El Dorado County
(WILLIAM FRANKLIN “FRANK” & WARREN)
The history of a community is no longer a story of wars and conquests but is an account of its business activities, whereon depends its growth and prosperity. The Crocker Brothers, now at the head of one of the leading mercantile concerns in Placerville, are prominent in commercial circles and are recognized as enterprising citizens, widely and favorably known in their community. They are both native sons of California, the elder, Frank Crocker, having been born September 29, 1858, and the younger, Warren Crocker, on the 29th of March, 1863, in El Dorado County.
Their father, Benjamin S. Crocker, one of the early and respected pioneers of the county, was born in Virginia, April 20, 1827, and in 1832 accompanied the family on their westward journey to Hannibal, Missouri. Three years later they removed to Grant County, Wisconsin, and when fourteen years of age Benjamin S. Crocker started out in life on his own account, working in the lead mines. Later he took flatboats down the Mississippi River to New Orleans, and in 1851, attracted by the discovery of gold in California, he made his way to this state coming by the Nicaragua route. The ship on which he sailed on the Pacific being an old slow-going tug, the supply of water and provisions became exhausted ere he reached his destination. This occasioned much suffering, and a number of the passengers died. They were obliged to fight for water and the captain landed them at San Diego instead of taking them on to San Francisco. Mr. Crocker remained there for a time, working in a hotel, after which he made his way to San Francisco and subsequently to Sacramento. There he earned a few dollars by removing property that was endangered by a flood which threatened to carry them away.
In March, 1852, he arrived in Placerville, without friends and without money; but he soon discovered an old acquaintance whom he had known in the lead mines of Wisconsin and was rendered him kindly assistance. He engaged in placer mining, meeting with desirable success in his work, and after about a year opened a large mercantile store in Upper Placerville. The enterprise has since been conducted, being now the property of his two sons. As a businessman the father was thrifty and straightforward and had the trade and confidence of a large circle of friends. He was one of the successful pioneer merchants of the town and his business contributed in no small measure to its commercial activity. On the 29th of June, 1858, he married Miss Mary Myers, and they had six children, namely: Emma Artilla, William Franklin, Dora, Warren, Arthur Benjamin and Irving Samuel, all of whom are living with the exception of Dora, who died March 11, 1863. The mother was called to her final rest in March, 1870, and on the 5th of May, 1872, Mr. Crocker married Miss Caroline E. Cruson, who with four children survived him, namely: Robert, Raymond Clinton, Sarah Catherine and Bernice. The father of these children departed this life on the 6th of September, 1895, and in his death the community lost one of its valued citizens.
Frank Crocker, as he is familiarly called, was educated in Placerville and when eighteen years of age began hauling goods for the store of which he is now the proprietor. He was thus employed for twenty years, and upon the death of his father he became a partner in the store in connection with his brother Warren. On the 17th of April, 1900, he was elected one of the aldermen of the town and is now acceptably serving in that capacity. Warren Crocker was also educated in Placerville and during much of his life he has been connected with the store as his father’s assistant and now as a partner. Under his father’s direction he acquired a thorough knowledge of the business and was well qualified to assume the management when he became one of the partners. In addition to their mercantile interests they are largely interested in valuable mining properties and are wide-awake, progressive businessmen who carry forward to successful completion whatever they undertake, deterred by no obstacles that can be overcome by honorable effort.
Our subject was married in 1881 to Miss Alberta Coats, a native of Placerville and a daughter of George Coats. They have two children: Emma and Marion. The brothers, Frank and Warren Crocker, are both Republicans.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.