Was Shot Five Times With Automatic Shotgun,
After Having Fired at Slayer--
Bay City was thrown into a frenzied state of excitement Saturday afternoon by a pistol and shotgun duel between retiring Mayor Max G. Klein and C. G. (Charley) Arnold, which took place at Mr. Arnold's home on Ninth and Avenue E, near the Southern Pacific freight depot. The result of the duel was the death of Mr. Klein, who received five discharges of buckshot from an automatic shotgun fired by Arnold.
The trouble grew out of a demand made by Mr. Klein for the payment of a past due water rent bill. Mr. Klein being superintendent of the city's waterworks system as well as mayor. Mr. Arnold deferred the payment, it is said, and on Saturday the mayor sent Will Lowe, who has charge of the meters, etc., to cut the water at the Arnold home off. He was accompanied by City Marshal J. A. McNeal. Upon the arrival of these two gentlemen, Mr. Arnold objected and an argument came up, McNeal and Lowe finally agreeing to let the water stay on provided Arnold would pay the rent due. This, it is said, he agreed to do.
About this time Mr. Klein arrived in an automobile and getting out drew an automatic pistol and began shooting at Arnold. Arnold retreated into his house and secured his shotgun. Returning, he fired five shots into Mr. Klein in that many seconds, each shot, it is thought taking effect. The shells were loaded with buckshot.
When Arnold began to fire, Mr. Klein turned to run and ran the distance of over a block, before he succumbed to exhaustion. Assistance reached him instantly, an automobile employed and a hurry run was made for the hospital. Mr. Klein died within a very short time after he was shot.
Immediately after having fired the pistol [shotgun] shots Mr. Arnold surrendered to the authorities and is now in jail awaiting an examining trial.
This is a tragedy that is very much deplored and the shock the city sustained is a distinct one. Coming up, as it did, over such a trivial affair, it is very regrettable. Indeed, much more so, when it is known that Mr. Klein was fixing the affairs of the city in order to turn them over to his successor, John Sutherland, who was elected to the office of mayor on the 3d of this month.
Decedent was elected mayor of Bay City two years ago, defeating Mr. Sutherland and B. E. Norvell. At the primaries held on the 10th day of March, this year, Mr. Sutherland defeated Mr. Klein. The nomination was ratified by the voters of the city on the 3d of this month, and Mr. Sutherland having 30 days in which to qualify was waiting on Mr. Klein to get the city affairs in a shape to turn over to him and relinquish the office at his own convenience.
Mr. Klein leaves a widow and four daughters. He was a pioneer citizen and had been prominently identified with the business interests of the city for many years, being a prominent drygoodsman and rice farmer. Only last week be bought four city business lots and was preparing to improve them, intending, so this paper has been informed, to engage in the automobile business in addition to his other business affairs. His family connections are prominent and rather extensive, in Wharton and Victoria, one of his brothers being mayor of Victoria.
The funeral occurred in Cedarvale Cemetery this morning and was attended by one of the largest concourses ever witnessed by the citizens of Bay City.
Matagorda County Tribune, Friday, April 13, 1917
Klein was lame-duck city head in 1917
Mayor died collecting $3 water bill
EDITOR'S NOTE: Every politician loves to lay claim to a "first," to get that asterisk next to their name saying he or she was the first to build a new city water plant, or perhaps the first to lower taxes. Max G. Klein, mayor of Bay City from 1915-17, holds claim to a "first" as well, but not the kind any other mayor will likely want to take from Klein. Here is Klein's story:
If on that fateful Saturday of April 7, 1917, Bay City Mayor Max G. Klein would have paused a moment to reflect on the events of the past month, he probably would have decided that things just had to start getting better.
To an already successful career as farmer and dry goodsman, Klein had hoped to add a career in politics.
But less than a month before, Bay Citians had rudely dashed those hopes, electing instead John Sutherland to yet another term as mayor.
Then there was this matter of the war in Europe. Only Friday, April 6, America had declared war on the home of Klein's parents--Germany. Not that that should have mattered. After all, the mayor was born in America--in Victoria, to be exact.
Klein had a beautiful two-story home in the heart of Bay City occupied by his wife and young daughters. Only last week, he'd purchased several lots in the city, intending to add an automobile dealership to his business holdings.
In only a few days, Klein would be able to again devote full time to his business interests and perhaps things would start picking up.
But before he could do all that, Klein knew that his final duties as a lame-duck mayor required him to get the affairs of his office in shape for Mayor-elect Sutherland.
To this end, Klein had applied his most whole-hearted efforts, with a penchant for order and an attention to detail so stereotypically German.
That was what Klein was doing on this April 7, 1917--trying to take care of some unfinished business. The mayor was attempting to personally correct an overdue water bill owed by one C. G. Arnold. The local newspaper would later characterize this as a "trivial incident," but that was an evaluation with which Klein would never have the opportunity to voice an opinion.
[End of article missing.]
The Daily Tribune, date unknown
Funeral services will be held at 11 a. m. today at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church for Mrs. Mamie Kilbride Klein, 1421 Sixth Street.
Mrs. Klein died early Friday in Matagorda General Hospital.
She was born in Matagorda and had resided in Bay City for the past 65 years.
Surviving are one daughter, Mrs. Freda Runnells, Bay City; one grandson, Tillie Clark of Kerrville; and three great-grandsons.
The Rev. F. Parke Smith will officiate and burial will be in Cedarvale Cemetery.
Daily Tribune, October 29, 1960 Photo courtesy of Faye Cunningham
Photo courtesy of Faye Cunningham
Copyright 2008 -
Present by Bay City Newspapers, Inc.
Feb. 29, 2008
Feb. 29, 2008