Pulaski County

Biography - Oscar Herbert

OSCAR L. HERBERT. One of Cairo's native sons, a man upon whom devolves to a large extent the management and control of a great and growing industry, is Oscar L. Herbert, president of the Louis Herbert Company, and the successor of one of the leading business men of the city, the late Louis Herbert, who died here September 26. 1906, after an active career of more than forty years in various fields of commercial endeavor.

Louis Herbert was born near Klingenberg, Bavaria, acquired a liberal education in his native country, and came to the United States at the age of seventeen years, two of his brothers, Rheinhardt and Maximillian following him to America and spending their lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. Mr. Herbert was in New Orleans when the Civil war broke out and there joined issues with the South, but soon thereafter came to Illinois and was connected with the cities of Cairo and Mound City, at times, until the close of the rebellion. He engaged in the hotel business at Cairo as his first venture, later handled produce and beer, and subsequently drifted into the wholesale liquor business, in which he was extensively engaged at the time of his death. His success as a financier encouraged him to enter other avenues of endeavor, and he chose real estate as an investment, laying his holdings in Kentucky, and in Alexander and Pulaski counties, Illinois. While not known in politics he was nevertheless a factor to be reckoned with, a silent but positive force, his station in municipal affairs being that of a director rather than as a public figure. He was married at Mound City, Illinois, to Miss Elise Elbert, who died in Cairo in April, 1911, and they had six sons and one daughter, but the latter, Laura, died in infancy. The living are: Bernard J., Oscar L., and Byron C., the latter, born October 21, 1882, is connected with the Louis Herbert Company as secretary.

Oscar L. Herbert was born November 10, 1876, and his preliminary education was secured in the public schools of Cairo, this being supplemented by attendance in Christian Brothers College, St. Louis, from which he was graduated in 1898. He then spent some time in the St. Louis Law School, preparatory to a business career, and when ready for life's responsibilities he secured a position with the Illinois Central Railroad Company and was a clerical man for a year and a half. He was next employed with the William Young Carriage Company, and was with them until an opportunity came to engage in the business for himself, and he organized a company and was identified with its successful management for five .years. He returned to Cairo upon the death of his father, and took his place beside his father's associate, Mr. Harry Cushman, and has since been a factor in the firm. In 1907 the Louis Herbert Company was incorporated, and Oscar L. was elected its president, Mr. Cushman, its vice-president, and Byron C. Herbert, its secretary. His connection with outside affairs shows Mr. Herbert only to be a director of the Cairo National Bank. Like his father he is an honorable and upright man, scrupulously conscientious in every business and financial transaction, and it follows that he has a large number of warm friends and well-wishers.

In April, 1902, Mr. Herbert was married in St. Louis to Miss Alberta M. Bradford, and one son, Donald, has been born to them.

Extracted from A History of Southern Illinois, 1912, Volume 2, page 876-877


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