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Image14.gif (11172 bytes) Jane Lathtop Stanford

Bullet3.gif (148 bytes) Reference: The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans: Volume IX
*Contributed by Deborah Hollowbush.  Thanks, Deborah!

  Stanford, Jane Lathtop, philanthropist, was born in Albany, New York, August 25, 1828; daughter of Dyer and Jane (An) Lathtop of Albany, New York; granddaughter of Daniel and Elizabeth (Shields) Lathrop, and descendant of John Lathtop, Norwich, Connecticut, Presbyterian minister. Daniel Lathrop (a Scotchman) fought the revolutionary was under General Lafayette, entering as a drummer boy and leaving as a captain. Jane Lathtop was married, September 30, 1850, to Leland Stanford and became a social leader in 1861, when her husband was elected governor of California. With Mr. Stanford she established the Leland Stanford Junior university in memory of her only son, who died in 1884. The university was opened in October, 1891, and after her husband’s death, she devoted her attention to its development. She built the Children’s hospital at Albany, New York, at a cost of $100,000 and gave it an endowment of $100,000. Her gifts to Leland Stanford Junior university include a library building costing $150,000, a natural history museum and laboratory, a memorial chapel, a girls’ dormitory, and a building for the chemical department (1894). In 1897 she gave to the trustees, by deed to take effect at her death, her mansion on Knob Hill, San Francisco, with all its furnishings, to be used for a school of history, ecomonics and social science. In 1899 she deeded her entire remaining property, valued at $38,000,000, to the university, and in 1903 resigned the control of the university (as vested in her by the original grant) to the board of trustees, of which she was subsequently elected president.

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