Garrett, Robert(1783–1857) financier; born in Lisburn, Ireland. The family emigrated to a farm in Cumberland County, Pa., in 1790. At age 17 he moved to Baltimore to clerk in a produce and commission house. By 1820 he had founded Robert Garrett & Sons, a wholesale grocery and commission business. Interested in developing trade with the American West, he promoted the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad as well as the city of Baltimore. A director of several utility companies and banks, he developed two hotels. In 1848 he built the steamship Monumental City to link Baltimore with San Francisco.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.