Uriel Crocker, publisher and member of the board of directors of South Pacific Railroad, was the namesake of Crocker, Missouri in Pulaski County. Beginning as early as the 1920’s Mr. Crocker has often accidentally been misidentified as Eurilis J. Crocker.*
1. Crocker’s grandfather, Josiah Crocker, was a great admirer of Milton’s “Paradise Lost.” Crocker is named after a character in the poem.
2. In the early 1820’s Crocker convinced his publishing partner, Samuel T. Armstrong, to stereotype the six volumes of “Scott’s Family Bible.” It was the first time that such a large work was stereotyped in the United States of America. Crocker & Brewster also introduced into Boston the first iron-lever printing press. They also printed from the first power press.
3. As a boy Crocker witnessed Floyd Ireson being dragged along the street in a dory by a mob of men and boys who later tarred and feathered Ireson. The episode was later memorialized in John Greenleaf Whittier’s poem “Skipper Ireson’s Ride.”
4. Crocker was one of the original Corporators of the Franklin Savings Bank of the City of Boston.
5. Crocker served as Director of Atlantic and Pacific Railroad Company from 1868 until 1874. He served as Director of South Pacific Railroad in 1870 and as director of St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad Company in 1877.
* ”History of Laclede, Camden, Dallas, Webster, Wright, Texas, Pulaski, Phelps and Dent counties, Missouri” published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889, states, in reference to Crocker, “The growth has been slow but continuous since the town was laid out in 1869 by the railway company, who gave it the name it bears in honor of one of its prominent men.” No records could be found for Eurilis J. Crocker. However, Uriel Crocker was a prominent South Pacific Railroad shareholder before being elected to the board of directors in 1870. (Researched by Laura Huffman 2009-2018)
History & Heroes: Five Fast Facts is an occasional series of interesting facts regarding namesakes and historical figures in Pulaski County, Missouri.