Part of an old map of the San Jacinto area from the Texas Revolution

Veteran Bio

Texian Location:  Participant

The Kemp Sketch

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KLEBERG, ROBERT JUSTUS -- Born in Herstelle, Westphalia in the former Kingdom of Prussia, Germany, September 10, 1803. He attended the University of Goettung, from which he received the degree of Doctor of Juris. He was married to Rosa von Roeder, daughter of Ludwig Sigsmund Anton and Caroline Louise Sack von Roeder.

Through the persuasion of Frederick Ernst of Industry, Texas, Ludwig von Roeder, who had been an officer in the German army, decided to emigrate to Texas, with his family, kin and some of his friends. It was decided that some of the unmarried members of the group be sent ahead to select a place for all to later assemble. The advance party consisted of Albrecht, Joachin and Valesca von Roeder and a servant, and they left for Texas in 1832. On September 30, 1834 the main body set sail on the sloop Congress, commanded by Captain J. Adams. In the party were Ludwig S. von Roeder, Mrs. von Roeder and their children, Louis, Louise and Caroline von Roeder; Robert J. Kleberg and wife; Mr. and Mrs. Otto von Roeder; Antionette von Donop; John Reineman and family and William Frels. After a voyage of sixty days they reached New Orleans where they remained two weeks and then set sail on the schooner Sabine for Brazoria. On December 22nd the vessel was wrecked off Galveston Island. After a few days a boat passed headed for Brazoria and most of the party boarded it. The von Roeders had brought with them considerable baggage which they could not afford to leave and it was decided that they would remain on the Island to guard it. Two members of the family, however, Mr. Kleberg and Louis von Roeder, were selected to board the boat for Brazoria and from there go in search of Albrecht, Joachin and Valesca von Roeder. Arriving at Brazoria Mr. Kleberg and Mr. von Roeder set out on foot for San Felipe. They found Albrecht von Roeder and his servant at Cat Spring, in what is now Austin County, ill with fever and in wretched condition. Joachin and Valesca, they learned, had died. When Albrecht was able to travel the party set out for Galveston where they rejoined the other members of the family. On the day following his return Mr. Kleberg, his wife, his wife's parents, and Caroline von Roeder left by boat for Harrisburg, the other members of the family remaining on Galveston Island. They spent the first night at the home of Captain Scott who operated a boat and lived on the Buffalo Bayou. Three miles from them and on the opposite side of the bayou lived Mr. D. L. Kokernot. The next day they reached Harrisburg where Mr. Kleberg rented a house. In the fall of 1835 the Klebergs and von Roeders settled near Cat Spring.

Mr. Kleberg and Louis von Roeder as members of Captain Moseley Baker's San Felipe Company, participated in the battle of San Jacinto. On May 14, 1846 Mr. Kleberg was issued Donation Certificate No. 25 for 640 acres of land for having fought in the battle. On January 4, 1841 he had received Bounty Certificate No. 9700 for 320 acres of land for having served in the army from March 25 to July 23, 1836. He received a Headright certificate for a league and labor of land from the Austin County Board of land Commissioners, March 2, 1838.

For a time after the battle of San Jacinto the Klebergs and relatives lived on Galveston Island and intended to make it their permanent home. Mr. Kleberg built the first residence on the Island. There Mrs. Orrilie von Roeder, nee von Donop, died and was buried beneath the three famous lone trees on the Island. After remaining for a short time at Galveston the Klebergs returned to Austin County. In 1846 Mr. Kleberg was elected chief justice of the county. In the fall of the year 1847 he moved to DeWitt County. In 1848 he was elected a member of Commissioner's Court of the county and in 1853 he was elected chief justice of the county and re-elected in 1855. He was a senator in the eighteenth and nineteenth legislatures, 1883 to 1887.

Mr. Kleberg located on a farm about seven miles from Clinton, the then county seat of De Witt County, and three miles from Meyersville, his post office. There he lived for thirty-six years. He was eighty years old when he had a paralytic stroke and he moved to a home built on the ranch of his son-in-law, Robert C. Eckhardt, near Yorktown, where he died October 23, 1888. He was a member of the Texas Veterans Association. Mrs. Kleberg was born July 20, 1813 and died July 3, 1907. The two are buried in the family cemetery on the Eckhardt ranch near Yorktown. At their graves stands a huge granite tombstone in the shape of a soldier's tent, bearing the inscriptions: "Remember the Alamo!" "Remember Goliad!"

Children of Mr. and Mrs. Kleberg were Clara, who married Henry Hillebrand; Caroline, who married Robert C. Eckhardt; Robert Justus, Jr., who married Alice Gertrudis King; Otto Joseph, who married Mary Plogger; Rudolph, who married Matilde E. Eckhardt; Marcellus, who married Emily Miller and Louise H. Kleberg.

Written by Louis W. Kemp, between 1930 and 1952. Please note that typographical and factual errors have not been corrected from the original sketches. The biographies have been scanned from the original typescripts, a process that sometimes allows for mistakes in the new text. Researchers should verify the accuracy of the texts' contents through other sources before quoting in publications. Additional information on the veteran may be available in the Herzstein Library.

Battle Statistics

  • Died in Battle: No
  • Rank: Private
  • Company: Capt. Moseley Baker

Personal Statistics

  • Alternate Names: Kleburg, Kleeburg
  • Date of Birth: 1803 Sep 10
  • Birthplace: Germany, Westphalia, Herstelle
  • Origin: Germany
  • Came to Texas: 1834 Dec
  • Date of Death: 1888 Oct 23
  • Burial Place: Eckhardt ranch, Yorktown, Texas
  • Bounty Certificate: 9700
  • Donation Certificate: 25
  • Wife: Rosa von Roeder
  • Children: Clara Kleberg Hillebrand; Caroline Kleberg Eckhardt; Robert Justus Kleberg; Otto Joseph Kleberg; Rudolph Kleberg; Marcellus Kleberg; Louise R. Kleberg