Moses Sargent, who has been identified with the hosiery industry in Belmont since its establishment, was born October 24, 1832, in Amesbury, Mass., son of Moses and Judith (Hoyt) Sargent. His grandfather, Moses Sargent (first), who was a ship carpenter by trade, in early manhood met with an accident of such a serious nature as to entirely incapacitate him from labor. The maiden name of the wife of Moses (first) was Nancy Merrill.
Moses Sargent (second), father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Amesbury, December 16, 1803. On account of his father's inability to work, he was obliged to assist in supporting his parents at the age of nine years by working in a broadcloth factory in his native town, the first establishment of the kind erected in the United States. In December, 1835, he moved to Lake Village, N.H., then called Batchelders' Mills, and, taking a lease of the Lake Company Mill, engaged in the production of woollen yarn, of which he was the pioneer manufacturer in this State, continuing in that business for twenty-nine years. In the last two years of that period he manufactured woollen hose, and filled for the United States government two large orders amounting to one hundred and fifty thousand pairs. From 1865, to 1871, he was engaged in the manufacture of cotton hosiery in the Upper Gilmanton, employing two hundred operatives. It was through his efforts that the name of the town was changed to Belmont. He finally sold his business to A. Lawrence & Co., of Boston, who later formed a stock company and presented him with fifty shares as a token of their friendship. Moses Sargent (second) passed his last years in Lakeport, where he died September 1, 1886. Originally a Whig, he later became a Republican. He was not only instrumental in developing the industrial resources of Belmont, but took an active part in its affairs, and ably represented it in the legislature during the session of 1873. He was one of the incorporators of the Lake Village Savings Bank, and served as Vice President and as a Director for many years. For Forty years he was a member of the Baptist church, was connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows for the same period, and at one time held a Lieutenant's commission in the State militia. He was three times married. His first wife, in maidenhood Judith Hoyt, whom he wedded October 27, 1824, was a daughter of Stephen and Esther (Reynolds) Hoyt, and she died July 26, 1849. In February, 1850, he married Mrs. Mary (Seavey) Huntington, who died December 2, 18554. His third marriage was contracted with Sarah Thyng, daughter of Gideon and Sally Thyng. She died February 26, 1897, aged eighty-two years. His first wife, Judith (Hoyt) Sargent, bore him six children , as follows: Mary, who married H.O. Heywood, and resides in Lake Village; Stephen H., who lives in Salem, Mass.; Moses, the subject of this sketch; John and David, who are no longer living; and Frank S., who is now an overseer in his brother's factory.
The present Moses Sargent was educated in the schools of Lakeport and at the Wolfboro Academy. When his studies were finished, he became connected with his father's business, and later with the Gilmanton Hosiery Company at Belmont, and later was connected with his father's mill in the manufacturing of hosiery yarns at Lake Village, and his ability has the means of securing for the enterprise the importance and success it now enjoys. When he took charge of the factory it employed twelve hands, and it now requires a force of two hundred and seventy-five. The plant, which covers two acres of ground, consists of a knitting-mill, one hundred and thirty-four by fifty-two feet, and a large factory devoted to the manufacture of yarn. There is also a large dye-house, and buildings for storage and other purposes. Mr. Sargent married Dora A. Shepard, a native of Gilmanton, and a daughter to Morrill Shepard, a well-known insurance man, and has one son, John. He is a member of Mount Lebanon Lodge, No. 32, F. & A. M., and Union Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, No. 7 of Laconia.