Founded in 1922, the GREATER GEARY BLVD. MERCHANTS ASSOCIATION continues to be instrumental in implementing improvements to Geary Boulevard, and maintaining the powerful image of its namesake, John W. Geary. Geary Boulevard, which was originally called the Point Lobos Toll Road, was named after the first mayor of San Francisco, John W. Geary. Geary, a Pennsylvanian, first saw San Francisco on April Fools' Day, 1849, when he was welcomed to the City as San Francisco's first Postmaster. The City was ecstatic as its mail service left much to be desired. After finding a place to live for his wife and child, Geary established the first Post Office at a little storefront at Montgomery and Washington Streets. The efficiency with which he ran the Post Office earned him considerable respect and he became a leading citizen.
In August of 1849 to his great surprise, he was nominated for Mayor, and subsequently became the sixth and last American Alcalde. As such he was expected to perform as Sheriff, Recorder, Coroner and Magistrate. Unfortunately, due to the Gold Rush, this was a time of chaos and crime in the streets. Geary purchased an abandoned brig, the Euphemia, and converted it into a City jail, appointed police officers, organized a chain-gang for street improvements, and dramatically improved the situation. After a year, in May 1850, the first City Charter was adopted and Geary became Mayor in a landslide election.
During the earlier disorders he had sent his wife and two children back to the relative safety of Pennsylvania. At the end of his mayoralty he decided to leave the City and join them there. Geary left San Francisco on February 1, 1852, but not before presenting his adopted city with a deed to the entire area where Union Square now stands. He never returned, but in 1865 he moved to Kansas and was elected Governor of that state. Later he returned again to Pennsylvania and served as Governor there as well. He died in 1873.
Today Geary Boulevard continues to serve as a vital passageway between the Financial District and the Richmond. There are over seventy restaurants, a major hospital, numerous hair salons, real estate brokers, dentists and automotive shops.