Jennie M. Easton, daughter of Ansel I. and Adeline Easton
Adeline and Ansel Easton’s daughter Jennie M. Easton1 married Colonel Charles Frederick (“C. Frederick”) Crocker, the oldest son and namesake of the railroad builder, Charles Crocker.2 The couple had three children: Mary, Charles Templeton, and Jennie. Unfortunately, Jennie M. Easton Crocker died in 1887, at the age of 29. The children’s grandmother, widow Adeline Easton, helped C. Frederick raise the three children at his palatial home, which he purchased from William H. Howard in 1894. Howard had built the home and called it Uplands; when Crocker purchased it he changed the name to Monte Robles.3 The three children were orphaned in 1897 when C. Frederick died at the age of 43 of Bright’s disease.4 His mother-in-law Adeline Mills Easton, with financial advice from trustee and family friend industrialist Henry T. Scott, raised her three grandchildren thereafter.5
Mary Crocker, daughter of Jennie and C. Frederick, moved to the East Coast, married Francis Burton Harrison and had two daughters. She died in an automobile accident in 1905 at the age of 24. Her brother, C. Templeton Crocker, then at student at Yale, was a passenger in the car at the time of the accident.
C. Templeton Crocker, son of Jennie and C. Frederick, built Uplands II in 1912, when he was 27 years old, one year after he married Hawaiian sugar heiress Helene Irwin. The bride’s parents gave the couple a one-million-dollar check as a wedding present. The couple divorced in the early 1920s. The home now houses Crystal Springs Uplands School. Crocker served as the Town of Hillsborough’s first treasurer.
Jennie Adeline Crocker, daughter of Jennie and C. Frederick, married Malcolm Whitman before 300 guests at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in 1912. The architect George H. Howard designed a structure under which the newlyweds welcomed their reception guests on the front lawn of Jennie’s estate Home Place. After the couple divorced in 1921, Jennie married Robert Henderson.
Continue reading the Founding Families story –>
1 Jennie Easton’s middle name is widely reported to be “Mills”—the maiden name of her mother Adeline and her brother’s middle name. However, when Gary Kinder interviewed Easton’s descendants for his book, Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea, family members told him that a bible listed her name as Jenny “Marine” Easton. The family members assumed that was an error until they heard that the name of the ship that rescued Adeline during her honeymoon was the Marine. On February 26, 1887, the day after Mrs. Crocker’s death, the Daily Alta newspaper reported that “Mrs Crocker’s middle name was that of the vessel which saved her mother’s life.” The middle-name story is also repeated by Ross Mainor, Jr. in his privately-published book An Exultation in Stained Glass, but Mainor’s account adds another middle name. He reports that Jennie’s full name was Jennie Ellen Marine Easton. The crew of the Ellen rescued her father and the crew of the Marine rescued her mother.
2 The extended Crocker family played a prominent role in the development of Hillsborough, California. However, because the Crockers moved to the area much later than the Howard, Easton and Mills families, their stories are beyond the scope of this exhibit, which focuses on the founding families of Burlingame-Hillsborough.
3 When C. Frederick Crocker died, his son Charles Templeton Crocker occupied Monte Robles (formerly called Uplands) until 1913, when he decided to build another home on the same site. Rather than demolishing the home, C. Templeton Crocker sold Monte Robles/Uplands to Charles Lindgren, a local contractor, who moved the home across San Mateo Creek. It still exists at 401 El Cerrito Avenue, although it has been substantially altered. (In the late 1920s, George Hearst, with the help of Julia Morgan, remodeled the home to look like the White House and Mount Vernon.) On the original site of Uplands, Charles Templeton Crocker built a home designed by Willis Polk. That home, which now houses Crystal Springs Uplands School, is commonly known as Uplands II.
4 The term “Bright’s disease” is no longer in use. It referred to various kidney-related diseases. Ironically, Willam H. Howard, from whom C. Frederick Crocker purchased Uplands home, also died from Bright’s disease.
5 Svanevik and Burgett, No Sidewalks Here, 17.