William C. Sargent
[From Walter Van Brunt’s Duluth and St. Louis County, Minnesota Vols. 1 – 3. The American Historical Society. Chicago: 1922. Available at the Duluth Public Library.]
Among the strong and influential citizens of Duluth, the record of whose lives have become an essential part of the history of this section, William C. Sargent has exerted a beneficial influence throughout the community where he resides. His chief characteristics are keenness of perception, a tireless energy and honesty of purpose and motive, which have enabled him not only to advance his own interests but also to largely contribute to the material and moral advancement of the city and county honored by his citizenship.
William C. Sargent was born December 4, 1859, in Boston, Massachusetts, a son of George B. and Mary (Perin) Sargent. William C. Sargent is the youngest of the ten children born to his parents, all being deceased excepting Mr. Sargent and a sister, Mrs. F. W. Paine, of 1007 London road, Duluth. After attending the public schools Mr. Sargent was a student in the Shattuck School at Faribault, Minnesota, and at St. John’s School at Manlius, near Syracuse, New York.
After completing his studies he went to work for the Northern Pacific Railroad in Duluth as clerk. After three years of service in that capacity he went into business for himself. In 1896 he was elected sheriff of St. Louis County, serving for six years and discharging the duties of the office in an efficient and satisfactory manner. Through the years of his residence here Mr. Sargeant has been deeply interested in large farming enterprises, and at one time opened up a large farm for John G. Williams in Carlton County, Minnesota. He has been connected with big dairy farms in the capacity of superintendent, and is probably one of the most ardent and enthusiastic believers in pure-bred cattle, especially for this particular section of the country, where climate and grasses are well adapted for the purpose.
In 1880 Mr. Sargent engaged in the real estate business, and has been a leader in his line almost continually since then, having been identified with the establishment of many of the most popular and successful additions to the city. He laid out Lakeside, London Addition and Lester Park, the latter comprising five divisions, and was associated with the Real Estate Exchange in the laying out of Waverly Park and other divisions. Besides this particular line of work Mr. Sargent has also been identified with a great many other business enterprises in Duluth and elsewhere.
In January, 1887, at Syracuse, New York, he was married to Rhobie L. Peck, a daughter of General John J. Peck, of New York state, who was a graduate of West Point and prominent as a brigadier-general in the Mexican and Civil wars, living to be about sixty-five years old.
Mrs. Sargent received a splendid education in Syracuse and studied music for several years abroad. To Mr. and Mrs. Sargent have been born two children. William H., born October 4, 1887, was educated in the public schools of Duluth and is now employed at the Duluth Creamery and Produce Company. Rhobie L., who is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, now holds the position of dietitian in St. Luke’s Hospital, Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Fraternally Mr. Sargent is a member of the Masonic Order, in which he has attained all the degrees, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Modern Samaritans and the United Order of Foresters, while he also holds membership in the Elks Club, the Commercial Club, the Kitchi Gammi Club and the Boat Club, having been especially active in the last named. He has been successful in business, respected in social life and as a citizen has discharged his duties in a manner becoming a liberal-minded, intelligent citizen of the state where the essential qualities of manhood have ever been duly recognized and prized at their true value.