Robert F. MORROW, a scion of a family that was founded in Virginia in an early period in our national history, was one of the sterling pioneers who had much to do with the development and progress of San Francisco, besides which he took great satisfaction in promoting farm industry in the state, a line of basic enterprise with which he continued to be identified until the time of his death. He was one of the prominent and influential men of San Francisco for many years, and here his death occurred when he was eighty-five years of age.
Mr. MORROW was born in that part of Virginia that now comprises the State of West Virginia, and the date of his birth was December 31, 1831. The parents moved to Ohio when he was very young and there he was reared and educated, and in 1852, about the time of attaining to his legal majority, he set forth to seek his fortunes in California, to which state he came by way of the Isthmus of Panama. After his arrival he made his way to Nevada County, where he became actively identified with placer gold-mining operations of the pioneer days. He formed a partnership with A. E. HEAD, who was one of the prominent mining men of the state. Later he became concerned in the development of the famous Comstock lode in Nevada, as superintendent of the Savage Mine at Virginia City. After his return to San Francisco he became one of the most prominent and successful operators on the San Francisco Stock Exchange. Eventually he became associated with Adolph LOWE and Charles SCHMIDT in the purchase of the old Sutter Street cable railway and in the development of this and other street-railway lines in San Francisco he was specially successful along financial lines, his interests in such enterprise having been sold to the United Railroad Company in the year 1901. In the midst of his large and important financial operations of agriculture, and he found pleasure in the development of farm properties according to scientific standards, one of his fine cattle ranches, in Santa Clara County, being still in the possession of his family. He was a republican in politics.
The year 1868 recorded the marriage of Mr. MORROW and Miss Eliza GUNNER, who died in 1879. The three surviving children are: Robert Head, William Grant and Dr. Howard, the latter of whom is a specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the skin.
Transcribed by Deana Schultz.
Source: "The San Francisco Bay Region" Vol. 3 page 246-249 by Bailey Millard. Published by The American Historical Society, Inc. 1924.
© 2004 Deana Schultz.
California Biography Project
San Francisco County
Golden Nugget Library