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Stephen Mather Letters from Friends in High Places Excerpts of correspondence from American religious leaders


Among the letters archived in the Bancroft Library are several from leading clergy who knew Stephen and shared their respect and remembrances for what he achieved for the country.


After Stephen’s passing, Jane Mather received a letter from the fifth Episcopal Bishop of Michigan, Right Reverend Herman Page.   In part it read…

“…I honored him and loved him for what he was and felt a great personal pride in the splendid work he did in connection with the National Parks, but it was just the sort of work one expected of him after associating with him in those Chicago days…”


Another letter, written directly to Stephen, came from James Freeman,

the third Episcopal Bishop of Washington, D.C…

“…I have always held you in such unfailing esteem and affection that anything that concerns you concerns me…I have also noted with deep regret your retirement as head of the National Park system.  To me, and to the people of the country generally, this means the loss of one of our really great public servants…”



And both the 7th and 8th Presidents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints wrote to Stephen.   From Heber Grant, the seventh preside


“…I not only feel a deep debt of gratitude to you for what you have done in developing our scenic wonders, but you have my affection and appreciation of the wonderful treatment you have accorded me as President of the “Mormon” Church and to the members of the Church as well.  I feel that you have done us as a people a world of good…”


And from George Albert Smith, the eighth president of the Church…

“…I have prized more than I can tell you, the opportunity I have had to become acquainted with you…I hope that the Father of us all will look with special favor on you and give to you the power you need to continue to be a blessing to mankind…”


Top Photo: National Cathedral, Washington D.C. 

Bottom Photo:  Salt Lake Temple, Salt Lake City, UT

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