This marker consists of six plaques arranged in a 2 X 3 pattern, embedded in the sidewalk. The top left plaque is the title plaque and may contain some text. The top right plaque displayed an arrow which points in the direction of the named street. Other plaques contain biographical information on the person for whom the street is named, appropriate quotation(s) and relevant illustrations, cast in bronze.
In 1845, W.D.M. Howard opened a store in Yerba Buena with Henry Mellus and in 1848, bought out the Hudson Bay Trading Company one week before Marshall found gold. With well-supplied stores in Sacramento, San Jose and San Francisco, Howard developed his waterfront property and Rancho San Mateo. A gifted mimic, he improvised theatricals, serenading his friends with invitations to his midnight champagne suppers. Actively generous, Howard funded the city's first public school, first hospital, first fire engine, and first churches. Over six feet tall, with a portly build, a direct gaze, and a deep persuasive voice, Howard organized the California National Guard presided over the Society of California Pioneers, and chaired the Vigilance Committee. His early death at the age of 37 revealed the extent of his many hidden charities.
"Howard was a bold operator who acted on a grand scale." William William Heath Davis, Close Friend in Yerba Buena