Charles Bunstein Stover

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Charles Bunstein Stover
Charles Bunstein Stover 1913.png
Parks Commissioner for New York City
Personal details
Born (1861-07-14)July 14, 1861
Riegelsville, Pennsylvania
Died April 25, 1929(1929-04-25) (aged 67)
University Settlement House
New York City
Education Lafayette College

Charles Bunstein Stover (July 14, 1861 - April 25, 1929) was the Parks Commissioner for New York City.


He was born in Riegelsville, Pennsylvania, on July 14, 1861. He attended Lafayette College and graduated in 1881. He was studied to become a Presbyterian minister at the Union Theological Seminary and graduated in 1884. He also took classes at the University of Berlin, before moving to Manhattan's Lower East Side.[1]

In 1886 he founded the Neighborhood Guild on Forsyth Street, the first settlement house in the United States.[1]

In 1913 he told his staff and coworkers that he was going out for lunch then he disappeared for a total of 39 days.[1] He was erroneously thought to be dead in Delaware when a body resembling him was found.[2] After a nationwide search he was found in the Midwest. Ardolph Loges Kline, the Mayor of New York City had Stover suspended, and he mailed in a letter of resignation from Cincinnati. On January 28, 1914, he returned to the University Settlement House. Stover spent the rest of his days developing a summer camp at Beacon, New York, operated by the University Settlement House.

He died at the University Settlement House on April 25, 1929, at the age of 68.


The granite Stover Memorial Bench overlooking Central Park's Shakespeare Garden, was installed in 1936 to commemorate him.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Charles Stover". New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. Retrieved 2009-07-28. 
  2. ^ "Park Commissioner's Friends Alarmed by a Report from Wilmington. But Those Who Know Mr. Stover Best Find Flaws in Description. Last Heard from in Philadelphia." (PDF). New York Times. November 15, 1913. Retrieved 2009-07-28. Friends of Park Commissioner Charles B. Stover were much alarmed last night when dispatches from Wilmington, Del., said that in a body found in the Christiana River, near the shipyard of the American Car and Foundry Company there, Coroner John T. Spring of Wilmington reported that he recognized striking resemblance to Mr. Stover, whose whereabouts have not been known for some time.