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Guide to the Stephen Tyng Mather Papers, [ca. 1883-1930]
BANC MSS C-B 535  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Sketch
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Stephen Tyng Mather Papers,
    Date (inclusive): ca. 1883-1930
    Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 535
    Creator: Mather, Stephen T. (Stephen Tyng), 1867-1930
    Extent: Number of containers: 7 boxes, 1 carton, 10 volumes, 1 oversize folder
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Abstract: Correspondence, scrapbooks of clippings, and personalia, relating primarily to his last years with the Service. A few papers pertain to his early business career with the Pacific Coast Borax Company and the Thockildsen-Mather Borax Company. Also included are letters of condolence to Mrs. Mather and correspondence concerning memorial ceremonies for Mather in several national parks.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Stephen Tyng Mather Papers, BANC MSS C-B 535, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Materials Cataloged Separately

    • Portraits and photographs have been transferred to the Pictorial Division.

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    Mather's papers were the gift of his daughter, Mrs. Edward R. McPherson, in May and July 1954.

    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.

    Scope and Content

    The Papers contain some early correspondence concerning Mather's work with F. M. Smith and the borax companies. For the most part, however, they relate to Mather's later years as Director of the National Park Service and include letters of acceptance or regret for a dinner honoring Mather in November 1926, expressions of sympathy on his illness in 1928 and on his resignation in 1929, from National Park personnel and friends and colleagues throughout the United States. Also in the collection are letters of condolence to Mrs. Mather; correspondence and papers concerning memorial services for Mather which were held in many national parks; papers relating to Mather's student days at the University of California; a few account books and diaries; invitations to official functions; and clippings and scrapbooks covering his years as journalist on the New York Sun and as director of the National Park Service.
    A key to arrangement follows.