CHARLES H. SARGENT. The fringe of settlement in Northern Kansas made by the sturdy pioneers was re-enforced in the year 1874 by the advent of the Sargent family, headed by William Sargent, father of Charles H. Sargent, whose life has been given to varied affairs in Smith County and who is now one of the guiding spirits in finance in Smith Center.
The forebears of this family of rural people were English and it was not until about 1858 that Charles' grandfather brought his household to the United States and established the family upon American soil. Grant County, Wisconsin, received him as a settler and there, as a farmer, he passed the remaining years of his life. His wife was formerly a Miss Moss and among their seven children, William was the fifth.
William Sargent was a child of three years when his parents emigrated from his birthplace in England, and he passed the period of his youth in Grant County, Wisconsin, and acquired his education in the schools there. He came out to Kansas in time to pass through the scourge of grasshoppers of the middle '70s and entered a quarter of land in Smith County. He proved this up, as well as a timber claim, and his prosperity from his efforts upon the soil enabled him to add materially to his domain until when he passed away, February 4, 1907, his estate embraced broad acres and was splendidly improved and stood as a monument to his achievements.
As a citizen William Sargent was numbered among the leaders of his county. He shared modestly in the work and success of the republican party and his fraternal interest was expressed as a Mason.
William Sargent married Alice Rogers in Gage County, Nebraska, and she is a resident of Lebanon, Kansas. Mrs. Sargent was born in Washington County, Iowa, January 9, 1855, and is the mother of Charles H., of Smith Center and of Mrs. Opal Whittaker, wife of Claude Whittaker, a farmer on the Sargent estate near Lebanon.
While the Sargents were identified with Kansas before Charles H. was born, his birth occurred in Gage County, Nebraska, April 15, 1878, establishing the fact that his parents were sojourning, at least temporarily, in that state. The common schools educated the junior Sargent and he was a youthful factor of the Lebanon community while growing up. He remained an aid to his father until the age of twenty-five when he embarked for himself as a farmer and stock man and continued so until September 1, 1918, with a success that marked him a worthy son of an able father.
The Farmers State Bank of which Mr. Sargent is president was organized in 1918 and he was one of its leading promoters. Associated with Charles Post, vice president, John W. Dannenberg, second vice president, and E. B. Cox, cashier, Mr. Sargent secured a charter for the third bank in Smith Center and capitalized it at $25,000, and the institution was opened for business October 5, of the above year.
In his political life Mr. Sargent clings to the tenets of faith espoused and supported by his father and in 1918 he was nominated in the primary election for representative to the Legislature and defeated his opponent at the election following by 1,101 votes. He is a member of the Methodist Church and a trustee of the Lebanon congregation.
Mr. Sargent married at Lebanon, Kansas, March 30, 1904, Miss Ethel Foster, whose father, W. J. Foster, is a retired farmer of that community, came to Kansas from Page County, Iowa, and who married for his wife Viola Merritt. Of the three children of the Foster family Mrs. Sargent is the oldest, and she and Mr. Sargent have a daughter, Wilma, born February 14, 1905, and a son William Clare, born March 7, 1907.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
Tom & Carolyn Ward
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