Born: September 14, 1852, Cambridge, Ohio.
Died: May 19, 1927, Monmouth, Illinois.
Buried: Monmouth Cemetery, Monmouth, Illinois.
John was the son of John T. Herbert and Elizabeth B. Moore. He married twice, to Fannie G. Graham and Rena Giddings (1890).
His family moved to Monmouth, Illinois, when he was an infant. He was educated at Monmouth College, and was its first graduate. He then attended the Hahnemann Medical College in Chicago, Illinois, but continued to study music and sang regularly in a church choir.
He practiced medicine for several years, but music was his first love. When George Root visited Monmouth in 1875, Herbert met him, and they became good friends.
Herbert studied with both Root and Philip Bliss, and in 1878, closed his medical practice to work with music full time. At one time, Herbert taught at the Southern Development Normal music school in Waco, Texas.