The California Historical Society called John Muir 'The Greatest Californian.' He is also known as the 'Father of Our National Park System.' The rise of John Muir from an obscure region of Scotland to the pinnacles of the American consciousness is a classic Horatio Alger story of the American dream. Born in Dunbar, Scotland, in 1838 to a wicked Calvinist, a man whose notion of raising children was limited to force-feeding Bible verses while applying the switch for every perceived error, large or small, John Muir did not have a languid childhood. The deep greens of the Lammermuirs, the copses, the old stone walls and the tenderness of his mother were the only relief from the brutal beatings. When the religious sect to which Muir's father belonged founded settlements in Wisconsin, Muir's father followed with family in tow. The Muirs arrived in New York on April 5, 1849, and a few days later headed to Milwaukee.