Philetus W. Norris

Yellowstone National Park

Norris wearing a frilled leather jacket and pants, a hat, and leaning against a rifle.
Portrait of Philetus Norris.

Quick Facts

Significance:
Second superintendent of Yellowstone National Park
Place of Birth:
Palmyra, New York
Date of Birth:
August 17, 1821
Place of Death:
Rocky Hill, Kentucky
Date of Death:
January 14, 1885

Philetus W. Norris was the second superintendent of Yellowstone National Park from 1877–1882. He recorded the hydrothermal features in detail of the area that today is known as Norris Geyser Basin. His extensive exploration added immensely to the geographic knowledge of the park.

Norris also oversaw construction of some of the park’s first roads, parts of which still remain as the Grand Loop Road.

Norris hired the park’s first “gamekeeper” and campaigned for legislation to help adequately protect Yellowstone against the ravages of poachers and vandals.