HERMAN HERZBERG, Merchant, Gadsden, was born in Westphalia, Prussia, September, 1837, and is a son of Isaac and Helene (Aronstein) Herzberg.
Mr. Herzberg was educated in the old country, graduated at Minden, Prussia, and served one year as volunteer in the Prussian Army. He received his commercial training at Dortmund, Westphalia, and at Cologne, Rhenish Prussia. In 1859 he came to America on a visit to relatives in Georgia, and while here had his attention called to Gadsden through Civil Engineer Hardee, then surveying a line of railroad from Dalton to Gadsden. The latter place being pointed out as the terminus of the Coosa & Tennessee, the Alabama & Tennessee, the Wills' Valley, and other railroad lines, he was induced to settle at this place, and did so in the summer of 1860. In the spring of 1861 he entered the Confederate service as a private soldier in Company I. Tenth Alabama Infantry, and remained in the service until after the battle of Fredericksburg. While in the army he participated in hard-fought battles, and at Dranesville, Va. received a severe gunshot wound, which ultimately necessitated his discharge from the service. After leaving the army he returned to Gadsden, and has here since made his home.
Mr. Herzberg brought with him to America a considerable sum of money, but the close of the war found him comparatively penniless. So soon as he was able to arrange matters he engaged in the mercantile business, which, begun in a small way, has long since grown into one of the most extensive enterprises of its kind in North Alabama; in fact, it is probable that his store at Gadsden is the largest individual concern of its character north of Montgomery. In addition to his mercantile business, Mr. Herzberg is extensively interested in the manufacture of raw lumber; is a large stockholder in the Gadsden Furnace Company; is president of the Gadsden Mineral Land Company; president of the Queen City Electric Light Company ; director in the Gadsden Land and Improvement Company; director in the First National Bank of Gadsden; director in the Gadsden Ice Company, and is more or less identified with various enterprises and industries. He was the first buyer of cotton at Gadsden since the war: is active in every way in developing the town and its best interests: owns several large farms in the county, and acres upon acres of the finest mineral land in the world. He was one of the commissioners to call an election to incorporate the town of Gadsden, and afterward held the office of Alderman. He is a prominent Mason; member of the Chapter, and has been presiding officer of the Council.
Mr. Herzberg was married in March, 1863, to Miss Mary I. Liddell, daughter of W. C. Liddell, and has had born to him five children: William I., Albert, Louis L., Herman and Eva B. Mrs. Herzberg died in October, 1884.
Source: McCalley, Henry, Northern Alabama : historical and biographical. Birmingham, AL: Smith & De Land, 1888, pp. 835.