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Sargent family papers

Call Number: MS 1216

Scope and Contents

The papers of the Sargent family deal primarily with Henry Bradford Sargent and his activities in the Yale community, from his participation in the Sheffield Scientific School class of 1871 through his tenure as a member of the Yale Corporation from 1902 – 1920, and including numerous other offices held during and after his study at Yale. There are many papers concerning Yale buildings, and many concerning Yale athletics, especially crew. Having been an oarsman for Yale, Sargent retained an interest in rowing, and the collection includes papers on the building of the Yale boat house and on the four-oared crew which went to Philadelphia in 1876.

The bulk of the papers is made up of correspondence, office files, financial papers, printed matter and memorabilia from a multitude of Yale offices and organizations. Sargent corresponded with many Yale officials; among those represented here are George A. Adee, Walter Camp, Russell H. Chittenden, George Parmly Day, Henry W. Farnam, Arthur T. Hadley and Anson Phelps Stokes.

There is, in addition, one box of papers related to other aspects of Henry B. Sargent's life. Much of this material consists of business papers—note of Sargent's hardware manufacturing company, concerning his personal investments, primarily in real estate. Other materials include records and correspondence from social and political organizations, papers concerning a golf club designed by Sargent and an oven designed by Edward Atkinson, memorabilia and miscellaneous correspondence. An addition to the collection (box 6) includes materials relating to other Sargent family members.


  • 1871-1974
  • Majority of material found within 1871 - 1927


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown, though much of the material in this collection is likely in the public domain. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mrs. Henry B. Sargent and of Ziegler Sargent, 1935-1938; and transferred from the Connecticut Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection (MS 149). Gift of Henry B. Sargent (Yale 1940), 1979 (Accession 2009-M-062); materials from this accession in box 6.


Arranged by family member name in order of their year of graduation from Yale.


2.75 Linear Feet (6 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Formerly titled the Henry Bradford Sargent Papers. Correspondence, office files, financial papers, printed matter and memorabilia documenting Sargent's close association with Yale University, as member of the Yale Corporation (1902-1920) and as secretary of the class of 1871 of the Sheffield Scientifc School. Having been an oarsman for Yale, he retained an interest in rowing and papers on the building of the Yale boat house and the four-oared crew which went to Philadelphia in 1876 are included in the collection. Yale officials with whom he corresponded include George A. Adee, Walter Camp, Russell Chittenden, George Parmly Day, Henry W. Farnam, Arthur T. Hadley and Anson Phelps Stokes. Also included are business papers of Sargent & Company, a hardware manufacturing concern which he headed, and records and correspondence from various social and political organizations. An addition to the collection (box 6) includes materials relating to other Sargent family members.

Biographical / Historical

Henry B. Sargent: manufacturer; Ph.B., Yale, 1871; immediately after graduation became connected with Sargent & Company as general inspector of products and in a short time was made assistant superintendent; became vice-president in 1887 and was president from 1917-1927.

Born March 4, 1851 in New York City.

Died February 3, 1927 in New Haven, Conn.

Father, Joseph Bradford Sargent; founder and head of Sargent & Company, hardware manufacturers, of New Haven; mayor of New Haven 1891-1895; son of Joseph Denny and Mindwell (Jones) Sargent; descendant of William Sargent, who came from Northampton, England, to Malden, Mass., in 1638. Mother, Elizabeth Collier (Lewis) Sargent; daughter of Curtis and Jane (Collier) Lewis; descendant of Benjamin Lewis, who went from New Haven to Wallingford, Conn., in 1669 and thence to Stratford, Conn., during 1676-77. Yale relatives include: Henry Sargent (B.A. 1841) (uncle); Russell S. Fenn, ex- '10, Richard C. Sargent, '11, Sydney F. Sargent, ex- '11 S., Lawton G. Sargent, '12 S., Howard L. Sargent, ex-'18 S., Robert Lewis Fisher, C. Forbes Sargent, and J. Weir Sargent, all '20, and Thomas D. and Wiliam F. Sargent, both '25 (nephews); and Wilfrid S. Lewis, '19, and Leicester S. Lewis, '27 S. (cousins).

