Already before 1848 the Kégl family run their estates around Pereg (now a part of Kiskunlacháza) and were landlords of the village. 1 It was then that they purchased from the Wattay family the estate of Pusztaszentkirályt in the neighboring Áporka, which then became the center of their estates.

In 1877 the estates were described like this: “Szent-Király, farmstead between Laczháza and Áporka bordered by the Danube, 2300 Hungarian acres. A nice plain territory, mainly black sandy loam. The largest part is the property of the widow of Samu Egressy and Sándor Kégl [Sr.], with well equipped farmhouses and beautiful, tree-lined arable lands. In the farmhouses 73 Catholic and 16 Calvinist inhabitants.” 2 The 1910 description of the county mentions about Áporka that “currently Dr. Alexander, János and Teréz Kégl have here larger estates”. 3

Although this branch of the family died out in 1925 and, as we know from the last will of János, the estate was bequeathed to the state, nevertheless local way of speaking still refer to the various parts of the estate with their name, such as Kégli-Szentkirály, Kégli János-Szentkirály, Kégli Sándor-Szentkirály, or Kégli-part/Kégli. The former ones lay on the estates of Szentkirálypuszta belonging to Áporka, with a small part that belongs to Kiskunlacháza, while the latter ones on the estates between the Danube, the Pázmándi estate and Kiskunlacháza. 4

Apart from the names, nothing else preserves the memory of the former model farm. The residential buildings were demolished, and a new factory has been built on the place of the former farmhouses.

János Kégl’s last will

Towards the end of his life János Kégl was ill for a long time, and perhaps this was one of the reasons why he took care already in his life of the fate of the invaluable library inherited from his brother. The other passages of his last will also bear witness to a person observing the interests of the country and the smaller local communities and taking care of those around him.

Here below we publish a summary of his last will, dated on 14 January 1925 in Áporka and complemented on 30 September of the same year. 1

Undersigned János Kégl, resident and landowner in Áporka /Szentkirály/, although physically in somewhat frail conditions, but fully intact in mind, after a careful consideration I order the following measures in case of my death. I have no legitimate descendant or ascendant heirs, so I can make will completely free on my wealth.

My testamentary dispositions are as follows:

All my life I dealt with agriculture, and I was especially interested in horse-breeding. I have always loved beautiful and good horses. I am convinced that the development of horse-breeding is a national interest, and so I devote to this purpose my estate of Szentkirály in Áporka, totaling approximately 408 Hungarian catastral acres.

I leave this estate together with all its buildings to the Hungarian state, with the decided and strictly laid down obligation that it must be used as a horse-breeding farm. I also stipulate that the state should maintain my estate, they cannot sell it, and they can use only its interests for the maintenance of the horse-breeding farm.

My heir will be authorized to take possession of the estates only at the end of the year following my death, as the income of the estates in the year of my death are meant for other purposes. I wish that after my death all the living and dead equipment of my estate, the harvested crop, and all the household effects (including the equipment of my house, valuables, etc.) should be sold, and its income be divided in two equal parts.

One half is due to the Roman Catholic church of Pereg as a church construction fund, to be used on the occasion of the rebuilding of the church. For this legacy, the vicar of Pereg will be charged to celebrate one yearly mass for me, for my deceased brothers Alexander and Teréz as well as for our parents. The sum necessary for the mass has to be separated from the above church constuction fund according to necessity.

I leave the other half of the income of the sale of the equipments, crop and my valuables to the nuns’ order maintaining the Saint Joseph and Saint Elizabeth Children’s House in Pesterzsébet, by asking the Prioress to have a wreath laid on my tomb as well as on the tombs of my family members in the cemetery of Pereg on 1 November and the main feasts in every year.

I leave my complete library, inherited from my deceased brother Alexander, to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, to whom I have already offered it in my life.

Within the borders of Kiskunlacháza I have a piece of fallow arable land. I leave this to the credit union of Áporka with the destiny of selling it and fruitfully managing its income, to use it for the purpose of the construction of a future central building of the credit union.

I have shares at the credit union of Áporka in the nominal value of 2,500,000 crowns. I leave all these shares to the elementary school of Áporka to turn the yearly income of these shares to the needs of schoolbooks and school equipments of poor children.

I also consider it appropriate to remember about my loyal coachman József Tóth, who has worked on my estates since his childhood. To reward his loyal services, I leave him 15, that is fifteen Hungarian catastral acres of arable land which should be surveyed at the end of my estates facing the railway tracks in the whole length of the land. I also leave to my coachman József Tóth a cart, a pair of good horses with equipment, and all the economic equipment necessary to cultivate his estate of 15 acres.

Finally I order that to the servants in my estates at the time of my death as much grain should be given from the crop of that year as the convention of a year of the respective servant.

If there is any other possession not arranged for in this will, I order that they should be inherited by the elementary school of Áporka and to use it for their school purposes. The above written is my last will, signed today in my own hand in the presence of witnesses.

Supplement: To my housekeeper Erzsébet Pálffy, who during my several months long serious illness has taken care of me and of my household, I leave 15 Hungarian catastral acres of arable land to be surveyed at the end of my estates facing the railway tracks, in the neighborhood of the land left to my coachman József Tóth. In addition, I also leave her a cow and the furnishment of a complete room.

I intend to enforce my last will through my friend Dr. Kálmán Zachár, lawyer in Gödöllő, whom hereby I invite to accept this assignment, and who will be exclusively authorized to enforce all my last will and to manage all my wealth and estates until the distribution of it, to the best of his knowledge. I also call up my friend to take care of my funerals to the best of his discretion.