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Guide to the Mary Virginia Ives Crocker Papers, 1876-1910
MS 3593  
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Added Entries
  • Periodicals

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Mary Virginia Ives Crocker Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1876-1910
    Collection number: MS 3593
    Creator: Crocker, Mary Virginia Ives
    Extent: 3 1/4 ft.
    Repository: California Historical Society, North Baker Library
    San Francisco, California 94105-4014
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The North Baker Research Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The North Baker Research Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Mary Virginia Ives Crocker Papers. MS 3593, California Historical Society, North Baker Research Library.


    Described by her contemporaries as an "accomplished and beautiful heiress," Mary Ives Crocker lived the comfortable life of a nineteenth century millionaire's wife. Born in California in 1863 to Eunice Ives, she and her sister Florence were taken under the wing of the wealthy Kate and Charles McLaughlin. Mary Ives quickly gained notoriety among San Francisco's elite and soon emerged as one of the more sought after young single women.
    On 3 April 1889 she married Henry J. Crocker. As the wife of one of San Francisco's wealthiest men, Mary Crocker spent her life fulfilling the duties of a social hostess and personal confidant to her husband. They had three daughters and two sons.
    Henry J. Crocker, son of Clarke Crocker, mercantilist, and nephew of Charles B. Crocker, railroad magnate, stood heir to a great deal of the Crocker family fortune. Born in 1861 he attended St. Matthews in San Mateo. Following graduation, he entered into his father's mercantile business. He left in 1886 to establish his own firm of H.J. Crocker, Printers and Publishers.
    Respected in the business community, Crocker served as president of the American National Bank and the Refining and Producing Oil Company of San Francisco. Because of his reputation for fair dealing and good judgement, he was appointed to the Board of Harbor Commission in 1903. That same year he waged a vigorous campaign for the office of mayor of San Francisco. Although he lost to Schmidt, Crocker continued to wield tremendous influence over the cultural and industrial development of the city. In his personal life, Crocker was an active member of various equestrian and philatelist associations. He died in October of 1913.

    Scope and Content

    The Mary Virginia Ives Crocker Papers are made up of twenty scrapbooks and seven folders (containing loose materials removed from the scrapbooks) which consist of correspondence, programs, periodicals, ephemera, photographs and newspaper clippings which chronicle her life with Henry J. Crocker. Although in random order, two themes weave in and out of the scrapbooks.
    The first general subject consists of correspondence and clippings concerning the social life of the Crockers, including engagement and wedding receptions; society balls and events; announcements and obituaries of family friends; newspaper clippings about family members; and, opera and exposition programs and ephemera.
    The second general topic revolves around Henry J. Crocker's personal hobbies and public dealings. Included are his adventures in sailing; equestrain shows; philatelist competitions; and, athletic contests. Areas of his public life recorded are his business transactions and his unsuccessful bid for the office of mayor in 1903.

    Added Entries

    • California Wine Makers Corporation
    • Chicago. World's Columbian Exposition, 1893.
    • Cox, Jerome B.
    • Crocker, Charles B.
    • Crocker, Clarke
    • Crocker, Henry J.
    • Crocker, Julia
    • Crocker, Mary
    • Elections--California--1903
    • Hawaii
    • Horses-Shows
    • McLaughlin, Charles
    • McLaughlin, Kate
    • National Equestrian Association for California
    • Olympic Club of San Francisco
    • Pacific Coast 2nd Annual Horse Show, 1895
    • Pacific Philatelist Society
    • Postage-Stamps--Collectors and Collecting
    • San Francisco. California Midwinter International Exposition, 1894.
    • San Francisco--Elections
    • San Francisco--Earthquake and Fire, 1906.
    • San Francisco--Social Life and Customs
    • Schmitz, Eugene E.
    • Voyages and Travels
    • Wine and Wine Making--California


    The following periodicals are also contained within the scrapbooks:
    • Breeder and Sportsman (clippings)
    • California Turf (clippings)
    • Collectors Journal no. 4 April 1909
    • Everybody's Philatelist vol 1 no5 May 1910
    • Gibbons Stamp Weekly 26 June 1909 no. 26 #ix
    • London Philatelist xviiino 210 June 1909; xviii no212 August 1909
    • Postage Stamp 29 May 1909 #9 vol. 4