Caesar Kleberg and the King Ranch

Caesar Kleberg and the King Ranch

by Duane M. Leach Ph.D


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In this tribute to a pioneer conservationist, Duane M. Leach celebrates the life of an exceptional ranch manager on a legendary Texas ranch, a visionary for wildlife and modern ranch management, and an extraordinarily dedicated and generous man.

Caesar Kleberg went to work on the King Ranch in 1900. For almost thirty years he oversaw the operations of the sprawling Norias division, a vast acreage in South Texas where he came to appreciate the importance of rangeland not only for cattle but also for wildlife.

Creating a wildlife management and conservation initiative far ahead of its time, Kleberg established strict hunting rules and a program of enlightened habitat restoration. Because of his efforts and foresight, by his death in 1946 there were more white-tailed deer, wild turkey, bobwhite quail, javelinas, and mourning dove on the King Ranch than in the rest of the state.

Kleberg’s legacy lives on at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute in Kingsville, where a research program he helped found has gained recognition far beyond the pastures of Norias.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781623495046
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Publication date: 01/20/2017
Pages: 376
Sales rank: 982,230
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

DUANE M. LEACH is former president of Texas A&I University (now Texas A&M University–Kingsville) and a trustee of the Caesar Kleberg Foundation for Wildlife Conservation. He lives in Texarkana, Texas.

Table of Contents

Foreword Stephen J. "Tio" Kleberg ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Map I: King Ranch Divisions and Prominent Ranches of South Texas (Circa 1935) xvi

Introduction Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute xv

Chapter 1 A Legacy Revealed 1

Chapter 2 The Early Years 6

Chapter 3 A Career Not Chosen 12

Chapter 4 An Invitation to Santa Gertrudis 26

Chapter 5 Robert Kleberg Had a Vision 38

Chapter 6 The Coming of the Brownie 46

Chapter 7 Forging a Future: The Building of Kingsville 55

Chapter 8 Challenges at Norias 73

Chapter 9 Breeding for Greatness 107

Chapter 10 Transitions I: From King to Kleberg 128

Chapter 11 Transitions II: A Cowboy Congressman 151

Chapter 12 Ranching and Wildlife 158

Chapter 13 Politics South Texas Style I 187

Chapter 14 Policies South Texas Style II: The New Era 208

Chapter 15 The Garner Conundrum 222

Chapter 16 The Dance of Life: Caesar Kleberg Remembered 246

Afterword: A Conservation Ethic and Legacy, by the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute 281

Genealogy 283

Timeline 285

Notes 295

Bibliography 323

Index 345


Texarkana, Texas

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