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Lisa C. Maxwell

KLEBERG, TEXAS. Kleberg, now in Dallas, was on U.S. Highway 175, the Southern Pacific Railroad, and Hickory Creek thirteen miles southeast of Dallas in southeastern Dallas County. The site was a 4,428-acre tract granted on October 23, 1845, to Robert Kleberg. Kleberg never actually resided on the grant, and after squatters had stripped much of the pin and post oak from the heavily wooded land, he sold it. A small community on the site was a stagecoach stop at the intersection of two wagon roads. Most of the early residents raised horses or farmed, but some extracted sand and gravel, thus producing small lakes. After the arrival of the Texas Trunk Railroad in 1881 the community began its period of prosperity. In 1882 it received a post office named Kleburgh, with James E. Copehart as postmaster. The name was changed to Kleburg in 1887, and by 1890 the community had a population of 100, two steam saw and grist mills, a cotton gin, two wood dealers, two livestock dealers, a blacksmith, a shoemaker, two general stores, and a newspaper, the Kleburg Pigmy. In 1899 Kleburg filed its first nine-acre plat.

Around 1900 the United States government awarded $2 million for improvements on the Trinity River. As the closest point to Lock No. 2, Kleburg housed the 100 people employed by Bell and Carder to work on the lock. A devastating flood in 1908 washed the locks away, and, although work resumed several months later, in 1915 the funding was withdrawn and the project abandoned as unfeasible. In 1915 a red brick schoolhouse and a railroad depot were constructed at Kleburg, and the Texas and New Orleans Railroad, which had taken over the Texas Trunk Railway, ran through town twice a day. The town had a population of 300, telephone connections, the Farmers and Merchants Bank, two blacksmiths, the Kleburg Gin Company, and several general and specialty stores. The downtown section was destroyed by fire in 1920, and only portions were rebuilt. The name of the post office was changed from Kleburg to Kleberg in 1929. By the mid-1920s the population was 350, where it remained until the 1940s, when it began to drop; it reached a low of 170 in 1947. Kleberg was incorporated in 1956 and instituted a few city services. Water was provided from Dallas County Water District 7, dial telephones were installed, and a new fire truck was purchased. Plans for a new city hall, a sewerage system, and a zoning ordinance were developed but never implemented. In 1970 Kleburg had a population of 4,510 and three businesses. The only industry was a cement company. The community was consolidated with Dallas on April 3, 1978. At the time, it was the largest town in Texas without a property tax.


Dallas Historical Commission Files, Dallas Public Library. Dallas Times Herald, December 25, 1977.

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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, Lisa C. Maxwell, "KLEBERG, TX," accessed May 30, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hgk06.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on November 19, 2019. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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