Few names are more synonymous with Texas cowboy and ranching culture than Kleberg. The Klebergs have run the famed King Ranch in Kingsville since 1885, but before that their immigration experience was similar to others of the time. Robert Justus Kleberg, a lawyer by training, moved from Germany to Cat Spring in 1836, where he served in several appointed and elected positions in the Republic of Texas. But it was the ranching legacy of his youngest son – Robert Justus Kleberg II – that may have had an even greater impact.
Kleberg came on as a manager for ranching pioneer Richard King, initiating improvements to the million-acre ranch – including innovations in livestock health, land management, water conservation, and railroad development – that lifted the King Ranch name to the household status it enjoys today.