Paul Octave Hebert


Paul Octave Hebert portrait
  • Born: Iberville Parish, 1818
  • Education: Jefferson College, West Point Military Academy
  • Career: Teacher, State Engineer, Army Officer, Governor, Confederate General
  • Died: New Orleans, 1880

P.O. Hebert received his degrees from the Iberville Lodge No. 81, being raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason on March 24, 1852. The same year, a group of Iberville Master Masons received dispensation from the Grand Lodge to form a new Acacia Lodge No. 116. Hebert served as the lodge's first Senior Warden and in 1854, he served as Worshipful Master for the lodge. In 1858, Hebert was named Tyler of Acacia.

Hebert trained in civil engineering at Jefferson College, where he finished first in his class of 1936. He then attended West Point Military Academy, where he again graduated at the top of his class in 1840. The next year, he was hired as an assistant professor of engineering for West Point and later served as assistant engineer at the port of Orleans. In 1845, Hebert was appointed the state's Civil Engineer by Governor Mouton. He served in this position until April 1847, when he resigned to fight in the Mexican War, where he served as Lieutenant Colonel.

After the war, Hebert tried his hand at sugar planting for a few years before he was selected to serve as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1852. Thereafter, he was nominated as the Democratic gubernatorial candidate and elected governor in 1853. With his background in civil engineering, Hebert stressed improvements to the infrastructure as governor, awarding charters to 4 major railroads during his tenure. He also emphasized education, which was uncommon for southern governors at the time, and strongly supported Charity Hospital and the state's School for the Deaf, Mute and Blind.

During the Civil War, Hebert served as a Brigadier General in the Confederate Army. After the war, Hebert returned to Louisiana and received a presidential pardon for his participation in the Confederacy. Hebert returned to sugar farming and remained active in Reconstruction Era politics. In 1873, he was appointed by Governor Kellogg to serve on the Board of State Engineers. The following year, he was made a member of the commission of Engineers by President Grant. Hebert died in New Orleans in 1880.

Click on thumbnails below to view a full-size image:

Iberville Lodge No. 81 Ledger, Hebert entry, 1849-1852

Iberville Lodge No. 81 Minute Book, Hebert raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason, March 24,1852

Acacia Lodge No. 116 Dispensation, Hebert named first Senior Warden, 1852

Acacia Lodge No. 116, Worshipful Master Hebert, Work & Returns, 1854

Acacia Lodge No. 116, Work & Returns, 1854

Worshipful Master Hebert, Acacia Lodge No. 116, Grand Lodge Past Proceedings, 1855

Tyler Hebert, Acacia Lodge No. 116, Grand Lodge Past Proceedings, 1859

Past Master Hebert, Acacia Lodge No. 116, Grand Lodge Past Proceedings, 1880