Gilbert-Antoine de Saint Maxent was born in 1724 in France. At 23 he immigrated to New Orleans and enlisted in the military. He married the wealthy Elizabeth La Roche and use the dowry to open a building on Conti Street to supply fur traders.
When West Louisiana was given to the Spanish, Gilbert Antoine was the first Frenchman to pledge his allegiance to the new governor, Antonio de Ulloa. As a result, he was imprisoned in his plantation during the Louisiana Rebellion of 1768, while the governor was ousted by the Superior Council.
Once the Spanish reclaimed the colony in 1769, his daughter Marie-Elizabeth married the next Spanish governor, Luis de Unzaga.
During his life, he was named Commandant of the Militia of Louisiana, Lt. Governor of the Providence of Louisiana and West Florida, and Captain-General of the new Bureau of Indian Affairs of Louisiana and West Florida.