Sargent Family


George Sargent Family

Sargent Family Cemetery               Kenner Cemetery

George Sargent Family
By Marguerite G. Badgett

Little is known of the early life of George Sargent, but there is much around us to remind us of him after he came to Matagorda County. George was born in Cornwall County, England, on December 26, 1891. It is probable that he was born in Pelynt Parish, Cornwall to John and Mary Sargent, as records show that a George Sargent was baptized on January 26, 1792, in Pelynt Parish. George moved to London where he married and where some of his children were born. Soon after the birth of their sixth child, John Thomas Sargent, on March 24, 1834, the family left England for America. They arrived in Texas in June of 1834, and settled in the Refugio-San Patricio area where they resided during the Texas Revolution. According to family tradition, George Sargent brought the news of the victory at San Jacinto to Victoria.

After the Revolution, George Sargent moved his family to Dimmit’s Point in Calhoun County where his wife and older son died prior to his and his children’s move to Matagorda County in 1840. George and his wife were the parents of seven children:
Elizabeth Ann, born on July 8, 1823, married Jacob Smith on November 18, 1841
Mary Ann (May 28, 1826 – July 18, 1867) married William W. Warring on April 7, 1842 and died of yellow fever in Indianola
John Thomas, born on March 24, 1834 and
Sarah born about 1836.

George Sargent bought land in the Caney Creek area of Matagorda County and became a rancher. He was assisted by his son John Thomas.

On August 26, 1857, John T. Sargent married Sarah Ann Hill, born on August 20, 1837, to John W. and Sarah Ann Taylor Hill. They built their home on the ranch and lived near his father, George. Their children were:
Fannie Putson (August 31, 1859 – March 12, 1926) who married Thomas J. Hamilton on May 5, 1884
Sarah Ann (February 22, 1862 – December 9, 1941) who married Charles Stephen Austin on June 16, 1885
George Thomas (June 15, 1867 – March 18, 1938) who married Nettie Catherine Cookenboo on March 18, 1890
Mary Elizabeth (October 12, 1869 – December 4, 1955) who married John DeRugeley Peareson on June 15, 1892
Josephine (November 28, 1871 – May 29, 1941) who married Sidney Thompson Peareson on December 12, 1893.

The Sargent family lived happily until September 17, 1875, when both George and his daughter-in-law, Sarah Ann were drowned during the hurricane and ensuing tidal wave which struck the Texas coast. John had been away on a cattle drive and was nearing home when he received the news of the storm and hurried home to his family. During the night the water started coming into the house and he placed his family on top of the dining room table. However, the side of the house collapsed and the rushing water swept the table and the family out into the storm. John and one of his helpers placed the children in trees. When daylight came, he found his children safe, but his father and his wife had drowned. George Sargent and Sarah Ann Sargent were buried in the Sargent Cemetery located near Sargent, Texas.

Shortly after the hurricane, John T. moved his family to Matagorda and entrusted them to the care of Mrs. Catherine Wright who became known to all of the Sargent children as “Grandmother Wright.” He had a schoolroom added to his home in Matagorda where many young children received their education under Mrs. Wright and later Ella Perry Talbot.

On August 31, 1881, John T. married Jane Ann Bates (December 3, 1858 – April 13, 1945). They had one child, Catherine Minna (March 5, 1884 – October 9, 1967) who married James Walcott Rugeley on June 6, 1906. Jane Ann was affectionately known to her step-children as “Danny.” The Sargents were active in the Christ Church in Matagorda and in other activities. John T. and Jane Ann moved to Bay City in 1906. He died there on January 17, 1911.

John T.’s only son, George Thomas Sargent, carried on the management of the ranch in the same manner as his father and grandfather. George T. left the Sargent tradition in the capable hands of his daughter, “Miss Jo” and her husband Jake Smith assisted by her sister and brother-in-law, Vivian and Harris Darst.



