I have some info on William Garroway Moorhead.He was born July 7, 1811 in Moorhead's Ferry, Halifax, PA.; died January 13, 1895.He was one of the 7 children of William Moorhead and Elizabeth Kennedy.Several of his brothers were well-known in their own right, too.Let me know if you want more on them.William, at the age of 17 was appointed Supervisor of a division for the Juniata Canal.He then went to Sandusky, OH and worked in mercnatile pursuits.Not being successful, he left after 2 years and returned to Pennsylvania where he again worked in public works.He was appointed as a supervisor of the Alleghany Portage Railroad in 1840 by Governor David Porter of Penn.His abilities as an executive officer and manager of public works became known and in 1846, Pres. Polk appointed William to serve on the U.S. Consulate service at Valparaiso, Chile from 1846 until his return to the U.S. in 1851.In !847, he was named purchasing agent for the U.S. Squadron of the Pacific Ocean in addition to his duties as consul.In the same year, the U.S. Legation to the Republic of Chile was placed in his hands by the retiring Minister, Dr. William Crump of Virginia.when gold was discovered in Calif. in 1848, William organized the firm of Moorhead, Whitehead and Waddington for the purpose of supplying the California market with flour manufactured in Chile.The firm developed into one of the largest commercial operations ever known on the Pacific Coast.Gold dust, taken in payment for the flour, was shipped to Valparaiso, then around Cape Horn to New York and to London.When the firm closed its business, it had realized a profit of over $5,000,000.
On returning to the U.S., William and his brother-in-law, financier Jay Cooke, organized Jay Cooke and Co.During its operation from 1857 until long after the close of the Civil War, William was able to place envioius loans of the U.S. government in foreign lands.He crossed the Atlantic 6 times during this time, traveling extensively over Europe and the Holy Lands in Egypt.
Also, during that time, the construction of the Sunbury and Erie Railroad was about to be started.In 1857 he was elected president of that company, but only 40 miles of the railroad was in operation and its treasury was empty.He conceived the idea of purchasing the State Canals for the company, but many thought this idea was preposterous.However, legislation aid was sought, the purchase made, and the completion of the road secured.
On April 27, 1870, William was elected a director fo the St. Paul and Pacific RR, a subsidiary of the Northern Pacific RR, at Duluth,MN, and on Feb. 1, 1871, Moorhead, MN was named in his honor.Formerly called Burbank, it had been the terminal of a stage coach route between Minneapolis and Burbank.It was common in those days to name towns located on the railroad routes after employees of the railroad companies.It is not known if William ever actually visited Moorhead, MN.His son, William H. Moorhead, was a member of the Northern Pacific's survey crew sent out by Jay Cooke in 1869 to lay out a route through the area
William was married to Sarah Cooke, sister of Jay Cooke.I don't have any dates on her.After her death, William remarried, her name also unknown.He was a member of the Presbyterian Church.The only son I have info on is William H. Moorhead, b. Sept. 20, 1832 in Freport, Armstrong Co., PA and d. July 3, 1897, Pembina, North Dakota.He was know as "Highwater Bill" and was a character.Let me know if there is anything more I can help you with.How are you related to William G. Moorhead?My mother's line was Moorhead and we are in William H. Moorhead's line.