History of the Trust

Established in 1889 by the four children of Charles and Mary Ann Crocker, in honor of their mother, The Mary A. Crocker Trust is the oldest family foundation west of the Mississippi.  With its roots in San Francisco, the Trust today continues its legacy of supporting important local charitable organizations.

Mary Ann Deming was born in 1827, the daughter of a sawmill owner in Mishawaka, Indiana.  In 1852, she ventured westward with her new husband, Charles Crocker.  Together, they opened a general store in Sacramento. Charles went on to become one of the

“Big Four”, with Mark Hopkins, Collis Huntington and Leland Stanford, that developed the Central Pacific Railroad.

Part of the fabric of the rapidly developing San Francisco community, Mary Ann Crocker devoted much of her time to charitable work.  Upon her death on November 4, 1889, her four surviving children, Harriet, William, George and Frederick, created the Trust in honor of the charitable work to which she was devoted.  The present Trustees and Associates of the Trust are all descendants of this courageous and spirited pioneer.