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Central Pacific Railroad Land Deed signed by Charles Frederick Crocker, 1890.
Printed Central Pacific Railroad Land Deed for the sale of property.
Courtesy Bruce C. Cooper Collection.
Charles Frederick Crocker
New York Times Obituary of Charles F. Crocker, July 18, 1897
CHARLES F. CROCKER DEAD.
Vice President of the Soutern Pacific Railway Expires in San Mateo, CA.
SAN MATEO, Cal., July 17.-Col. Charles F. Crocker, Vice President of the Southern Pacific Railway Company, died at his home here to-night. Charles Frederick Crocker, First Vice President of the Southern Pacific Railroad system, was born in Sacramento, CA, on Dec. 26, 1854. He was the son of Charles Crocker, one of the California "forty-niners" and the partner of Huntington, Stanford, and Hopkins in the construction of the Southern and the Central Pacific systems. Young Charles inherited much of his father's business sagacity. He attended the public schools of Sacramento until 1870 when he entered the University Mound College and California Military Academy, where he remained nearly three years. He spent the Summer of 1873 in making a tour of Great Britain, Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands, and, returning in the Fall of the same year, he entered the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn.
Failing health and the threatened loss of eyesight forced the young student to give up his studies a few months before the period of graduation, and he returned to his native State. This interference with his scholastic course was a grievous disappointment, as he was ambitious to secure a complete and liberal education. In the hope of improving his health he made a second trip to Europe. A schoolmate of about the same age, but in very moderate circumstances, had planned an observation tour of Continental Europe, and young Crocker desired to accompany him. The elder Crocker ascertained the exact amount of money that the poorer schoolmate proposed to expend and he furnished his son with the same amount, telling him that under no circumstances would the allowance be increased.
Charles F. Crocker found that the condition of his eyes would not permit him to follow out the course of studies that he had planned, therefore he accepted his father's proposition and entered the railway service. He began in January, 1877, as a clerk in the office of a Division Superintendent of the Southern Pacific. He was required to perform the same service and received the same pay as like positions elsewhere. His first promotion was to the position of cleric in the general freight office in San Francisco. In the Fall of 1878 he was appointed financial agent of the company, to succeed Gen. David E. Colton, whose death created a vacancy. Soon afterward young Crocker was made Third Vice President of the Southern Pacific system, an office which he held for ten years.
On Sept. 7, 1880 he was married to Miss Easton, daughter of A. M. Easton of California. His wife's mother was a sister of Bank of California President D. O. Mills. The union proved a very happy one. Three children were born to them, but soon after the birth of the youngest the young wife and mother died. Her loss was deeply mourned. In 1888 Charles F. Crocker was made Second Vice President of the Southern Pacific, and in August of the same year his father died, leaving him the principal care and responsibility of an estate of about $25,000,000. By the terms of his father's will he became co-trustee of the estate with his brother, William H. Crocker, and by priority of age and experience its principal administrator.
Upon the retirement of Leland Stanford from the Presidency and the election of Collis P. Huntington to that office, Mr. Crocker became by the unanimous vote of the ownership the First Vice President, and he continued to discharge the important duties of that position until stricken down by apoplexy. In addition he served as President of the Southern Pacific RR of California, Southern Pacific RR of Arizona, Southern Pacific RR of New Mexico, the South Pacific Coast Railway, the Northern Railway, the Northern California Railway, and First VP of the Central Pacific Railroad.
Courtesy Bruce C. Cooper Collection.