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Howard Family Papers
BANC MSS 2017/229  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access to Collection
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Preferred Citation
  • Scope and Contents
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Processing Information
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: The Bancroft Library
    Title: Howard family papers
    Creator: Howard (Family : 1849- : Howard, William Davis Merry, 1819-1856)
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 2017/229
    Physical Description: 6 linear feet (3 cartons, 3 oversize boxes, 1 box, 1 oversize folder)
    Date (inclusive): 1756-2016
    Abstract: The correspondence and papers of William Davis Merry Howard, his wife Agnes, and several generations of their family. The majority of the papers are from: William Henry Howard (I), Edward Whiting Howard, and William Henry Howard (II). Collection also includes papers and photographs from Frances Sargent Howard, Olivia Lansdale Howard, Ana D. Whiting, John Kenneth Howard, Olivia Howard, Marion Howard, Anne Howard, Virginia Howard, George Henry Howard (I), George Henry Howard (II), Agnes Howard, George Henry Howard (III) and Henry S. P. Howard.

    Access to Collection

    Collection is open for research.

    Biographical / Historical

    William Davis Merry (WDM) Howard (1819-1856), originally from Boston, arrived in San Francisco in 1847. Shortly after, he and Henry Mellus purchased the Hudson Bay Company’s San Francisco post. The company saw much success with the influx of the Gold Rush. With his wealth, WDM bought and developed various areas of downtown San Francisco. He became involved with the formation of the city’s government and early efforts to bring law and order and civic infrastructure. WDM served on the city’s first city council, co-founded the Society of California Pioneers, helped form the Committee of Vigilance and donated buildings that served as a hospital and schools for the San Francisco Public School system.
    In 1849, WDM Howard married Agnes Poett (1833-1893). In 1850, the couple welcomed their first son, William Henry Howard (I) and purchased Rancho San Mateo and built their El Cerrito estate. The couple had a second son in 1851, Alfred Howard, who tragically died a year later. Shortly after, WDM began to suffer from health issues and passed away in 1856.
    In 1857, Agnes remarried WDM’s younger brother, George Henry Howard. The couple had four children together: George Henry Howard II (1864-1935), Julia Howard, Agnes “Babette” Howard and Joseph Henry Poett Howard. The family spent much of their time in their San Mateo home, El Cerrito, where George managed property and businesses he inherited from his brother, including a cattle and livestock business. During their time in San Mateo, they couple donated land to St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church (1865) and hired Jonh McClaren as their chief gardener (1873), both important milestones in the development of Hillsborough. George Henry Howard passed away in 1878 at the age of 51. Agnes married for a third time to Henry P. Bowie in 1879. Agnes passed away in 1893 at the age of 60.
    William Henry Howard (I) (1850-1901) married Anna D. Whiting in 1872. The couple had five children: Gertrude Howard, William Davis Merriam Howard (II), Edward “Ted” Whiting Howard, Francis Sargeant Howard and John Kenneth Howard. The couple spent much of their early marriage in Paris, France before settling in San Mateo where they had Uplands, their estate, built not far from El Cerrito. William Henry Howard continued his family’s work of developing the San Mateo area by managing his family’s land, including Coyote Point, co-founding the Burlingame Country Club and donating the land for the area’s train station. William passed away in 1901.
    Edward “Ted” Henry Howard (1878-1915) continued managing the family properties and businesses after his father passed away. He served on the California State Board of Agriculture and formed the successful Howard Cattle Company. In 1905, he married Olivia Lansdale with whom he had five children: Olivia Howard, William Henry Howard, Ann Howard, Gertrude Howard, and Marion Howard. The family spent much of their time in their San Joaquin Valley ranch, Quinto Ranch. Edward died in 1915 in San Francisco due to injuries from an elevator accident. Olivia went on to remarry Robert Frazer in 1923.
    William Henry Howard (II) (1907-1991) continued to manage his family properties. In 1941, he married Virginia Wilson. The couple had two daughters: Virginia “Jeannie” Howard and Marion Howard.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Howard family papers, BANC MSS 2017/229, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Scope and Contents

    The correspondence and papers of William Davis Merry, his wife Agnes, and several generations of their family. The collection documents the Howard Family history in California, W.D.M.’s early days in San Francisco circa 1949, marriages, business dealings, various properties and the family’s role in the development of Hillsborough and San Mateo, CA.
    The majority of the papers are from: William Henry Howard (I), Edward Whiting Howard, and William Henry Howard (II). Collection also includes papers and photographs from Frances Sargent Howard, Olivia Lansdale Howard, Ana D. Whiting, John Kenneth Howard, Olivia Howard, Marion Howard, Anne Howard, Virginia Howard, George Henry Howard (I), George Henry Howard (II), Agnes Howard, George Henry Howard (III) and Henry S. P. Howard.
    The collection contains photos, correspondence and ephemera from five generations of the Howard family. For each generation, the collection includes letters that detail family events and concerns and details of day to day life. The ephemera in the collection includes certificates from involvement in various organization such as WDM Howard’s participation in the SF Vigilance Committee and Edward Howard’s membership on the California State Board of Agriculture. The collection also contains family related research such as genealogy notes. The photos in the collection range from formal portraits, photos of the family estates and documentation of their many travels and vacations.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Some materials in these collections may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user. All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted to The Bancroft Library. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html

    Processing Information

    Processed by Angelica Pena in 2017-2018.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Virginia Howard Siegman in 2016.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Howard (Family : 1849- : Howard, William Davis Merry, 1819-1856)
    Howard, William Davis Merry
    Howard, Agnes Poett
    Howard, George Henry
    Howard, Anna D. Whiting
    Howard, Edward Henry
    Frazer, Olivia Lansdale
    Howard Cattle Company
    Families -- California
    Families -- California -- San Mateo
    Ranching -- California
    San Mateo (Calif.) -- History