Arthur E. Demaray, National Parks Pioneer

Arthur E. Demaray was a United States government administrator for the Department of the Interior, National Park Service.  The American Heritage Center just completed processing this collection and a new online finding aid for the Demaray papers is available!

 Old Faithful Camp and geyser, Arthur Edward Demaray papers, Collection #4031, Box 30. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Old Faithful Camp and geyser, Arthur Edward Demaray papers, Collection #4031, Box 30. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Demaray spent most of his career in key leadership roles in  the National Park Service during the agency’s formative years, the New Deal period, and through the war time years as the agencies point of contact with Congress. He is known for his effectiveness as an administrator, his pioneering efforts that lead to the establishment of several national parks during these turbulent times, and his ability to work with the infamous Interior Secretary, Harold Ickes. Demaray was in U.S. government service for forty-eight years (1903-1951). His career began at the age of 16 in 1903 for the U.S. Geological Survey as a messenger boy; he was later apprenticed to and became a draftsman for the department. In 1917, he transferred to the newly formed National Park Service, where he proved to be a very effective administrator and political liaison and served as Assistant Director and Director of the National Park Service until his retirement in 1951. Demaray was born on February 16, 1887 in Washington D.C and died in Tucson, Arizona in 1958.

The lobby of the Old Faithful Camp Lodge, Arthur Edward Demaray papers, Collection #4031, Box 30. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

The lobby of the Old Faithful Camp Lodge, Arthur Edward Demaray papers, Collection #4031, Box 30. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

The collection contains correspondence (including a few letters from Harold Ickes), diaries, photographs, articles, publications, awards, medals, memorabilia, and Plains Indian artifacts all related to Demaray’s career. There is material relating to his various trips including brochures and other travel literature, postcards, scrapbooks, and photographs. Also included are personal and family memorabilia, such as articles by Elise Demaray Anderson; family photographs including ambrotypes and daguerreotypes; and genealogical information on the Demaray, Demarest, Briggs, Shryock, and Fravel families. There are a large number of photographs of the National Parks and Monuments across the United States; Yellowstone; Great Smoky Mountains; Crater Lake; Mammoth Cave; Yosemite; Grand Canyon; many of the Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah parks; National Park Service officials; Civilian Conservation Corps camps; and photographs by Jack Ellis Haynes, Official Yellowstone photographer. There are also photographs of Harold Ickes, Eleanor and Franklin D. Roosevelt, and personal family snapshots and photo albums of family, friends, and their travels.

Postcard of deer near Mammoth, Arthur Edward Demaray papers, Collection #4031, Box 41. University of Wyoming American Heritage Center.

Postcard of deer near Mammoth, Arthur Edward Demaray papers, Collection #4031, Box 41. University of Wyoming American Heritage Center.

This is a rich addition to the many collections already available on the National Park Service.  If Arthur Demaray and his career fits with your research interests, please feel free to contact the AHC Reference Department with questions you might have about this collection or others on the topic.

–Jamie Greene, Processing Archivist

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