Photographic portrait of William Davis Merry Howard, [s.d.]. Howard is shown from his upper torso to his head and is looking to the right. He can be seen wearing a dark jacket, dark bowtie and white shirt. He has dark hair parted at right and a thick dark goatee. An earlier record lists the portrait under "William Davis Merry Haward".; Howard was born in Boston in 1819, came to San Francisco in 1839 as a cabin boy on the ship California, and died in San Francisco in 1856 at 38. In 1845, he formed a partnership with Henry Mellus. They bought the Hudson's Bay Company property on Montgomery Street in San Francisco and, under the firm name Mellus and Howard, did the largest business in the California. By 1848-49, they had branches in Sacramento and San Jose. The firm dissolved in 1850 and Howard retired as a rich man. He bought the eight thousand eight hundred seventy-five acre San Mateo Rancho from Cayetano Arenas. There was no better man in California than Howard and he was deservedly popular with all classes. His first wife was Mary, daughter of William R. Warren, and after her death he married Agnes, daughter of Dr. J. Henry Poett. Howard Street in San Francisco is named for him.