Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V16, Page 406 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LELAND STANFORD JR. UNIVERSITY, near Palo Alto, California, U.S.A., in the beautiful Santa Clara valley, was founded in 1885 by Leland Stanford' (1824–1893), and by his wife Jane Lathrop Stanford (1825–1905), as a memorial to their only child, Leland Stanford, Jr., who died in 1884 in his seventeenth year. The doors were opened in 1891 to 559 students. The university campus consists of Stanford's former Palo Alto farm, which comprises about 9000 acres. From the campus there are charming views of San Francisco Bay, of the Coast Range, particularly of Mount Hamilton some 30 M. E. with the Lick Observatory on its summit, of mountain foothills, and of the magnificent redwood forests toward Santa Cruz. The buildings, designed originally by H. H. Richardson and completed by his successors, Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge, are of soft buff sandstone in a style adapted from the old California mission (Moorish-Romanesque) architecture, being long and low with wide colonnades, open arches and red tiled roofs. An outer surrounds an inner quadrangle of buildings. The Stanford was born in Watervliet, New York; studied law in Albany; removed to California in 1852 and went into business at Michigan Bluff, Placer county, whence he removed to Sacramento in 1856; was made president in 1861 of the Central Pacific railroad company, which built the first trans-continental railway line over the Sierra Nevada; was governor of California in 1862–1863, and United States senator in 1885–1893; and was owner of the great Vina farm (55,o0o acres) in Tehama county, containing the largest vineyard in the world (13,400 acres), the Gridley tract (22,000 acres) in Butte county, and the Palo Alto breeding farm, which was the home of his famous thoroughbred racers, Electioneer, Arlon, Sunol, Palo Alto and Advertiser.

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