Naturalist, father of national park system.
Attended the University of Wisconsin (1863)
John Muir's face is on the California quarter, but Wisconsinites consider Muir, an
influential naturalist and conservationist, as one of their own. "Oh that glorious
Wisconsin wilderness!" Muir wrote. "Everything seems new and pure in the very prime
of spring when nature's pulses were beating highest and mysteriously keeping time
with our own! Young hearts, young leaves, flowers, the animals, the winds and the
streams and the sparkling lake, all wildly, gladly rejoicing together." Muir's
father was a disciplinarian and worked his family hard. When they could get a break,
Muir and his younger brother would roam the Wisconsin countryside. Muir also became
an inventor, a carver of curious but practical mechanisms in wood. He made clocks
and created a wondrous device that tipped him out of bed before dawn. In 1860, Muir
took his inventions to the state fair at Madison, where he won admiration and prizes.
He died in 1914.