Mather, Stephen Tyng, 1867-1930

Alternative names
Birth 1867-07-04
Death 1930-01-22

Biographical notes:

Biographical Sketch

Stephen Tyng Mather, first director of the U.S. National Park Service, was born in San Francisco on July 4, 1867. Here he attended the Boys High School, and went on to the University of California at Berkeley, graduating in 1887. His interest in journalism led to his first job as a cub reporter on the New York Sun in September of that year. He left this employment shortly after his marriage to Jane Thacker Floy in 1893 to become a member of the New York office of the Pacific Coast Borax Company. An astute businessman, Mather had the idea of publicizing household uses for borax, and in 1894 opened an office in Chicago. By 1898, he formed his own successful company, the Thockildsen-Mather Borax Company.

Mather left his lucrative business position in January 1915 to accept, at the invitation of his former classmate, Secretary of the Interior Franklin K. Lane, the directorship of the newly formed National Park Service, where he remained until failing health and a stroke led to his resignation in 1929 and to his premature death on January 22, 1930.

From the guide to the Stephen Tyng Mather Papers, ca. 1883-1930, (The Bancroft Library)


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Ark ID:


  • National parks and reserves--Photographs
  • Wilderness areas--Photographs


not available for this record


  • Utah (as recorded)
  • Southwest, New (as recorded)
  • John Muir Trail (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • Arizona (as recorded)
  • Mount Rainier National Park (Wash.) (as recorded)
  • Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.) (as recorded)
  • Hawaii (as recorded)
  • Pacific States (as recorded)
  • Sequoia National Park (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • West (U.S.) (as recorded)
  • Yellowstone National Park (as recorded)
  • Yosemite National Park (Calif.) (as recorded)