Uplands healthful surroundings were not helping Frederick Crocker. Several months after moving to Hillsborough he died of kidney disease.
The Peninsula reacted to his death as if he had been royalty. All of the Southern Pacific stations were draped in black. Crocker’s elegantly furnished private railroad car, Mishawaka, originally owned by his father, was dispatched from San Francisco to San Mateo to collect the mourners. The Southern Pacific’s private funeral railroad car, El Descanso transported the flower-draped coffin back to San Francisco for the impressive and solemn funeral and burial.
A lectern was erected in Crocker’s memory in St. Matthew’s Church, where stained glass windows were installed in memory of his wife and daughter Mary.
For Jennie, her brother and sister, the primary adult figure at Uplands was their surviving grandmother, Adeline Easton, a sister of banker Darius Ogden Mills, after whom Millbrae is named. Their uncle William, the founder of Crocker Bank, lived nearby but he was busy forging a financial empire.
After her introduction as a debutante in 1904, Jennie Crocker inherited $5 million from her father’s estate, some of it property in San Francisco. Her finances were managed by family adviser Henry T. Scott, who also owned a Hillsborough mansion.
(Next: Part 4)