Felix Hebert

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Felix Hebert
Felix Hebert.jpg
United States Senator
from Rhode Island
In office
March 4, 1929 – January 3, 1935
Preceded by Peter G. Gerry
Succeeded by Peter G. Gerry
Personal details
Born (1874-12-11)December 11, 1874
St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada
Died December 14, 1969(1969-12-14) (aged 95)
Warwick, Rhode Island
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Virginia Provost

Felix Hebert (December 11, 1874 – December 14, 1969) was a United States Senator from Rhode Island. Born near St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada, he came to the United States when his parents, Edouard and Catherine (Vandale) Hebert, returned in 1880 and resumed their residence in the town of Coventry, Rhode Island.

He attended La Salle Academy. He was employed as a railroad freight billing clerk from 1893 to 1896 and as a private secretary from 1896 to 1898 he was deputy insurance commissioner of Rhode Island from 1898 to 1906, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1907 and commenced practice in Providence. He was justice of the district court of the fourth judicial district of Rhode Island from 1908 to 1928, trustee of the Nathanael Greene Homestead Association of Rhode Island from 1924 to 1934, and a member and secretary of the Providence County Courthouse Commission from 1925 to 1934.

Hébert was elected as a Republican to the U.S. Senate, unseating Democrat Peter G. Gerry by a 51% to 49% margin. He served from March 4, 1929, to January 3, 1935; he was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1934, losing a rematch to Gerry, who won 57% of the vote. While in the Senate, he was Republican whip from 1933 to 1935, and chairman of the Committee on Patents (Seventy-second Congress). He resumed the practice of law, was a member of the Republican National Committee from 1944 to 1952, and was advisory counsel to the Associated Factory Mutual Fire Insurance Companies. He died in Warwick in 1969; interment was in St. Joseph's Cemetery, West Warwick.

Mr. Hebert had thirteen siblings including Rev. Mathias A. Hebert, who on December 16, 1922 was appointed by Bishop William A. Hickey as the second pastor of St. Cecilia Parish of Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

Prominent in legal circles and in the general life of Providence, and the town of West Warwick, is Judge Felix Hebert, whose career as an attorney and judge and as the holder of several other important public offices has won for him the respect and esteem of the community, and made him an influential man in local affairs. Judge Hebert was the son of Edouard and Catherine (Vandale) Hebert, both of whom were early immigrants from Canada, immigrating respectively at the ages of fifteen and seven years. The elder Mr. Hebert was the son of a prosperous farmer in the Province of Quebec, and in spite of his early age was himself engaged in that occupation before coming to the United States. Upon first coming to this country, the parents made their home at Coventry, where the young man took up mill work for a time, and was later in business as a custom bootmaker. Eventually he engaged in the boot and shoe business at Anthony, in the town of Coventry, and while living there was one of the founders (1870), and a trustee for thirty years, of St. Jean Baptiste Roman Catholic Church. Mr. and Mrs. Edouard Hebert were the parents of thirteen children.

Felix Hebert was born on December 11, 1874, at St. Guillaume, in the Province of Quebec, Canada, during a sojourn at that place made by his father and mother because of the former's health. Shortly after, they returned with their son to Coventry, and it was at the public schools of that place that Felix secured the elementary portion of his education. He afterward attended La Salle Academy at Providence, from which he was graduated with the class of 1893. Upon completing his studies at the latter institution, the young man sought for and secured employment as a stenographer with the New York and New England Railroad Company, where he was rapidly promoted to positions of responsibility. He remained with this concern for about three years, when he became secretary to the late General Charles R. Brayton. He spent another three years in this capacity, and he then received an appointment as clerk in the office of Treasurer Walter A. Read, where he worked for one year. In 1899 he was appointed deputy insurance commissioner of the State of Rhode Island, and held this post continuously until 1917. During this long term he not only discharged his duties to the entire satisfaction of the department, but also took up the study of law, and was admitted to practice at the Rhode Island bar in 1907. In 1910 he was chosen judge of the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, and continued to occupy that important and responsible post. Judge Hebert made a specialty of insurance law. He is a Republican in politics. Judge Hebert was a Roman Catholic and was a member of the parish of St. Jean Baptiste, Arctic Centre, of which his father was one of the founders. He was a member of various societies and clubs, including the Catholic Club, and the Turk's Head Club of Providence.

Judge Hebert was married, September 18, 1900, to Virginia M. Provost, a daughter of Octave and Virginie (Deslauriers) Provost, of Ware, Mass., where the wedding was performed. They had four children: Catherine Virginia, Adrien Warner, Marguerite Rosalie, and Edouard Felix.

References[edit]

United States Senate
Preceded by
Peter G. Gerry
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Rhode Island
1929 – 1935
Served alongside: Jesse H. Metcalf
Succeeded by
Peter G. Gerry
Party political offices
Preceded by
Simeon D. Fess
Senate Republican Whip
1933 – 1935
Vacant
Title next held by
Kenneth S. Wherry (1944)