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Sargent-Gragg Collection
ARC 638  
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Contains materials created or collected by three generations of family members: rancher and businessman Bradley Varnum Sargent; his daughter Harriet Sargent Gragg; and some materials of her daughter, Julia Gragg Breinig.
Bradley Varnum Sargent, born in Graton, New Hampshire in 1828, sailed to California in 1849. In the same year he moved to Mokelumne Hill in Caleveras County where he farmed and operated a hotel, later engaging in the butcher business with his three brothers, Jacob, Roswell, and James. Business partners, the brothers started buying and developing ranches in San Joaquin County. In 1856, they bought the Mexican land grant Rancho Juristac (4,540 acres) in southern Santa Clara County and, in 1857-1858, ranchos Potrero de San Carlos and San Francisquito in Carmel Valley, Monterey County (23,000 acres), six miles south of Monterey. Bradley Sargent occupied and managed the combined Rancho Potrero de San Carlos y San Francisquito, while his brothers supervised other properties. He also maintained a house in Monterey. In 1856, Bradley V. Sargent married Julia A. Flynn of Mokelumne Hill. The couple had four children: Martha Harriet "Hattie" (1857-1948), James Pattee "Dick" (1861-1907), Bradley Varnum, Jr. (1863-1940), and Roswell "Ross" Chapman (1866-). In 1858, the Sargent family moved to Monterey. Bradley Sr. served as state senator and state assemblyman. In later years Sargent turned over ranch operations to his sons and son-in-law M. M. Gragg. He died on February 28, 1893 in his Monterey home from pneumonia after driving cattle across the Carmel River to his ranch. Martha Harriet “Hattie” Sargent (1857-1948) was born in the mining town of Mokelumne Hill. She grew up at the Carmel Valley ranch and the Sargent’s Monterey home. On February 18, 1886, she married Mortimer M. Gragg at Monterey. The Graggs moved into the Stokes Adobe (built about 1835). She was a founder of the Monterey Civic Club, an active member of the Monterey History and Art Association in its efforts to preserve the historic Mexican-period adobes and celebrate Spanish and Californio customs, including la Merienda. She was known for her parties at the Stokes-Gragg adobe, and told stories of old Monterey. |bMortimer Gragg arrived in California in 1880. He was a prominent Southern Pacific Railroad official and oversaw the Southern Pacific Milling Company in California. The Graggs had two children: Julia Ann and Mortimer Ross Gragg. Julia Alice Gragg (1887-1970), a schoolteacher, married Frank Costello from Boston, Mass. They had one son, James “Jimmy” Costello (1914-1982), who became a well-known Monterey Peninsula Herald journalist. She then married J. Herbert Breinig, and they had a son, Peter Breinig (1923-2004), who became a famous photographer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Some photographs by Peter Breinig form a part of the original collection.
2 document cases: 13 x 39 cm. and 7 x 39 cm.; 2 flat boxes: 7 x 29 x cm. and 9 x 43 x 54 cm.
Reproduction by Local History Librarian or other designated staff; may be restricted due to condition of the materials.
By appointment only; contact Local History Librarian or designated staff.