Charles Crocker, 1822–88, American railroad builder, b. Troy, N.Y. In 1836 he moved with his family to Marshall co., Ind., where he later set up a small foundry. He joined a party to seek gold in California in 1849. He and a brother opened (1852) a store to sell supplies to miners, and as it prospered they started others, later consolidating them in Sacramento. There Crocker met Mark Hopkins, Hopkins's partner, Collis P. Huntington, and Leland Stanford, and with them he organized (1861) the Central Pacific RR Company of California. Crocker undertook responsibility for actual construction, completing it in 1869. In 1871, Crocker sold out his interest to his partners, but in the Panic of 1873 he returned as director and vice president.