In a country in which agriculture is entirely dependent upon irri­gation for production there is no more responsible position than that of secretary and right-of-way man, which H. P. Sargent has held with entire satisfaction for the Merced Irrigation District. Though he owns a twenty-acre ranch in the Fruitland voting precinct, he gives his entire time and attention to his official duties and his office is in Merced.

The son of Franklin H. and Elizabeth (Ham) Sargent, he was born in Norway, Maine, October 5, 1879. His father, who was a builder and contractor, moved to Salem, Mass. in 1881, and worked principally as a brick and stone mason; he built some of the leading business blocks in Salem, and remodeled the old Ropes (historic) museum in Salem. He is the man who moved the Ghirardelli Chocolate exhibit building at the Chicago Exhibition to Brookline, Mass., and rebuilt and remodeled it into a mansion for its millionare owner. He died at Fair Oaks, Cal., in 1918, when sixty-six years old. His wife died in Salem in 1893.


H. P. Sargent attended the grammar schools and after he had graduated from the Salem High School, in 1897, he took care of his father's office, keeping his books and accounts in his building opera­tions. He was so engaged until he came to California in January, 1898, accompanying his father to Fair Oaks, where the latter bought an olive and orange ranch. He helped his father on the ranch and became the assistant manager of the olive and orange department of the Fair Oaks Fruit Company, continuing thus engaged until 1906.

H. P. Sargent and Idaline Adele Buckley, a native of Truckee, Placer County, were united in marriage on June 14, 1906. She was the daughter of John Mason and Emma (Orr) Buckley. Her father was born in Boston and was a mechanical engineer who came to Cali­fornia and was employed by the Central Pacific Railroad Co., in its machine shops at Truckee, as a master mechanic. Her grandfather, James Orr, was born in Scotland and was a California Forty-niner. He mined at Coloma and Virginia City and he worked on the Com­stock Lode in Virginia City, Nevada. Idaline Adele was graduated from the high school at Colfax, and from the State Normal School in Stockton with the class of 1895. She took a post graduate course in pedagogy under Miss Bernard at the University of California. She specialized as a primary teacher for three years before her mar­riage and is now in charge of the primary department of the Atwater Grammar School. They have one son, Franklin Buckley, now a stu­dent in the Merced Union High School.


In 1907, Mr. Sargent went to Sacramento and entered the county clerk's office and served as clerk and deputy under William B. Ham­ilton until his death, and under his successor, Ed. F. Pfund, until his decease, and he then became assistant county clerk under Harry W. Hall, the present county clerk of Sacramento County. During that time for eight years he was clerk of the Superior Court under Judge Peter J. Shields, the present incumbent. He also served four years as chief deputy county clerk and registrar of voters. In politics he is a stanch Republican. He took an active part in carrying the bond election for the Merced Irrigation District and was appointed right-of-way man and later secretary for the district.


History of Merced County California With a Biographical Review OF The Leading Men and Woman of the County Who Have Been Identified with Its Growth and Development from Early Days to the Present

Author: John Outcalt (1925)

H.P Sargent, page 762

Contributed by: Carol Lackey