This site has been established by Steve and Sandy Engelking. Steve is a member of the ancient German Family ‘Sack’ which some claimed to have traced back to the Tower of Babel. This is probably the oldest documented non-royal family in the world and was established as a foundation by Heinrich Simon Sack, privy councillor and legal advisor to Frederich the Great of Prussia in the 18th century. In the 19th century, one of his descendents married the nobleman Anton Ludwig von Roeder and they emigrated to Texas, giving up their estate in Hoym. According to legend, this was because one of their sons had been involved in a duel with one of the King’s sons who had been killed in the fight. Exile and the forfeit of property was the price that had to be paid for saving the son from execution. It may have been that the von Roeders were also influenced by the desire to escape the Prussian despotism of the time and were inspired by republican ideas which they hoped could be realised in Texas, which at that time was a part of the Mexican Republic.
The establishment of an existence in Texas was accompanied by much hardship. A dictator soon came to power in Mexico and the Texans fought many battles for independence. They finally gained a decisive victory at the battle of San Jacinto where a number of the von Roeders fought.
Descendents of the family have been key figures in the shaping of Texas and the USA. One example is Marcellus Kleberg who was governor of Galveston and became a national hero after his work to rebuild the city after a hurricane. The King Ranch (the biggest ranch in Texas and now an oil imperium) is also attributable to family descendents.
Ferdinand Engelking, son of the Mayor of Schlüsselberg near Minden in Prussia, emigrated to Texas and married a von Roeder daughter. The Engelkings played a leading part in establishing education in Texas with the first ‘Gymnasium’ (grammar school) at Cat Spring. They were not good farmers but have a long tradition of entrepreneurship and there is hardly an Engelking that has not run his own business at some time or other. Most of the others have been teachers, artists or authors.