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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



There are many young men who upon the threshold of life's activities pause with irresolute steps, uncertain as to future labors, undecided as to business or professional preferences, and unwitting as to their own capabilities. Such, however, was not the experience of Mr. Crocker, who notwithstanding the handicap of limited educational opportunities and lack of means to continue his studies made an early resolution to fit himself for the profession of the law. From the time the determination was made he devoted every energy to the acquisition of a law education. No effort was neglected that would promote the task of preparation. As a consequence of his singleness of purpose he achieved the anticipated results, entered upon his chosen life work and now has a high standing at the bar of Northern California, achieving a purposeful career through his own force of will and his trained mental faculties.

While not among the earliest settlers of California the Crocker family has been identified with the west for thirty-five years or more. William C. Crocker, a native of Redruth, county of Cornwall, England, and a miner by occupation, had been employed in various eastern mines prior to his removal to the coast and while following his chosen occupation at Galena, Ill., his son, Charles H., was boru in that city September 15, 1870. In 1876 William C. Crocker came to the Pacific coast with a view to permanent settlement. For a time prior to the above date he sojourned at Virginia City, Nev., and was connected with the introduction of the Burleigh drilling machine on the Comstock lode. While he was working in the quick-silver mines in Santa Clara county, Cal., he sent for his family (consisting of wife, daughter and son), and on the 1st of October, 1877, they arrived in Sacramento, from which place they immediately proceeded to Santa Clara county. During 1880 the family established a home on Sheep Ranch in Calaveras county, Cal., where they remained for four years, thence going to Jackson, Amador county, where the father engaged in mining pursuits until his death, February 11, 1904. His wife, in maidenhood Grace Roberts, also a native of Cornwall, and a school teacher by profession, died in Sacramento September 10, 1912. Their family comprised seven children, of whom Charles H. is the eldest. In 1877, at the age of seven years, he came to California with his mother and received his education in the schools of this state.

When only seventeen years of age Charles H. Crocker became interested in the study of law and thereafter, although the necessity of earning a livelihood interrupted his studies, he did not lose sight of his ambitious purposes. For a time he taught school in Amador county. In 1892 he was appointed deputy county clerk of Amador county, which position he filled for sixteen months. Meanwhile he carried on his studies during leisure hours. Originally a student with Eagan & Rust, the leading law firm of Amador county, he later studied under E. C. Farnsworth (then the district attorney of Amador county, now practicing in Visalia), and also had the advantage of study under J. J. Paulsell, of Stockton. In 1893 he was admitted to practice in the supreme court and in 1901 he was also admitted to the United States district court. Taking up a permanent residence in Sacramento during 1909, he has since won a high standing among the attorneys in the capital city. Prior to his removal to this place he had his office in Amador county, but his wide range of practice included several counties and meanwhile he also maintained an active part in politics as a leading local worker in the Republican party. May 2, 1903, he was united in marriage with Miss Ellen Curnow, of San Jose. 

History of Sacramento County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011