Dr. Jacob Thomas Crocker
March 24, 1853 – September 27, 1951
Jacob (Jake) Thomas Crocker Jr. was born March 24, 1853 in Rome (Floyd County) Georgia. He was the son of James H. Crocker and Mary Jane Harvey Crocker. is His father was farmer and carpenter.
As a young adult Jake left Georgia and moved to Franklin County, Arkansas. There he enrolled at the University of Arkansas Medical School. He practiced medicine for about 2 years, as was the custom, then applied for a license (finally granted on February 5, 1900). He later attended the Hospital College of Medicine in Memphis, Tennessee and,graduated in 1883 at age 30. Dr. Crocker returned to Franklin County, Arkansas to begin his profession. He is listed in the American Medical Directory Volume I, 1906 and also in Volume II of 1909 as living in Franklin Co. Arkansas. He joined the Sebastian County Medical Society, the Arkansas Medical Society and the American Medical Society.
In the meantime, at age 28, he married Elzava (Sallie) Hamm (age 18) on December 14, 1881 in Lone Elm, Arkansas. The couple had 7 children. There were 3 boys, Joseph Robert, Garland Smither and Grady Othel (who died in his first year) and 4 girls, Myrtle Vinita, Ruby Ann, Vera and Opal (who died at age 10). The family lived in Franklin County, in the towns of Lone Elm, Ivy and Mulberry. Later in his mid 50s to age 77 the family moved to Maxey (in adjacent Crawford County). Elzava (Sallie) died in 1922 at age 60 and was buried in the town of Lone Elm. She and Dr. Crocker had been married 41 years. After Sallie’s death Dr. Crocker moved to Dyer, Arkansas to live with his brother. He was 65 years old—presumed to be his professional retirement date.
Later he moved to Haskell County, in Muskogee, Oklahoma to live out his last years and cared for by his daughter Myrtle Crocker Hunter.
According to the 1901 South Telecaster News in Oklahoma, Dr. Crocker lived in Oklahoma at one time. It is unknown the date and duration.
In 1917, while living in Lone Elm, Dr. Crocker invented a spring wheel used to replace a flat tire. A patent was issued for it. The back country roads were rough or muddy and tires were easily punctured. Dr. Cracker tinkered as a hobby.
In all his years of medical practice he accepted farm produce when the patient couldn’t pay in cash. He kept a ledger with the date and type of medical service rendered, amount he charged, the fee he received in animal farm produce, or cash. One woman said he was the “kindest man she ever knew.”
Dr. Cracker died Sept 26, 1951 at the age of 98. He had practiced medicine for 37 years or more, serving Franklin County patiently, kindly, diligently. He was buried at Rankin Cemetery in Lone Elm, Arkansas.
Betty L. Battenfield May 2020