Herman Huber was born Herman Willis Huber, the grandson of William Ladd Willis, a member of Sacramento high society. Huber's grandfather had worked in the editorial department of the Record-Union in Sacramento for thirteen years and also compiled the 'State Speller' publications for the State Board of Education. Herman Huber's genealogy also shows that his third-great grandfather was Lyman Hall, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and a close friend of George Washington.
Herman arrived at the Preston School of Industry on December 6, 1910. The word "Delinquent" is the only notation next to his name and inmate number #1503 in the register, whereas other wards would have their criminal convictions mentioned. He was to be released in August of 1914 but never made it that far.
On the night of October 17,1911, around the time when staff was ringing the dinner bell, Herman Huber and another friend, John Kirrane made their escape under the cover of darkness. According to school officials, the night watchman J.D. French noticed that they were gone and went after them. French claimed that he shot his gun to warn the Superintendent that an incident was occurring and that he accidentally shot and killed Huber.
Another ward, Ernest Reed, later came before Governor Hiram Johnson and swore that he saw French kill Huber and that the act was wanton. He also claimed that the staff was very harsh and cruel to the wards.
-- Bio information taken from the book, "Behind The Walls: A Historical Expose' of the Preston School of Industry" by author, J'aime Rubio