Jimmy Klein Collection

Biographical Note

James “Jimmy” Roger Klein was born to Walter P. and Stella Klein on October 18, 1935 in Chicago, Illinois. He was the youngest of four children. At that time, Walter was working at his father’s meat distribution company called Klein Meat Company. Walter worked there until 1941 when he moved with his family to Fort Worth to manage Fort Worth Frosted Foods. Soon after he took the job, Walter became the owner and employed his three sons, Walter Jr., Harold, and Jimmy. His sons eventually took over the business.

Fort Worth Frosted Foods rented space in the Public Market at 1400 Henderson Street in downtown Fort Worth and stayed there until 1969. During that time, the building physically changed, and businesses came and went. The Kleins were a staple in the Public Market and at the center of all the changes. In 1969, the Klein brothers moved their business to a building at 2525 Cullen Street and changed the company’s name to Klein Meat Company. The Kleins continued to operate successfully at the new location until they closed their business in 1996 and sold the building.


Scope and Content

The Jimmy Klein Collection contains photographs, digital newspaper clippings, and an oral history recording and transcript. These materials are all related to his family's business, Fort Worth Frosted Foods (1941-1969) later known as Klein Meat Company (1969-1996). Fort Worth Frosted Foods was housed in the Fort Worth Public Market Building from 1941 through 1969. Materials in this collection include photographs of the Public Market Building exterior and interior including photographs of the Fort Worth Frosted Foods meat counter, working area, the grocery, and of Klein's father Walter P. Klein and his brothers while working.

Click here to access a PDF document of the digital newspaper clippings in the Jimmy Klein Collection.


Oral History Interview

Jimmy Klein participated in an oral history interview with the Tarrant County Archives on July 27, 2023. Topics discussed include his family's business, Fort Worth Frosted Foods (later Klein Meat Company), the Public Market Building and businesses housed in it from 1941 through 1969, and other topics related to his family and life in Fort Worth. The audio recording for this interview can be made available upon request.

Click here to access a PDF copy of the Jimmy Klein oral history transcript.



Black and white photo of a 1941 meat counter with workers standing behind.

Fort Worth Frosted Foods Meat Counter, 1941








Photograph of Jimmy Klein in front of a blank wall.

Jimmy Klein, 2023

Subject Terms

Klein family

  • Walter P. and Stella Klein, Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Klein, Harold Klein, Walter Klein, Jr., Christopher Klein, Maria Klein, Lisa Klein-Hill

Local companies

  • Angelo’s Barbeque, Armour and Company, Bassham Foods, Beggs Ranch, Bluebonnet Packing Company, Buddie’s Supermarket, Ebner Brothers (Wichita Falls), Fort Worth Frosted Foods / Klein Meat Company, Fort Worth Poultry, Haynes Meat Company, Jim Lee’s Corny Dogs, Leonard Brothers Food Distribution, Pickwick Grocery, Railhead Smokehouse BBQ, Riscky's Barbeque, Schuyler Nebraska Meat Company, Skaggs Albertsons Swift and Company, Taylor Meat Company, Walsh Ranches, Waples-Platter

Local businessmen

  • Virgil Borland, R. C. Bowen, Temple Bowen, Robert Alexander and William Conner, Walter Jetton, Jim Lee, Buddie Markham, Lewis Marshall, Charles Needham, Bob Phillips, W.I. Spitler, Wally Wagner, Billy Bob Watt, W.R. Watt, Sr.

Local sites

  • Fort Worth U.S.O., Laneri High School, Our Lady of Victory School, St. Ignatius Academy, Saint Patrick's Cathedral

Businesses that rented space at the Public Market

  • Air Accessories (manufactured hoola hoops and other products), Alcon Laboratories, AMC Supply (a division Air Accessories), Cadillac Plastic, Haynes Meat Company, Kelsay Lumber Company, Kleinschmidt Bakery, Photo Etch (a division Air Accessories), Standard Food Distributing Company, State Fair Corny Dogs, Yellow Cab Taxi Company

Local individuals

  • Mrs. Perry Bass, Amon Carter, Walter Jetton, Frank Mills, Dr. and Mrs. (Haltom) Porter Brown, Sisters of St. Mary of Namur


  • Lyndon Johnson, Harry Truman