Judge Edwin Bryant Crocker

Born April 26, 1818 in Jamestown, New York, E.B earned a degree at age 15 in civil engineering. By age 18, E. B. had settled in South Bend, Indiana, and became a successful lawyer.

At the same time, E. B. became involved with the abolitionist movement and became acquainted with Henry Ward Beecher, the nationally known abolishionist and suffragist.

E. B.'s first wife, Mary, died after the 1848 birth of their first child. E. B. and Mary had belonged to a local choral group which included the 26 year old Margaret Eleanor Rhodes.

In 1851, following Mary's death, Margaret's acceptance of his marriage proposal, and the controversy stirred by his representation of runaway slaves, E. B. left Indiana for California. Beecher married the couple July 8, 1852, a few days before they sailed via San Francisco, for Sacramento where younger brother Charles had a dry goods store.

E.B. soon became engaged in the newly founded State Agricultural Society and resumed legal practice. In 1854, he chaired the newly formed Republican Party, committed to national unity, opposing slavery, and encouraging a transcontinental railroad. With Lincoln’s 1860 presidential the transcontinental railroad project was authorized, and the Pacific segment was awarded to the Central Pacific Railroad, directed by brother Charlie and his business associates Mark Hopkins, Collis Huntington and Leland Stanford. E. B. was the natural choice for legal expertise. When construction of the railroad began in 1863, Charlie vacated his director's seat in favor of E. B.

Shortly after Stanford was elected Governor, E. B. was appointed State Supreme Court Justices in 1863. After his term, Judge Crocker was appointed legal counsel to the Central Pacific.

In 1868 E. B. purchased the B. F. Hastings home on the corner of 3rd and O and commissioned its redesign. June of 1869, he suffered a stroke, leaving him partially paralyzed. In August the family went to Europe where, they acquired more than six hundred paintings and more than twelve hundred old master drawings. E. B. died on June 24, 1875.


Judge Crocker is available for guest appearances by arrangement, and will gladly discuss abolitionism, the trials of raising many daughters, the making of the transcontinental railroad, art, music, and culture.