On October 5, 1931, Nathan Hearst Massie began his career in the first Patrol recruit class. The six-week course was held at the “St. Louis Police Training School”, as the Patrol did not yet have its own training facility. Massie was one of 55 men selected from a group of 5,000 applicants to be the first Highway Patrolmen in Missouri. Local newspapers report the nomination of nine other young men in the area who were not selected after quite a stringent process, which included a lengthy “competitive written examination” and extensive character evaluation. It was also necessary to pass a “standard military physical examination”, which posed no problem to Massie, as he had previously served three years in the Marine Corps.
At the end of their six-week training period, on the evening before graduation, the Patrol recruits were released from school to attend the “Veiled Prophet Parade” in St. Louis. They had been issued their off-duty pistols and were told to “eat and sleep with them”. However, they had not yet been issued their Patrol identification. While watching the parade, a St. Louis policeman noticed Trooper Massie was armed, and when he could not produce police credentials, Tpr. Massie found himself in a jail cell. By the time his captain obtained his release the next day, both had missed graduation ceremonies and the photo.
Upon graduation, the new troopers were given their assignments and a week to move. Tpr. Massie was sent to Willow Springs, then a part of Troop E with Poplar Bluff as headquarters. He began patrolling on November 25, 1931, in a new Ford Model-A roadster. For a year, he was the only patrolman in Willow Springs and an area extending from the Arkansas line to the Dent/Phelps counties’ line.
Tpr, Massie had been on duty only a few weeks when gangster Alvin Karpis and members of the Ma Barker Gang killed Howell County Sheriff C.R. Kelly, of West Plains, on December 19, 1931. The gang was implicated in the robbery of the Bank of Mountain View and Bank of Birch Tree prior to Tpr. Massie’s arrival. His reports on the incident were finally put to use as part of the evidence to convict “Public Enemy Number One” Karpis, after he was captured in 1936. Karpis served 32 years in prison, 25 of them in Alcatraz.
On August 27, 1933, Tpr. Massie shot and killed murder/robbery suspect Bud Love at a railroad overpass in the Burnham community. Love was in the process of eluding other officers and had been involved in a shootout with police earlier in the day. He was also wanted for forgery.
Also in the winter of 1931, an original member of the Patrol, assigned to work what would become Troop G, joined Tpr. Massie. Trooper Benjamin Franklin Graham, a native of Clubb, Wayne County, Missouri, was sent to Van Buren. Troopers Graham and Massie quickly became friends and formed a partnership that would transcend their Patrol careers and remain throughout the rest of their lives.
During October 1932, Trooper E.C. Brown was assigned to Willow Springs. He was from the second Patrol class graduating that summer. Brown remained in Willow Springs for a year and was transferred out of troop. He resigned in 1940.
Tprs. Massie and Graham achieved local fame in their efforts to eradicate the notorious “Perkins Gang”, a family enterprise led by Remus Perkins of Shannon County, who specialized in bank robbery. Over a period of two years, the gang was implicated in the robbery of seven area banks. Tprs. Massie and Graham pursued the gang relentlessly, forcing them to move to other areas for their activities.
Gang member Eugene Goodman (known in local papers as “the John Dillinger of the Ozarks”) was killed by the proprietor of a tavern in St. Jacobs, Illinois, in a failed robbery attempt October 1934. Arnet “Web” Perkins, along with a tavern customer and the tavern owner also died in that shootout. Tpr. Massie was acquainted with Goodman. Prior to his Patrol employment, Tpr. Massie had served as a board member of the Fremont, Missouri, school. Eugene Goodman had come before this board upon graduation in 1930, asking to be considered as a schoolteacher there.
Another key member of the gang, William Olin “Bish” Perkins, was killed in a shootout with Illinois State Police in September 1935.
The final chapter was added with the arrest and conviction of Claude Dickerson for his involvement in that shootout at St. Jacobs, Illinois. Dickerson was convicted of killing tavern employee Ernest Holden and was sentenced to 99 years in the Missouri Penitentiary. Dickerson had been captured in early 1934 and was residing in the Texas County Jail at Houston when four gang members, led by Eugene Goodman, walked into the jail and resc pued Dickerson at gunpoint. His recapture ended the Perkins Gang reign of terror. [Van Buren,Mo ,Carter County Do You Remember]

For Images/Articles about Ma Barker and the Barker Gang 
 [Van Buren,Mo ,Carter County Do You Remember]
Nathan Hearst Massie (04 Jul. 1902 - 08 Dec. 1952) was the son of David Lewis Massie & Anna Susan 'Annie' Hearst. (Death cert. spells it Hurst). 
He married Flava I. Davis  (22 Jan. 1902 - 23 July 1986). (Another source has  her name as Flava Genewald)
They were the parents of Lewis, Harold, Nathan, Jr., Donald, Gertie, Nella 'Nellie' and Linda Massie.  








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