Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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CROCKER, Charles, railroad builder, born in Troy, New York, 16 September 1822. He had a limited education, and was early turned adrift by his father. In 1849 he went to California, and, after engaging in placer mining, opened a general store in Sacramento. He was elected to the common council in 1855, and to the legislature in 1860. With Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins, and Collis P. Huntington, he furnished means for the survey of a railroad route across the Sierra Nevada; and on the passage of the Union Pacific railroad bill by congress he was associated with them in constructing the Central Pacific division, the four supplying the capital beyond the government subsidy. He personally built a large portion of the most difficult sections, under contract. In 1871 he was elected president of the Southern Pacific railroad company, of California, and second vice-president of the Central Pacific, superintending, in the former capacity, the construction of the divisions in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. In 1884he effected a consolidation of the properties of the two companies, having a joint control of 8,903 miles of railroad and steamship lines, and soon afterward removed to New York City.
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