KIBER, FAUSTINO (1852–1927). Faustino Kiber, businessman and early developer of the drainage system in Brazoria County, son of Daniel Kiber, was born in Lugano, Switzerland, on February 15, 1852. He was educated in his native land and became fluent in five languages. He lived in Italy, where he worked in a chocolate factory, and in London, England, where he operated a billiard room. In 1872 he immigrated to New York City; there he was an interpreter in the construction department of the New York Central Railroad. In 1874, looking for better business opportunities, he traveled to Chicago, Memphis, and New Orleans before coming to Texas. He landed at Galveston, stayed for short periods in Houston and Austin, and settled in Brenham, where he operated a confectionery business for twenty-two years, eventually developing a large wholesale trade. After selling this business, he returned to Houston, where he spent four years in the hotel business.
Kiber purchased a league of land in Brazoria County, but finding the property unproductive and uninhabitable unless properly drained, he turned his attention to an effective drainage system for the entire area. He sold a half interest in his purchase to Lewis Randolph Bryan, Sr., and their operations made them the pioneer promoters of drainage in that part of Texas. The league, divided into lots and blocks, became the Bryan and Kiber subdivisions, where the city of Angleton is located. Kiber and Bryan established the Velasco Terminal Railway in 1891. Kiber was one of the first in the area to cultivate orange, grapefruit, and fig trees; his close friendship and frequent correspondence with Luther Burbank, the world renowned horticulturist, whetted his interest in the development of the grafting process in the cultivation of fruit trees. He was active throughout his life in the real estate business, formed the Angleton State Bank (now the First National Bank), owned and operated the electric service company for the city, operated the Angleton Gin Company, and was active in the promotion of the Intercoastal Canal System (now the Gulf Intracoastal Waterwayqv). He married Emma Catherine Dwyer in 1888; they had one daughter. Kiber died on January 3, 1927.
Brazoria County Federation of Women's Clubs, History of Brazoria County (1940). James A. Creighton, A Narrative History of Brazoria County (Angleton, Texas: Brazoria County Historical Commission, 1975). Dermont H. Hardy and Ingham S. Roberts, eds., Historical Review of South-East Texas (2 vols., Chicago: Lewis, 1910).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Catherine Elsbury McNeese, "Kiber, Faustino," accessed August 30, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fki02.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on June 24, 2016. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.