You can come home again

The first Kiblers came to South Carolina in 1753 from an area of Germany near the Swiss border via the sailing ship Anne, arriving in Charleston.John was the patriarch of the clan, which spelled its last name “Kuebler” or “Koebler.” He moved up the Broad River and petitioned later that year — Oct. 3, to be exact — for 350 acres of land in the “Dutch Fork” (now Newberry County).

John had a wife, three sons, a daughter and a servant. One of his sons, Jacob, showed up in the 1800 census with a household that included a wife, three daughters and five sons, plus a last name with a new spelling.

Kiblers still live in Newberry County. Graveyards at Lutheran churches across the area are full of headstones bearing the family name. My grandfather, the son of a pharmacist, was born in Prosperity around the turn of the 20th century. Eventually, “our” Kiblers spread into Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. But it’s been 87 years since anyone from our little branch of the family has lived in the Palmetto State.

Well, we’re back — at least, we will be once I get my house in North Carolina sold and return to the state of my ancestors.

I’m here to work as managing editor of this magazine, which is dedicated to providing hunters and fishermen with the kind of info that might make their pursuits successful and satisfying.

I don’t claim to be an expert on catching bass at Santee Cooper, stripers at Lake Hartwell or redfish in the Georgetown marshes — or calling in Chester County gobblers. I’m spending time most days with a road atlas, trying to familiarize myself with the Senecas, Goose Creeks, Gaffneys, Camdens, Lancasters and Cheraws, the counties where they’re located and where they fit in — what the habitat looks like, how well the deer herds and turkey flocks fill the land, which bodies of water produce the slab crappie I love to fillet or the big bass that inhabit my dreams.

I profess no partiality to Clemson, South Carolina, Furman, Winthrop, Coastal Carolina or USC-Upstate, although as a graduate of the University of Georgia, I admit I’ll have to put aside the fact this Spurrier guy had a history of doing terrible things to my alma mater when he coached in a state far, far to the south and wore a visor bearing the picture of a giant water lizard. But I interviewed Dave Odom numerous times during a previous career and consider him a friendly acquaintance, so maybe that evens out things.

I worked the past 28 years for a newspaper in North Carolina. When the bosses asked me to become the outdoors editor 22 years ago, I protested that perhaps I was unqualified to write full-time about hunting and fishing just because I participated heartily in both endeavors. One of them said to me: “It’s not how much you know; it’s who you know. Let the experts do the talking; you just write down what they say.”

For two decades, I have tried to do that. I see no great reason to change. Teachers teach; students learn. When Jesus was teaching in parables, the multitudes gathered to listen. Off to the side, there was a guy taking notes who was known as a “scribe.”

That’s me, the “scribe.” When the masters of bass fishing and deer hunting speak, I listen and take notes.

Hopefully, we’ll all learn something.

About Dan Kibler 887 Articles
Dan Kibler is the former managing editor of Carolina Sportsman Magazine. If every fish were a redfish and every big-game animal a wild turkey, he wouldn’t ever complain. His writing and photography skills have earned him numerous awards throughout his career.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply