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Cluff, Benjamin, Jr., 1858-1948

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1858-1948

Biographical History

Benjamin Cluff, Jr. (1858-1948) was an educator and businessman in Utah and California. He was principal of Brigham Young Academy and president of Brigham Young University from 1892 to 1903.

Benjamin Cluff, Jr. was born in Provo, Utah on February 7, 1958 to Benjamin Cluff and Mary Ellen Foster. In 1877, Cluff enrolled in Brigham Young Academy and began working as a janitor to pay for his tuition. However, soon after he received a call to serve a mission to the Sandwich Islands. Returning to Utah in 1882, Cluff was offered a teaching job as an instructor of mathematics at Brigham Young Academy by Karl G. Maeser. In 1886, he attended the University of Michigan and received his Bachelor of Science in 1890. Upon his return to Utah, he became the assistant principal of the Brigham Young Academy.

Cluff was married to Mary Jane John in 1883, and later entered into marriage with Harriet Cullimore in 1886, and Florence Mary Reynolds in 1898. He had twenty-one children with his three wives.

Under Cluff's direction, plans for a new building were begun and students selected white and blue as the school colors. Cluff returned to the University of Michigan for a master's degree in 1893, and became the principal of the academy when he returned to Utah. In 1895 Cluff's title was changed to president, and heads of departments were named principals. He led an expedition of students to South America in 1900 for the purpose of archaeological research. On October 3, 1903, the school became Brigham Young University. In December, Cluff resigned and took a position as superintendent of a rubber plantation in Mexico. The Cluffs returned to the United States in 1924 and opened a store in Southern California. Cluff died June 14, 1948, in Redondo Beach, California.

Citation

Harold B. Lee Library. Dept. of Archives and Manuscripts. Register of the Benjamin Cluff, Jr. diaries, 1986: p. 1 (b. Feb. 7, 1858; d. June 16, 1948; former Pres. of Brigham Young Univ.)

Ancestry.com, June 15, 2011 (Benjamin Cluff; Benjamin Cluff Jr.; b. Feb. 7, 1858 in Provo, Utah; d. June 14, 1948 in Los Angeles, Calif.)

Brigham Young University High School website, June 15, 2011: Benjamin Cluff Jr. page (teacher, third principal of Brigham Young Academy, first president of Brigham Young University, academic innovator and explorer; parents were Benjamin Cluff Sr. and Mary Ellen Foster Cluff; librarian of the Coalville City Library; mathematics instructor at Brigham Young Academy; became principal of the academy in 1892; led expedition to Central America from 1900 to 1902; resigned as president in 1903; later ran a rubber plantation in Mexico and a grocery business in Calif.)

Benjamin Cluff Jr. website, June 15, 2011 (earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Michigan)

Mormon Missionary Diaries website, via WWW, Dec. 20, 2012: Benjamin Cluff, Jr. (1858-1948; b. Feb 7, 1858 in Provo, Utah; parents: Benjamin Cluff and Mary Ellen Foster; 1877, enrolled at Brigham Young Academy, worked as janitor; Sandwich Islands call, 1882; teaching job in mathematics, 1886; studied at University of Michigan, bachelor's degree 1890; assistant principal at Brigham Young Academy, m. Mary Jane John, 1883; m. Harriet Cullimore, 1886; m. Florence Mary Reynolds, 1898; twenty-one children; Academy moved to new building, adopted white and blue, Cluff earned master's degree, 1893; principal of Brigham Young Academy, 1895; president, left on South American expedition, 1900; October 3, 1903 had Academy name changed to Brigham Young University; superintendence rubber plantation in Mexico; 1924, store in Southern California; d. June 14, 1948 in Redondo Beach, Calif.)

Found in 3 Collections and/or Records:

General correspondence, 1880-1927

 File — Box: 3, Folder: 22
Identifier: MSS 15 Series 1 Sub-Series 1
Scope and Contents Materials include correspondence sent to Orson F. Whitney from friends, Church leaders, and admirers (including George H. Brimhall, Benjamin Cluff, and Richard R. Lyman). The writers of the letters compliment his writings, solicit advice, provide general updates, discuss travels, and inquire about gospel principles. Dated 1880-1927.

Walter M. Wolfe articles, 1887-1905

 Series
Identifier: UA 366 Series 2
Scope and Contents Photocopy of a scrapbook of clippings, articles about himself, letters containing background information, articles about the South American expedition, articles Wolfe wrote about life and education and his activities at BYA, etc. Primarily copies of poems and articles written by Wolfe on all sorts of archeological and educational subjects, organized into folders by magazine (Forest and Stream, Juvenile Instructor, The Normal, Journal of Pedagogy, Millennial Star, Improvement Era, etc.), then...

Walter M. Wolfe journals and other papers, 1900-1901

 Series
Identifier: UA 366 Series 1
Scope and Contents Originals and typescripts of Wolfe's personal journals, August 1900-August 1901; Guatemalan passport and letter authorizing "archaeological explorations," receipt, and letter of request for translation of said items.