Kleberg, Louis (1802–1847)

By: Flora von Roeder

Type: Biography

Published: February 1, 1995

Updated: November 13, 2019

Louis Kleberg, soldier in the Texas Revolution, son of Lucas and Veronica (Meier) Kleberg, was born on May 1, 1802, in Herstelle, Westphalia, and immigrated to Texas in 1834 with the Roeder party. He was the older brother of Robert Justus Kleberg, who married Rosalie von Roeder shortly before the family sailed to Texas. Kleberg himself also married a Roeder, Luise, on October 2, 1837. They had four children; only one daughter survived to maturity. When volunteers were called for in the Texas struggle for independence, Kleberg served from October 29, 1835, until January 18, 1836. He saw service at the siege of Bexar in Capt. Thomas F. L. Parrott's company. After the revolution he settled in Stephen F. Austin's colony near Cat Spring, where he received a headright of a league and labor on May 16, 1838. For his participation in the revolution he was awarded a bounty certificate entitling him to 320 additional acres.

Indian raids along the upper Brazos, Colorado, and Trinity rivers drew him into military service again in 1839. On April 21 he joined a company of fifty-nine men under the command of Capt. John Bird. The company marched to Fort Milam near the site of present Marlin by May 6. They lived on frugal rations in poor camps and tracked Indians. On June 25 they reached a deserted fort on the Little River. The next morning the volunteers pursued a group of Indians they discovered near the fort. By the time they reached the site presently known as Bird's Creek, the Indians numbered several hundred. A struggle known as the Bird's Creek Indian Fight ensued. In it the Texans eventually drove away the Indians, but both sides sustained heavy losses. Captain Bird and the Indian chief, Buffalo Hump, both died. Kleberg was one of the few surviving Texans. He died on July 1, 1847, and is buried in a small cemetery on private property near Millheim in Austin County. There a monument to Louis Kleberg, his wife, and his immediate heirs is surrounded by small markers that indicate the locations of their graves.

John Henry Brown, Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas (Austin: Daniell, 1880; reprod., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978). Crystal Sasse Ragsdale, ed., The Golden Free Land: The Reminiscences and Letters of Women on an American Frontier (Austin: Landmark, 1976).

  • Peoples
  • Germans
  • Military
  • Soldiers

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Flora von Roeder, “Kleberg, Louis,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 11, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/kleberg-louis.

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February 1, 1995
November 13, 2019