Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


A particularly efficient and exceptionally experienced police judge is the Hon. Chapman Sargent of Monterey, a native son born in that cradle of Yankee liberty, and growing up fortunately familiar and in friendly accord with the old Spanish institutions of the place. He first saw the light on August 12, 1866, his parents being Bradley Varnum and Julia Ann (Flynn) Sargent, the former a native of Grafton, New Hampshire, where he was born in 1828. At the time of the rush for gold, in '49, Bradley Sargent came to California and for a while tried his luck at mining but like so many others soon learned that greater fortunes were possible in catering to the wants of the fortune-hunters, and by 1850 he was conducting a hotel in San Jose. Selling out his interests there, he made a trip to the Sandwich Islands but returned the same year to meet his three brothers, who had crossed the wide plains. Together, they formed a company and embarked on a large scale in the raising and handling of stock. They located near Woodbridge, in the San Joaquin valley, and were so successful that they acquired large holdings in San Joaquin, Santa Clara and Monterey counties. They owned the La Pestelencia rancho of some twelve thousand acres in the southern part of Monterey county, and also the El Potrero San Carlos y San Francisquito rancho, of twenty-three thousand acres, within six miles of Monterey. When the property was divided, it was agreed that each one should take as his portion the part he had presided over and had developed, and that the balance should be equally divided. Bradley Sargent married Miss Julia Flynn, of Boston, and they had four children: James P., Roswell C, Bradley V. and Harriet. Mr. Sargent served on the board of supervisors of Monterey county from 1885 to 1887, showing his public-spiritedness particularly in his deep interest in the public schools. He was a democrat in his preferences as to national politics; was a member of the Pioneers' Society, and was also an Odd Fellow and a Knight Templar Mason. He passed away in 1895 enjoying the enviable reputation of a man whose word was as good as his bond.

Roswell Chapman Sargent attended the public schools of Monterey and later matriculated at Santa Clara College, where, as a member of the class of '86, he was given the Bachelor of Science degree. Then he took up farming on his father's ranch and continued to follow agricultural pursuits until 1915, in which year his mother died. His own health having become impaired, he did little for five or six years. After that, he and his brother divided their property, and R. C. Sargent took the Bradley ranch.

At Monterey, in the year 1891 Judge Sargent was married to Miss Hannah Wade, of San Francisco. Her own family associations are interesting: A sister is Martha Harriet Weill, of Maplewood, New Jersey, and another sister is Mrs. Stewart I. Weill, whose husband is of the American Telegraph Company, New York. Julian Wade, of Dodge Brothers Automobile Company, served in the United States army in the World war. Judge and Mrs. Sargent have three children: Mrs. Harriet Sargent Weill, of Maplewood, New Jersey; Julian W., of Monterey, and R. C, Jr., of East Orange, New Jersey. Judge Sargent is among the most welcome of Elks; is also an honored member of the Knights of Columbus; and is active in the Native Sons of the Golden West. A democrat in politics he does not allow any political bias to come in the way of doing his best, at all times, for the section in which he lives. For six years he served faithfully as one of the progressive members of the city council of Monterey and in 1922 received the mayoralty appointment to the office of police judge.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.