Select Page


RG4534.AM:  Charles Henry Sargent, 1844-1912

Papers:  1870-1912

Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska:  Surveyor and civil engineer

Size:  0.25 cu.ft.; 1 box + oversize


Charles Henry Sargent was born in Reading, Massachusetts, on October 22, 1844.  He attended public school in Reading from 1856 to 1860.  He studied at Atkinson Academy in Atkinson, New Hampshire, before entering Dartmouth College in 1861.  In August of 1864, Sargent enlisted for 100 days of service in Company “E” of the Eighth Massachusetts Volunteers.  He re-entered Dartmouth after he was mustered out of the army in December of that same year.  He graduated in 1865 with a degree in Civil Engineering.  After graduation, Sargent worked in Boston as a surveyor.  In 1868, he joined the engineering corps of the Union Pacific Railroad in Wyoming.  The following year, Sargent was employed by the Burlington and Missouri Railroad as an assistant engineer.  In 1871, he worked for the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad in the Lake Superior region.

In December of 1871, Sargent was married to Mary Olive Andrews of Lanesville, Massachusetts.  From the union were born five children, two sons, Joseph and Charles R., and three daughters, Marion, Helen, and Grace (Mrs. Fritz Nichlas).

The Railroad Panic of 1873 forced Sargent to return to Lanesville and enter private practice.  He later went West again to work on the main line of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad between Crete, Nebraska, and Denver, Colorado.  His last railroad job was with the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railroad.

In 1881, Sargent founded the town of Garrison, Nebraska, in honor of the abolitionist leader, William Lloyd Garrison.  During his lifetime, Sargent was a devoted member of many organizations, including:  Grand Army of the Republic, A.O.U.W. (Ancient Order of the United Workmen), A.F.A.M. (Ancient Free and Accepted Masons), and the Lincoln Monument Project for that building in Washington, D.C.  Charles Henry Sargent died in Battle Mountain Sanitarium in Hot Springs, South Dakota, on November 11, 1912.


This collection consists of one box of manuscript material, one scrapbook, and one oversize folder relating to the life of Charles Henry Sargent and the general history of the period from 1870 to 1912.  The collection includes correspondence, testimonials and recommendations, a scrapbook, newspapers and newspaper clippings.  Among the correspondents is Henry E. Burnham, United States Senator from New Hampshire and classmate of Sargent’s at Dartmouth.  The testimonials include resolutions from the G.A.R. and the A.O.U.W. in memory of Sargent presented to Mrs. Sargent.  The recommendations are for job applications from previous employers of Sargent.  The newspaper clippings include articles on the rise of labor unions, the Spanish-American War, the race problem, and capital punishment.

There is an index of the scrapbook and the newspapers and news clippings in the oversize folder included with the collection.  The scrapbook contains marginal notes explaining the relation of the article or clipping to the period or Sargent.  In the news clippings are obituaries of Sargent’s friends, historical articles, and articles written by Sargent himself.  The oversize folder contains newspapers from Boston and some western cities.  Among those mentioned in the oversize clippings is Julius Sterling Morton.  The folder of miscellany includes songs composed by Sargent, as well as calling cards and an alumni register of Phi Mu Zeta, Sargent’s fraternity at Dartmouth.


Box 1


  1. Correspondence, 1870-1912

  2. Testimonials

  3. Recommendations

  4. Scrapbook (see oversize)

  5. Index to scrapbook and newspapers

  6. Newspapers and clippings (see oversize)

  7. Clippings of poetry

  8. Clippings of articles by Sargent

  9. Clippings of articles by Sargent

  10. Clippings of miscellaneous articles

  11. Miscellany


Subject headings

Bryan, William Jennings, 1860-1925

Capital punishment


Doane, Thomas, 1821-1897

Garrison, William Lloyd, 1805-1879

Labor unions

Morton, Julius Sterling, 1832-1902

Race relations

Sargent, Charles Henry, 1844-1912

Silver coinage

Spanish-American War


DJR/TT/ab            12-04-1967