Hillhouse High School. Chemical course; second lieutenant Undine Boat Club Junior year and first lieutenant Senior year; pulled bow oar on its six-oared crew; in 1871 personally built the sliding seats used in winning the spring races, the first ever used in a Yale rowing shell; captain Scientific Baseball Club; member Class Dinner Committee and Book and Snake; honorary member Aurelian Honor Society; in 1870 member of Professor Othniel C. Marsh's paleontological expedition west of the Mississippi.

Immediately after graduation became connected with Sargent & Company as general inspector of product and in a short time was made assistant superintendent; became vice-president of the company in 1887 and had been president since 1917; trustee and a corporator of National Savings Bank 1906-1907; director of City Bank from 1904 until its consolidation with New Haven and County banks in 1915 and since then a director of New Haven Bank; vice-president New Haven County Employers Association; director of Organized Charities of New Haven 1888-1900; original member of board incorporators of New Haven Community Chest in 1921, a director 1921-1925, and member of executive committee of the campaign organization 1921-1926; director New Haven Dispensary and New Haven Chamber of Commerce; councilman 1883-85; member of board of Ethel Walker School in Simsbury, Conn., for ten years and chairman of board for the past few years; member of Yale Corporation 1902-1920; graduate member Yale University Athletic Committee 1878-1912, serving as its secretary for many years; treasurer and a director of Yale Field Corporation 1880-1899; secretary of Class of 1871 S. since graduation; honorary M.A. Yale 1907; member American Society of Mechanical Engineers since 1898 and vice-president of the society 1918-1920; served on many committees, took an active part in the founding and operation of the New Haven section, and was interested in the New Haven Machine Tool Exhibition; member Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, Franklin Institute of Philadelphia, and Century Association of New York.

Married December 4, 1879, in New Haven, Harriet Amelia, daughter of Charles Henry and Rhoda (Miles) Oaks, and sister of Henry A. Oaks, '75. Children: Elizabeth Collier; Ziegler, '03; Rhoda Miles (Mrs. Tilney); Murray, '05; and Bradford (died in childhood).

Death, due to septicaemia, occurred after an illness of only a few days. Buried in Evergreen Cemetery, New Haven. Survived by wife, two daughters, two sons, six grandchildren, one of whom is Bradford S. Tilney, '30, stepmother, four sisters, Ellen S. Fenn, the wife of Bruce Fenn, '77 S., May S. Rice, the wife of William A. Rice, '86 S., Margaret S. Fisher, the wife of Samuel H. Fisher, '89, and Miss Laura Sargent, of New Haven, and four brothers, Edward R. Sargent, '80 S., G. Lewis and Joseph D. Sargent, both '81 S., and John Sargent, '94 S. Another brother, Russell Sargent, '84 S., died in 1904.

Source: Yale Obituary Record, No. 86, pp. 217-218.

George Lewis Sargent was born on July 26, 1862, in New Britain, Connecticut, graduated from Yale, Class of 1881S, and died on February 5, 1944, in New Haven. Worked in the family hardware business.

Ziegler Sargent was born on December 10, 1881, in New Haven, Connecticut. He attended Hopkins Grammar School and graduated from Yale (Class of 1903), serving as class secretary fom 1903-1909. Upon graduation, he joined Sargent and Company attaining the position of treasurer in 1917. He was inducted into military service in 1918, serving in the Field Artillery Service at Camp Zachary Taylor for six weeks. Upon his discharge, he returned to Sargent and Company. Sargent died in 1955.

Murray Sargent was born on August 30, 1884, in New Haven, Connecticut. He was educated at Hillhouse High School and Hopkins Grammar School. Upon graduation from Yale (Class of 1905), he joined the family hardware business, Sargent and Company, becoming chairman of the board in 1944. Sargent and other retired executives formed a consulting firm, Management Counselors, which closed in 1955.

Henry Bradford Sargent, II, was born on February 10, 1917, in New Haven, Connecticut, grandson of Henry Bradford Sargent, (Yale Class of 1871S). He was educated at New Haven High School and the Taft School, and studied at Yale for two years in the Class of 1940. He was employed with the United Press and the publishing firm of Sargent-Collett.

Sources for information on family members other than Henry B. Sargent: various Yale yearbooks and reunion pamphlets.

Guide to the Sargent Family Papers
Under Revision
compiled by John Espy and staff of Manuscripts and Archives
June 1983
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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