Introducing the Dexter Museum Board

The five members of the Dexter Museum have worked regularly during the off season, organizing and preparing displays for opening day, the first Sunday in May. 

The Dexter Museum was open one year when RAGBRAI (the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) came through. Since Dexter is noted for the Barrow Gang staying in Dexfield Park and the shootout in July 1933 (when Bonnie & Clyde and their driver escaped), Bonnie & Clyde were featured. Historians Pat Hostetler, Gloria Neal, and Doris Feller, Josie Bittner as Bonnie and Blaise Beane as Clyde, Tina Stanley (Rod’s niece) and historian Rod Stanley.

Pat Hochstetler is also on the Dexter cemetery board, the board of Directors of the Madison County Genealogical Society, and a newly elected Penn Township Clerk. She and her husband live on the farm where the United Airliner first crash landed January 19, 1955. They still have the $25 check given to her inlaws to pay for the fences torn out by the accident.

Gloria Neal, my sister who retired after teaching junior high art for 34 years, has found her museum niche by assembling Dexter history into notebooks. She was too young to remember it, but she attended the 1948 National Plowing Match, when President Harry Truman gave an address to an estimated 100,000 people just north of Dexter.

Doris Feller is married to the son of Marvelle Feller, whose family car was stolen by Bonnie and Clyde after the shootout in Dexfield Park. Not only that but Marvelle had to show Clyde Barrow how to shift gears in the car since it wasn’t a Ford, which was Clyde’s go-to getaway car. Doris wrote about the Barrow Gang and Dexfield Park for the book Reflections Along the White Pole Road for the White Pole Road Development Corporation. She was a long-time member of Questers.

Rod Stanley, a retired history teacher and coach, endorsed Leora’s Dexter Stories: The Scarcity Years of the Great Depression and also Leora’s Early Years: Guthrie County Roots. He is a historian, speaker, also a member of the Guthrie County Historical Village and Museum Board. Rod has also contributed to Our American Stories. 

Mary McColloch (not pictured) is also a long-time librarian, for years at Dexter, now with the Stuart Library.

The regular season for the Dexter Museum is from May through October. At other times you may contact Rod Stanley at 641-757-9173;, or Doris Feller at 515-833-2717. They’ve made the Dexter Museum a fun place to visit.

The site of the Bonnie and Clyde shootout is on private property, but Rod has permission to take interested people to see the area. He gives programs about them, as well as other local history.


  1. I grew up in Dexter. My grandparents Jim and Roxy Meister. I was taken into Des Moines my freshman year of high school to live with my mother. Dexter is and has always been my home. The things that are on display there that belong to Grandma and Grandpa are things that I worked with and used because I helped Grandma with her loom. I help Grandpa messing in his shop which he didn’t like but I did it. Anyway. I thank all of you members of the museum board. I appreciate your work. Take good care and help. Probably see you again one of these days. Marilyn frost black

    • Thank you! I think they’ll be open a while tomorrow because of a Bonnie & Clyde run from Dexter to Stuart. After the shootout in Dexfield Park in July 1933, B&C returned to the area and robbed the Stuart bank the next spring! (The same bank yeggs tried to rob in 1921, killing the Stuart nightwatchman. Grandpa Clabe Wilson became the next nightwatchman.)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.