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People Histories

Prof. Walter C. Crocker
 (23 Oct 1869 - 1936 1)

-As transcribed from the "COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF THE UPPER LAKES REGION"

by J. H. Beers & Co., Chicago, IL, 1905

pages 266 - 267


Prof. Walter C. Crocker, for ten years the efficient superintendent of schools in Washburn county, and now postmaster at Spooner, has been a resident of Spooner since 1891.  He was born in Augusta, Eau Claire Co., Wis., Oct. 23, 1869, son of David and Aldula (Stone) Crocker.

David Crocker was a native of New York State, but when a boy went to Galena, Ill., where he spent some years of his young manhood as a merchant.  In 1849 he moved to Madison, Wis., going from there to Augusta in 1860.  In Augusta he built and operated the first flouring mill in the locality, carrying on that business for twenty-five years.  About 1888 he moved to Trempealeau county, where he operated a flouring mill for a few years, and then came as a pioneer to Shell Lake, Washburn county.  He put up one of the first buildings in Shell Lake, but soon moved to Spooner, which was then, in 1893, a small hamlet, and there he established a drug business which he carried on until his death.  David Crocker was an ardent Republican, taking an active interest in politics.  He volunteered for service in the Civil war, but was rejected on account of physical disability.  He was an honored member of the K. of P. and of the Temple of Honor.  He was the father of ten children, as follows:  Lewis F., Frank R., Frederick C. (deceased), Mary L., Oscar A., George E., Walter C., Bertha H., Anah C. and Jessie I.  David Crocker died at the age of seventy-seven, April 16, 1898, his wife, who was sixty-seven years old, dying the evening of the same day; both were buried in one grave.

Walter C. Crocker received his early education in the public schools of Augusta and Shell Lake, and when he was eighteen he entered the normal school at Valparaiso, Ind.  There he completed the teacher's course, and also the scientific and commercial courses, graduating in 1891.  He then returned to Wisconsin and began teaching, very soon becoming principal of the Spooner school, and retaining that position until 1894.  In that year he was elected county superintendent of schools on the Republican ticket and was elected to that office very succeeding year, resigning in 1904, in February of which year he was appointed postmaster at Spooner.  The efficiency and the high standard maintained by the Washburn county schools, which rank second to none in the State, are most largely due to the earnest and faithful work of Prof. Crocker.  When he took charge there were about thirty schools in the county; through his efforts that number has been doubled, and the standard greatly raised.  Prof. Crocker served as town clerk ten years, the town of Spooner at that time embracing more than one-third of the territory included in Washburn county.  He has always been an active Republican, influential with his party, and has been a delegate to county and congressional conventions.  In addition to his other interests Prof. Crocker acts as agent for the Insurance Company of North America, Philadelphia and New York Underwriters, and is engaged in a general real estate business.

In 1892 Prof. Crocker married Alice R. Mead, daughter of H. M. Mead, and they have a family of five children, as follows:  Sylvan Mead, Ruth, Alta, Claire and Kenneth.  Prof. Crocker is a member of Spooner Lodge, No. 260, Blue Lodge degree, A. F. & A. M.; of the Eastern Star; of the K. P., Shaw Lodge, No. 62, and the M. W. A.  He is a communicant of the Episcopal church.


1 - Editorial Note - There is no death record on file in Washburn Co. for Prof. Walter C. Crocker, but he is buried in the Spooner Cemetery.  His tombstone states his birth year as 1868 and his death year as 1936.  His wife, Alice, is also buried in this cemetery (1871 - 1936), as well as his sons: Sylvan M. (29 Aug 1894 - 15 Aug 1913), and Kenneth R. (18 Apr 1901 - 24 Sep 1906).   Walter's parents, David and Adula (Stone) Crocker are buried in the Shell Lake Memorial Cemetery, he died on 16 Apr 1899 at age 75y, 5m, 22d and she died on 17 Apr 1899 at age 65y, 5m, 6d.


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