Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


The biographies and reminiscences of the early settlers of California would be a valuable and interesting contribution to literature. The hardships they endured, the perils they encountered, the reverses they met and overcame, the amusing positions in which they were often placed, and finally the success which has crowned the efforts of many of them, would form a picture strong in detail and contrast, in which the skillful artist could so dispose the lights and shades that something would strike a sympathetic cord in every heart.

The subject of this sketch has been the hero of many adventures, but his buoyant, fun-loving disposition has caused him to always see the ludicrous phase of every situation, and from temporary reverses and misfortunes he has always rallied, and at the sound of the bell was on the track ready to "trot them another heat."

Z. Hebert was born at Breuax Bridge, San Martin Parish, Louisiana, January 17, 1826. His father was a fanner and planter, and young Hebert's education was received at Breaux Bridge prior to the age of fifteen, at which time he left home and went to New Orleans, relinquishing his interest in his father's estate to his brothers and sisters. After following various occupations here, he started for California in 1850, via Chagres and Panama. His capital consisted of $700. After walking from Chagres to Panama he was in a badly used-up condition, and his mental condition was not improved on learning that a steamer ticket for San Francisco would cost $500.

He finally secured passage for $75 on the brig W. Brown, but was three months at sea, a part of the time on very short allowance of food and water. During the voyage the passengers were compelled to take possession of the vessel, put a drunken captain in irons, and place the second mate in command. Such were the privations and dangers of this voyage that Mr. Hebert resolved never to go home until he could go by land.

When he arrived in San Francisco he was surprised to see so much gambling and such a quantity of gold bars and gold-dust. The killing of a man every day was not unusual. Mr. Hebert immediately secured work in a butcher shop and grocery store at $200 per month, and subsequently opened a butcher shop on the corner of Jackson and Dupont Streets. He made about $3,000 here, when his partner got the gold fever and they started for the mines. But his mining experience was disastrous. There was an ill omen at the start. Their pack mule ran away and scattered their pans and other mining paraphernalia along the trail. Soon after he returned from the mine he opened a butcher stall, and subsequently started a wholesale butcher business, and commenced dealing in sheep, with a man by the name of Sedgley for partner.

In 1865 he bought three thousand acres of land at Natividad, Monterey County, which he still owns. He came to Monterey County to reside in 1868, and has ever since been prominently identified with the county. He has been a Director, ever since its organization, of the Monterey District Agricultural Association, and owns some good trotting stock. He was one of the founders of Salinas City Bank, and is still a stockholder. He is frank, broad and liberal in his views, and generous to a fault.

Source: Monterey County : its general features, resources, attractions, and inducements to investors and home seekers. Salinas, Calif.: E.S. Harrison, 1889, 89 pgs.