Kleberg County Celebrating Centennial Next Month

Next month is a big one for Kleberg County as it will be celebrating its centennial. Most people in the region are familiar with the name Kleberg, but many may not know where that name came from.

"We're in Kleberg County. We have a Kleberg Bank. We have Kleberg Avenue. We have multiple generations of the Kleberg family, and so it's intertwined in many ways with our history," said Bob Trescott, director of tourism for the City of Kingsville. "But a lot of folks haven't really thought about, you know, how did the county get the name Kleberg?"

Interestingly enough, the namesake of the county, who some call the founder, German immigrant Robert Justus Kleberg, never actually lived in what is now Kleberg County.

Kleberg County was actually carved out of Nueces County. The legislature did that in 1912, and it actually came to be in 1913, and that's why we're in the centennial this year in 2013.

"We got to give thanks to God for giving us 100 years of existence, and we have to share with the community and the world, who are the ones to come," Kleberg County Judge Juan Escobar said. "And we invite everybody to come and share with us the great things that happened in Kleberg County."

Escobar said that, as part of commemorating the centennial, a portrait of Robert Justus Kleberg will be unveiled at noon on Saturday, Aug. 31, after a celebration parade. That portrait will remain at the Kleberg County Courthouse, which was built in 1914.

While Robert Justus Kleberg never lived in what is now Kleberg County, his son did. His son was an attorney in other places, and later in Corpus Christi, and married the daughter of Richard and Henrietta King, the founders of King Ranch.


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