Biography of Tom C. Grant
San Francisco, CA Biographies





TOM C. GRANT
For over half a century, the late Tom C. Grant was active in the insurance business in San Francisco, and was one of the most admired and respected men who ever participated in this work in the community. He was a native of Charlestown, Massachusetts, where his birth occurred May 3, 1840. He was a son of A. W. and Ann (Chamberlain) Grant, the former having been a prominent banker in Charlestown.

Mr. Grant received his education in Charlestown and in Boston, Massachusetts. When the Civil war started in 1861, he enlisted in the Seventh New York Volunteer Infantry, but later contracted pneumonia while in the service and was invalided home. He then decided that he would like to come to the Pacific coast. The stories of opportunity which awaited ambitious young men here appealed to him, and accordingly he boarded a vessel which sailed for the west by way of the long Cape Horn route. It was his intention to work his passage, but after a few days out the captain of the vessel summoned him to the cabin deck and informed that he would be treated as a guest, the inference being that his father had really paid his way, but allowed him to embark with the idea that he should earn his fare. In the year 1864, Mr. Grant entered the insurance business with the old Pacific Company of San Francisco. This company was compelled to liquidate after its losses in the Chicago fire, and after adjusting their claims Mr. Grant was appointed general agent for the Firemen's Fund Insurance Company. In 1874, he became manager of the Pacific department of the North British & Mercantile Insurance Company, which position he held for thirty three years, retiring in December, 1907. However, he returned to activity in 1912 as president and general manager of the Vulcan Insurance Company of California, and continued with this organization until 1915, in which year he actually retired from active business. He was one of the first members of the Fire Underwriters' Association of the Pacific, having joined in 1878. During his life he made a most substantial success in insurance; he knew the business thoroughly, and he had the energy and personality to accomplish results in this character of work.

Mr. Grant was a member of the Masonic fraternity, and his political connection was with the republican party. His death occurred in San Francisco, January 17, 1926. A contemporary publication of his profession made a brief statement which included the following: "Positive in his opinions, strong in his likes and dislikes, Tom C. Grant leaves behind him memories which will not soon be forgotten." Mr. Grant was twice married. His first wife was a San Francisco woman, by whom two sons and two daughters were born. His second wife was a Miss Mary Foyle of Kansas City, Missouri, who survives him and lives in San Francisco.

From:
The History of San Francisco, California
Lewis Francis Byington, Supervising Editor
Oscar Lewis, Associate Editor
The S. J. Clark Publishing Company
Chicago-San Francisco 1931


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