What’s next is what Mather is all about.
FROM THE beginning, MATHER HAS FOCUSED ON MOMENTUM
In 1941, Mather was established as The
Mather Foundation by Alonzo Mather, a well-regarded humanitarian, lifelong inventor, and innovative entrepreneur. Alonzo bequeathed his fortune to create a home for “ladies of refinement” who lost their incomes when their husbands passed away. He funded one of the earliest Continuing Care Retirement Communities (now Life Plan Communities) in Evanston, Illinois.
Alonzo’s past fuels our future. Today, Mather remains committed to his spirit of innovation and creating Ways to Age WellSM for older adults.
inspiring words from Alonzo Mather...
In my life, I have never stood still. We Mathers never do. I have kept on with new ideas, projects, and visions.
Alonzo Mather: Aging Well led to a lifetime of innovation
In 1864, Alonzo started his career by foregoing college and going straight to work at age 16.
At age 27, Alonzo moved to Chicago in 1875 to start a wholesale mercantile business.
In 1879, at age 31, he had an experience that set the direction for the rest of his life: During an all-night train journey, he witnessed a bull killing weaker animals in the same freight car. The “shocking sight” inspired his fortune-making invention of a more humane animal stock car, for which he earned a gold medal from the Humane Society in 1883. The stock car enabled livestock to be shipped without being unloaded, with food and water provided en route, thus preventing suffering.
In 1927, a 79-year-old Alonzo built the 43-story Mather Tower—a Chicago landmark and at one time the city’s tallest building—and the 10-story Mather Building in Washington, DC.
Before the turn of the century, Alonzo had plans for a bridge spanning the Niagara River from Buffalo, NY, to Fort Erie, Ontario, that would incorporate power-producing water wheels. While his bridge was never built, the International Peace Bridge was dedicated on his proposed location in 1927, and today, the Mather Arch stands on the Canadian approach to the bridge.
Alonzo earned 31 patents for his work, for a variety of items from ladies’ boot shoelaces to the gas engine for canal boats.
Shortly before his death in 1941, at age 92, Alonzo worked on a plan to produce a single-person aircraft that would sell for less than $1,000. He applied for a patent to mass-produce metallic wings.
Ways to #AgeWell
Our Ways to #AgeWell series provides research-based tips every weekday to help you make the most out of each day. From boosting brain health to building resilience and happiness, every simple little tip can make a big difference in your life.
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