John D. Rockefeller, Jr. was born in Ohio in 1874, the only son and heir to the fortune of John D. Rockefeller, Sr., builder of Standard Oil. After a tour of the Jackson Hole Valley in 1926 with Horace Albright, future director of the National Park Service, Rockefeller create the Snake River Land Company to purchase land around the Snake River and protect it from future development. Rockefeller created this company so that landowners would not increase their purchase price knowing that it was a Rockefeller buying their land. It also served the purpose of assuaging landowners’ fears that the purchase was a part of a federal land grab. That land was later donated to the federal government and became Grand Teton National Park.
Without the foresight of Rockefeller and Albright, Grand Teton National Park would lack the extent of land protection and wild character it retains today.