Posted by Jim Fitzgerald
Bobby Rosborough was an interesting person in his own right, charming, charismatic, somewhat flashy and debonair.  He was the son of J. C. Rosborough, a prominent doctor, so it was not unexpected that he became a Rotarian, having started a thriving insurance business in 1926, fresh out of A & M.  He served as District Governor Frank Davis’s Conference Secretary in 1932 and later served as the club secretary for four years after that.
“Bobby” as he was called, enjoyed the game of golf and was well known in various tournaments.  Then came the unexpected part of his colorful, brush with notoriety.
In 1932 he became the victim of the notorious “Pants Burglar”, so dubbed because he rifles his victim’s pockets and then leaves the trousers on the doorstep.  A piece posted in the Marshall News Messenger, October 16, says, “At the home of J. C. Rosborough, on Rosborough Street early Saturday the man took from the trousers of Robert F. Rosborough, about $35.  He entered the house through an unlatched front door, C. M. Ezell, chief of police, said.”
That was not the only time that his path would cross with chief Ezell, but this time it was much different.  The headline read “Stolen Car Recovered”.  Bobby’s 1932 Ford convertible, stole in January was returned to him by chief Ezell, with an extra 2,700 miles on it and a square hole cut out of the passenger’s-side door.
As it turns out that was to accommodate a tripod WW1 water-cooled machine gun.  Yep, it was the infamous 1932 B-400 Ford Convertible sedan of Bonnie and Clyde fame, and Bobby had a photo of Bonnie and Clyde to prove it, but at the time the car was stolen Bobby did not know who had taken it, or why.
Frank R. Ballenger’s “Bonnie & Clyde’s Hideout” reveals the details of the episode:
“The Bonnie and Clyde B-400 (Ford convertible) was registered to R.F. Rosborough of Marshall, Texas. Stolen in March 1933 (actually January) and believed to have been abandoned shortly after the Ruston Caper. After the Barrow gang's Joplin escape, Detective Ed Portley began an investigation into this fancy Barrow automobile. “
“The sheriff at Carey, Kansas answered Detective Portley's all-points bulletin stating that at around six p.m. on April 13th, while making his rounds, he spotted a dark colored mud spattered 1932 Ford turn south off of the dirt road leading from Joplin. It was traveling through Carey at a speed of 40 mph and accelerated to 60 as it headed toward Oklahoma's Cookson Hills.”
“After Mr. Rosborough got his prize vehicle back, it had an extra 3,000 hard driven miles added to it's odometer and was minus it's tags. He then traded it in on a new 1933 V-8 Coupe.”
Not your typical Rotarian, Bobby Rosborough and the infamous Bonnie & Clyde Ford will be remembered when we celebrate a century of changing lives in Marshall – and Beyond, August 24, 2019.