people spoke in favor of the Rev. Phillip McClendon’s effort to turn the garage apartment at 3347 1/2 Oak Ridge Drive into a pay-for-stay accommodation, most of those who live in the area testified against a permit.

McClendon had sought a special-use permit from the city, required to operate a bed and breakfast at the two-bedroom apartment where the infamous Barrow gang holed up for 12 days before shooting its way out and killing two lawmen in the fray.

McClendon said he has stocked the apartment with books, copies of a BBC documentary shown on the History Channel, movies and law enforcement reports regarding the notorious guests and their departing shootout.


The apartment has recently been designated a state and national historic site and placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

McClendon’s supporters on the effort included Allen Shirley, a Joplin man who is vice chairman of the Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; Doris Carlin a Joplin real estate agent who assisted the city in adopting historic preservation ordinances and establishing a local commission; and others, including a next-door neighbor.

Shirley told the council that state and federal authorities spent about two years verifying and researching before granting historic status to the property. “It would seem to me rather wasteful to now let it sit and be underutilized.”

He said there already is a bed and breakfast in the neighborhood, four blocks from the McClendon property. He said it is the same type of construction with the same parking, but did not generate opposition from the neighborhood.

Scott Hutson, an owner of Cycle Connection Harley-Davidson Buell, located south of the neighborhood, said Joplin is known worldwide as a historic Bonnie and Clyde site. He often is asked about the site or for directions to it by customers visiting his shop.

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A new provision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture allows qualifying districts with high percentages of students on food assistance to allow all students to eat free breakfasts and lunches. Would you agree with this provision?

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