On-line Book
Book Cover to Administrative History: Organizational Structures of the NPS 1917 to 1985 by Russ Olsen. [Image of mountain and tall grass]
Organizational Structures of the NPS 1917 to 1985



current topic Organizational Structure


Organizational Charts

Naturalists, Rangers, & Historians

Senior Administration Officers


Key Staff Officials

Number "Two"

Senior Operations Officers

Organizational Structure of the National Park Service
- 1917 to 1985 -

Administrative History

Organizational Structure



Horace Albright, Conrad Wirth, and George Hartzog
Horace Albright, Conrad Wirth, and George Hartzog at the Grand Canyon in the 1960's discussing improvement through training at the dedication of the Horace M. Albright Training Center.

There have been many books, pamphlets, and articles written about the National Park Service over the years. All of them have dealt with the policies, practices, philosophies, and to some extent, the people as individuals who have influenced the Service and the National Park System. There has, however, not been anything that depicts the organizational structure, its growth, and/or the influence that people within the organization have had on the organization. What began as an agreement to update a listing of Washington Office key officials has expanded in an effort to put on paper the graphic organization over the years that will add to the continuing administrative history of the organization.

The Service has been called a "family organization." John Carver, a former Assistant Secretary, condemned the "mystique" of the Service. Both are evident when the organizational structural history is looked at from its beginning to the present. When reviewed along with literature such as The National Park Service by William C. Everhart, Parks, Politics and the People by Conrad L. Wirth, Family Tree of The National Park System by Ronald F. Lee, The National Parks: Shaping the System by Barry Mackintosh, Administrative History: Expansion of the National Park Service in the 1930's by Unrau & Williss, and America's National Parks and Their Keepers, by Ronald A. Foresta, it becomes very apparent that the organization and the people within it have had a profound influence on each other over the years. The sense of family and the mystique can be visually related to what has gone on over the past 68 years. Individuals who were in the organization in the early years continued through the 1940's, 1950's and 1960's. R. M. Holmes, who was the Chief Clerk in 1925, was still the Assistant Personnel Officer in 1938; Frank Kittredge, who was Chief Engineer in 1928, was the first Regional Director of Region IV (Western), was Superintendent of Yosemite in 1942 and again Chief Engineer through 1952; Harold Bryant, who was Assistant Director, Research & Education in 1928, was Superintendent of Grand Canyon in the 1940's; Preston Patraw, an early Superintendent at Bryce and Zion, was Finance Officer in the 1940's; Howard Baker, a landscape architect in the early 1930's, Chief of Planning and Design in Omaha, and Regional Director in Omaha in the 1950's, retired as Associate Director in the late 1960's; Eivind Scoyen, Superintendent at several areas from the 1920's, retired as Associate Director in the mid-1960's, to mention a few. These people and many others molded and shaped those that followed. Fathers begat sons and daughters who have continued the "mystique" and furthered the family image. As examples, Benjamin Hadley, Superintendent, son Lawrence, Superintendent and Assistant Director; Daniel J. Tobin, Superintendent and Regional Director, sons, one at Yellowstone and Daniel Jr. (Jim), Superintendent, Deputy Regional Director, Associate Director and Regional Director; John Cook, Master Mechanic, son John Cook, Superintendent, grandson John Cook, Superintendent, Associate Director, and Regional Director; Gabriel Sovulewski, Park Supervisor, Yosemite, son-in-law Frank Ewing, Trail Foreman, and grandson Herbert Ewing, District Ranger; Fred Binnewies, Ranger, Superintendent, sons Robert and William, Superintendents. Many of the individuals prominent in the early organization are still alive and continue to have influence on the Service as it exists today. That factor was emphasized to Director George B. Hartzog in the late 1960's by former Director Horace Albright after one of his yearly inspection trips to Yellowstone. Albright, and indeed all retired employees, believe they retain the inalienable right to suggest ways of improving the operations of the National Park Service.




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