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Engle Chronicles

The Death of Badman Monte Peters
1921

or
Don't fool with the law when supper's waiting

by John Troesser
Fayette County historian George Koudelka (whose father was from Engle and whose mother was from Praha) told us the story of how his grandfather once assisted Schulenburg police when prison escapee Monte Peters blew into town with a stolen roadster in 1921.

The police in Schulenburg had noted Monte's appearance in town - and weren't all that anxious to approach him. They phoned down to Engle for Deputy Rudolph Stavinoha to lend a hand since he was a Spanish American War veteran and to their thinking - he'd be more qualified to deal with escaped convicts.

Rudolph took the call and agreed to help - although he was about to sit down to eat dinner. He arrived on the scene and found Monte in "his" car with the patrolmen maintaining a respectful distance.

Deputy Stavinoha approached the car and asked the man his name. Monte freely admitted that until recently he had been receiving his mail at Huntsville.

Monte Peters seriously underestimated the county deputy - perhaps mistaking him for just another timid tin star. When Peters opened the car's glove box - Rudolph knew at once he wasn't reaching for his insurance papers. He drew his .45 automatic and literally blew Monte out of his seat and through the unlatched door of the roadster. Monte's now unconcealed pistol remained unfired.

Rudolph motioned for the Schulenburg patrolmen to come take over - now that the heavy lifting was done. As he excused himself, he told them that Mrs. Stavinoha would be mad if he let his dinner get cold.



John Troesser

See Engle, Texas

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