Stanford University Started With A Family
When Leland and Jane Stanford’s only son died of typhoid fever at age 15, they decided to build a university in his memory on their Palo Alto Stock Farm. Leland Stanford Junior University, nicknamed The Farm, opened on October 1, 1891.
Jane Lathrop and Leland Stanford, both born and raised in New York, married in 1850. Leland Stanford prospered as a merchant during the Gold Rush and became a railroad magnate. He was California’s governor during the Civil War and later became a U.S. senator.
This tranquil area memorializes a family that valued work and innovation. It highlights Stanford University’s origin as a working ranch and farm where 8,180 acres continue to sustain university endeavors today.