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Central Pacific Railroad Land Deed signed by Charles Frederick Crocker, 1890.

Central Pacific Railroad Land Deed 1890.

Central Pacific Railroad Land Deed 1890.

Central Pacific Railroad Land Deed 1890.

Central Pacific Railroad Land Deed 1890.


Printed Central Pacific Railroad Land Deed for the sale of property.

Courtesy Bruce C. Cooper Collection.

Charles F. Reed to whom this Deed was written was a prominent farm owner and cattleman in Yolo and Placer Counties, California. He also served as President of the California State Agricultural Society and was a member of the Board of Regents of the University of California.

Charles F. Crocker
Charles Frederick Crocker


New York Times Obituary of Charles F. Crocker, July 18, 1897


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.

Charles F. Reed (1826-1898), to whom this Deed was written, was a prominent farm owner and cattleman in Yolo and Placer Counties, California, and also served as President of the California State Agricultural Society as well as was a member of the Board of Regents of the University of California. His obituary from the January 29, 1898 issue of The Placer Herald in Auburn, CA follows:


A Life Full of Noble Service and Good Deeds

On the morning of the Jubilee, Hon. Charles F. Reed, who mined in the streets of Auburn in May, 1849, passed away at the age of 73. Mr. Reed was one of pioneers who built this state and his name is entwined with its history. After his first venture at mining in 1848 and the early fifties, he located at Knight’s Landing, Yolo County, and gave his attention to wheat growing. For years he was known as the wheat king of California. He lost fortunes as easily as he made them, and he quit the wheat business after losing a cool million in the wheat deal of 1884-86. A few years later, he came to Auburn and has since resided here at his handsome country villa on Aeolia Heights.

For the last ten years, Mr. Reed devoted his attention to mining and was on the eve of making another fortune when death called him home. His Gold Blossom and Drummond quartz properties are the richest in old Placer. He was a Republican and was prominent in the councils of his party. Besides holding membership at different times on state commissions, he served Yolo County in the Upper House of the State Legislature, was a member of the constitutional convention, was defeated by Luttrell for Congress in 1875, and was many times mentioned for governor. It was only by a narrow margin that he was defeated for the gubernatorial nomination by John F. Swift. He was a member of the national convention that nominated Blaine.
By his friends, it is claimed he was too good a man to be successful in politics. A graduate of West Point, standing over six feet, he was a man of distinguished bearing and his appearance was noticeable in any gathering. His last illness incapacitated him for several months past. Dissolution was peaceful – a gradual wasting away. In the year 1853 Mr. Reed was married to Miss Carmelita Knight, and the union was blessed with seven children of whom three are now living – Mrs. J. Hodges Toler, Mrs. Arthur Johns, and William Knight Reed, all well known in Auburn and Placer County generally.

Mr. Reed was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, on January 7, 1826, of Puritan parentage. His father, Ransom Reed, was a prosperous merchant and he gave his children every educational advantage that the country afforded. One of the daughters was Mrs. Paran Stevens, now deceased, a great society leader well known in Europe and America. Another, Miss Fannie Reed, has for many years been prominent in the American colony of Paris and is a great patron of music and gifted with a fine voice. A third daughter married a prominent attorney, Judge Richardson of Massachusetts. A son, W. H. Reed, came to California among the pioneers and for a long time held a responsible position in the Bank of California.
The death of Mr. Reed removes one of California’s noblest men. He was a man of the past who has left his imprint upon the future for honesty, integrity, and worth. During his entire life, he commanded the esteem and respect of all who knew him, and he laid down the burden of his 73 years’ pilgrimage without a stain or blemish on his character. He was a man of whom not an ill word could be spoken. Whether in adversity or prosperity, he was the same kindly and considerate man. Possessed of an affable and genial disposition, he was loved by the plain people and universally respected.

Mr. Reed was always ready to contribute his support toward every deserving enterprise, and his loss to Placer County, particularly this section, is an irreparable one. He was practically the father of the State Agricultural Society, and the success of that institution is due largely to his early support of it. He was also a member of the Board of Regents of the University of California. The funeral took place from his late residence Wednesday afternoon, Rev. J. T. Shurtleff, Rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, officiating. The remains were followed to their last resting place by a large concourse of people, thus attesting the esteem in which Mr. Reed was held by all who knew him. The pall bearers were Dr. T. M. Todd, W. A. Freeman, W. F. Wildman, J. L. Grimes of Auburn; Geo. W. Applegate and Geo. Johnson of San Francisco.

Courtesy Bruce C. Cooper Collection.

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