John Thomas Sargent Family


John Thomas Sargent

John Thomas Sargent, of Bay City, Texas, was essentially a child of the frontier, although born in London, England, March 24, 1834. His father, George Sargent, a brave and stalwart Englishman, brought the Sargent family from London to New York in 1835. From there they proceeded to Aransas, Texas, where they threw in their destinies with those of the Powers’ Colony, and settled in the vicinity of Mission Refugio. Texas was then in the throes of a revolution, which through bloodshed and sorrow, was to result in the Lone Star Republic, and later in the Empire State of the Union.

In 1836 the battle of San Jacinto was fought, and Mr. [George] Sargent was the first to bring the news of the victory to Victoria, where he had placed Mrs. Sargent and his children for safety several months before. The tragedies of the Alamo and Goliad spread consternation and grief throughout the American colonist section of Texas, and the Sargent family, in common with a great many others, suffered at the hands of Mexican soldiers and marauders.

The elder Sargent barely escaped death at the hands of Mexican soldiers while he was residing at Refugio. He was arrested as a spy, his hands were tied, and the order for his execution was given, when Mrs. Sargent, assisted by several Mexican women, succeeded in convincing the Mexican commander that the accused was innocent of the charge. He was released and soon after the Sargent family moved to Victoria.

After the Texas Revolution, the Sargent family moved to Dimmitt’s Point, where the mother and two brothers of John Thomas Sargent passed away. The following year Matagorda peninsula was selected as the new home, and while living there, the Sargents heard the news of the burning of Linnville by the Indians.

Starting in the cattle business at an early age, John Thomas Sargent by the time he had reached middle age, was one of the most prominent cattle raisers of the Coast Country. Like all other sons and daughters of the frontier, he was taught to work and work hard, and this, combined with an executive ability of the highest order, a personal integrity that was never questioned, soon placed him on the road to success. He experienced all the ups and downs of the cattle business, but never lost his grip, and, through never failing industry, he soon acquired thousands of acres and thousands of head of stock.

Mr. Sargent was ever a believer in progress and took a leading part in the importation of registered bulls for the improvement of the old range stock. When he started in the business, the range along the Gulf Cost was an ideal one for cattle raising. In fact, the free grass in that section in the early days was of a better quality and more abundant, than any other section of Texas.

Immigration into the Coast County gradually pushed the cowman and cowboy further West, and Mr. Sargent, recognizing the change in conditions, and realizing that open range and free grass would soon be a matter of history, began purchasing large sections of land. He believed in co-operating, and up to the time of his death, took great interest in the Cattle Raisers’ Association of Texas, and all matters pertaining to the industry. He was a believer in improved stock, and the example he set in this respect was of great benefit to the community in which he lived.

When the Civil War began, Mr. Sargent enlisted in Company “D,” 5th Texas Cavalry. This company was composed almost entirely of Matagorda County volunteers, and was commanded by the gallant Captain E. S. Rugeley, a native of Matagorda County. This company was kept busy throughout the war, protecting the Texas frontier, and doing guard duty. While battles were few and far between in Texas during the war, the Confederate soldiers were kept busy at all times protecting the coast and frontier from invading parties of Federals, the Comanche and Kiowa Indians, and from bands of desperate men.

August 26, 1857, Mr. Sargent married Sarah Ann Hill, and of this marriage there were five children: Mrs. T. J. Hamilton, Mrs. C. S. Austin, Mrs. D. R. Peareson, Mrs. S. T. Peareson and George T. Sargent. In the great storm of 1875, Mr. Sargent lost his father and wife. After this sad happening, he and his children took up their residence in the city of Matagorda. In 1881, he married Jane Ann Bates, and of this union one child was born, Mrs. James W. Rugeley.


From Matagorda, Mr. Sargent and his family moved to Bay City in 1906, and he died there, January 17, 1911. He was a consistent member of the Episcopal Church, an Odd Fellow, a Thirty-Second degree Mason and a member of the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles Mystic Shrine.

History of the Cattlemen of Texas, pages 217-218




Copyright 2011 - Present by the Sargent Family
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Aug. 14, 2011
Aug. 14, 2011