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Crocker Moving & Storage track record stretches 108 years

Then and now. Crocker Moving and Storage in Corpus Christi has been in business for 108 years. Alongside a historical photo of a former employee and his truck, are brothers Matt and Andy Crocker, fourth generation owners of the long-term company. Photo by Jane Kathleen Gregorio

As one of the oldest family-run moving businesses in Texas, Crocker Moving & Storage Co. has been a living witness to and a direct participant in the growth of Corpus Christi for 108 years. Now run by fourth generation owners Andy and Matt Crocker, the company has long had a commitment to its employees, its customers, and to this community.

“Matt and I have belonged to many civic organizations including Rotary Club,” said Andy Crocker. “I am currently the national chairman of the board for Mission of Mercy. We’re active with CASA, Goodwill Industries of South Texas, the local Mission of Mercy, as well as participating as board members and volunteers with the American Red Cross, The Spirit Center, C.C. Education Foundation, and other local non-profit organizations. Matt is a member of the Corpus Christi Mustangs, KEDT Community Advisory Board, and Rotary board.”

The family also supports the Coastal Bend Food Bank and is active on the Southwest Movers Association board. Andy will become a board member of the Art Museum of South Texas in January.

Helping the community is in the Crocker family genes.

“We are at least the third generation to be active in the community,” Andy continued. “My grandmother worked for the American Red Cross from 1917 to 1918, creating bandages for the American Red Cross during World War I. She was a Civil Defense Co-Leader making sure residents had blinds and shutters down during World War II blackouts. My aunt Alma Laura, my dad’s sister, was one of the founders of the Food Bank of Corpus Christi, also one of the first female chairpersons for the American Red Cross in Corpus Christi.”

Andy and Matt’s parents were members of the Junior League, Cub and Boys Scouts, Art Museum of South Texas, and Corpus Christi Symphony, all of which the family still supports.

“We are one of the three charter companies of the Chamber of Commerce,” Andy said. “We are the oldest moving company in Texas that has been with the same family for the whole time.”

Crocker Moving and Storage was built in 1910 by Andy and Matt’s great-grandfather Marcellus Luther “M.L.” Crocker. M.L. left New York to participate in the Kansas land rush, then in 1908, relocated to South Texas. He settled in Corpus Christi in 1910.

“Our great grandfather moved around a lot and had many aspirations until one day, he bought a livery stable from Old Man Patton, and ran a drayage business out of that,” Andy said. “He hauled mostly merchandise and household furniture directly from ships at the Port of Corpus Christi or from railroad companies and would deliver those items to local businesses and homes.”

Their ancestor had seven children, but eventually the company passed on to the two eldest sons and the eldest daughter. Since then, the moving company has continued to make its presence known in the community with new historical milestones.

“After World War I, the company upgraded from horse and mule-pulled wagons, to gas-powered trucks and other vehicles,” Andy said. “Then in 1919, after a hurricane damaged the livery stable, the business relocated to a newly constructed warehouse built for storage.” The 1919 hurricane was a category 4 that wrecked the entire town. Sweeping in before hurricanes were named, the storm led to the building of the Corpus Christi seawall and was the biggest storm to hit until Hurricane Harvey last year.

“We’ve been around long enough to see the cotton warehouses disappear where the ball park stands,” Andy Crocker said, referring to Whataburger Field, home of the Corpus Christi Hooks minor league baseball team.

In 1955, when the Harbor Bridge was completed, Crocker Moving was asked to vacate its adjacent location off the then-new Interstate 37. They moved to their current location at 817 Brewster Street, across from Whataburger Field. It is now next door — again — to the construction site for the new Harbor Bridge.

The company achieved another milestone when Andy and Matt’s Great Aunt May, M.L. Crocker’s eldest daughter, ran the business from 1930s to late 1950s. She was one of the few female business owners in the city at the time.

“After Aunt May’s ownership, the company passed on to our father’s brother, Uncle Bill, who served as president, and ran it together with my father, Lee Crocker, who was vice president,” Andy recalled. “After my uncle retired, my father purchased his interest in the company and took over in 1980.”

Andy and Matt went away to college in Austin, where they also worked, but returned home in 1980 and 1983 respectively.

“We worked with our dad until 2000 when we took over the business so he could retire,” Andy said. “Both of us went to school in Austin and found employment there, so we had acquired work experience with other companies before coming back to the family business. It was the logical choice.”

In the 1960s, Crocker Moving and Storage added record storage services to its product line and expanded it using digital and barcode technology.

“Different companies still need to legally retain paper file records and hard copies, as digital files can be corrupted easily due to heat and cold,” Andy said. “So, 50 percent of our warehouse now contains file storage.

The company provides delivery and pick-up of paper files to and from organizations as needed. Requested files can usually be delivered within a four-hour turnaround time, or sooner. The concrete masonry building is built to withstand weather challenges, including hurricanes.

For local and in-state moving, Crocker’s specialized crew is trained specifically to handle fragile and/or heavy household goods and furniture

According to brother Matt Crocker, another key factor to their success and continued growth is employee loyalty to the company. All of its employees are full-time. Many of them have been with the company 15 to over 20 years. One employee recently celebrated 28 years with the company.

“That’s how we stand apart,” Matt said. “We care about our employees and it is reflected in how they treat our customers.”

As for the future and who will take over next, several nephews and nieces are available, but who will do so has yet to be determined. Immediate plans are to keep on providing dependable customer service.

“Our plan is to continue to improve our company,” Andy said. “We have a great reputation for customer service and we work to constantly improve our quality and also introduce more high-tech services as they become available.”

Crocker Moving & Storage Co. is located at 817 Brewster Street in Corpus Christi. For more information, call (361) 884-3511, email crockermoving@sbcglobal.net, or visit crockermoving.com.

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