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SARGENT, Stella 1855-1933


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 9/14/2015 at 09:54:24

Active Life Comes To An End For Mrs. Sargent

Death Comes Three Months After the Passing of Her Husband; Resided in Grundy 53 Years

The end came Sunday for Mrs. W. C. Sargent, three months and three days after her husband passed away. Her health had been failing gradually during the past three years. A stroke of paralysis two weeks before her death and another ten days later hastened the end.

Funeral services were held at the home at two o'clock Wednesday afternoon. Rev. R. B. Fisher, pastor of the Presbyterian church, had the services in charge.

Was Native of Ohio
Mrs. Sargent's maiden name was Stella Grace Knowles, only child of Alvin L. and Mary Cox Knowles. She was born in Felicity, Ohio, on October 25th, 1855.

Her early life was spent in Felicity and in Cincinnati. She taught for six years in the primary and intermediate departments of the public schools in her native town.

On May 5, 1880, she was united in marriage to William C. Sargent, whom she had known from childhood, and who had three years earlier established himself in the mercantile business in Grundy Center. She arrived in Grundy Center to make her home, May 20th, 1880. Here she and her husband celebrated their Golden Wedding, three years ago, a memorable occasion for both of them. To Mr. and Mrs. Sargent was born one daughter, Bertha, who survives, Mr. Sargent having died April 13th, this year.

Mrs. Sargent united with the Christian church in Felicity, Ohio, May 17th, 1873, under the ministry of Elder J. H. Lockwood. She kept her membership in this her home church throughout her life. She was loyal to her church and to its missionary interests. For years she supported her own missionary worker in India.

After coming to Grundy Center Mrs. Sargent attended regularly the services of the First Presbyterian church here. She worked faithfully with the Ladies' Aid society of this church and taught classes in the Sunday School for many years.

Secondary only to her Church, Mrs. Sargent's deepest interest was in the work of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, in which she was a conspicuous and powerful leader. She was proud of the fact that in her young womanhood she had been a "Crusader" and had actively aided in the militant battle against the open saloons in her home town.

Mrs. Sargent was closely and prominently identified with the community life of Grundy Center. Her personality was vigorous, attractive, and kindly, her nature and disposition was cheerful and high spirited, she made friends easily, her capabilities as an executive and a public speaker were pronounced. Quite naturally, therefore, leadership came to her in public gatherings and in many enterprises for the public good.

Sponsored Grundy Public Library
Notable among such enterprises was the Public Library. Realizing the great need and benefit of public facilities for reading, she took the lead, more than thirty years ago, in establishing and conducting a reading room under the auspices of the W.C.T.U. in one of the basement rooms of the Court House building. For sixteen years she kept this reading room alive for the benefit of the community. Later, enlisting the approval of the Mayor, she wrote a personal letter to Andrew Carnegie presenting the needs of the town for a library. At length her long efforts and those of others under her leadership bore fruit in the establishment of our Public Library. She was appointed on the first Board of Trustees and had served on this board continuously since that time. In 1914 she became President of the Library Board and served in that capacity until this present year when she retired at her own request. The Trustees thereupon elected her honorary President for life.

Mrs. Sargent had been a member of Chapter AR of the P.E.O. Sisterhood since 1894, serving five years as President of the chapter, and having filled most of its other offices. She also gave a generous share of her time to the King's Daughters Circle. She was active in Red Cross work, serving as Vice-Chairman of the County Red Cross during the World War.

Was a Chautauua Graduate
In addition to the duties of her busy home life and to her many social and public undertakings, Mrs. Sargent found time for much private reading and study which she greatly loved. As a member of the Chautauua Circle, she completed the course of study prescribed by that institution. In 1915 she went to Chautauqua, N. Y., and received her diploma of graduation from the hand of Bishop John H. Vincent, the president and founder of the institution. Since that time she had received seventy-five seals to add to her diploma representing many additional hours of reading and study, work which was abandoned only recently owing to her illness.

Mrs. Sargent's life was a power for good in the community. She stood for Righteousness, for Temperance, and for Enlightenment. To those of us who remember her as she was in the prime of her life, in the days of her strength and vigor, she is a bright and shining memory. Her good works, into which she built so much of her character and her spirit, do, in truth, live after her.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 20 July 1933, pg 1


Grundy Obituaries maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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