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
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
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
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
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.