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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 48 Collections and/or Records:

Cox family papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 5282
Scope and Contents Contains three family histories-one of Ray P. Cox, one of George Byron Cox, Jr., and one of Susan Lucretia Henrie Cox. It also contains a compact disc that contains each of the histories. Also included is a diary that contains notes from a lecture given by Benjamin Cluff, Jr. The notebook was kept by George B. Cox, Jr.

Diary excerpt of the South American scientific expedition of the Brigham Young Academy

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: UA 368
Scope and Contents Contains a typescript of journal (86 pages) of the Brigham Young Academy South American Expedition and correspondence concerning the Tolton family genealogy.

Faculty, 1892-3, 1893-4

 Digital Record
Identifier: UAP2_F033_p033bottomleft

John B. Fairbanks diaries

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSS 140
Scope and Contents Handwritten diaries with typescripts of several items. The diaries have many gaps. They principally cover the time Fairbanks served as a missionary for the Mormon Church in the Southern States Mission from 1881 to 1883 and when he served as a missionary for the same faith in South and Central America from 1900 to 1902. On the second mission, Fairbanks accompanied the "Cluff" expedition; led by Benjamin Cluff, president of the Brigham Young Academy in Provo, Utah; to find evidence supporting the...

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.

Paul Soren Hanson journal

 Item — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 4062
Overview Paul Soren Hanson's journal about the 1900 BYU Academy Cluff Expedition to Arizona.

Mildred Cluff Harvey papers

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 3951
Scope and Contents note Contains papers on Mildred Cluff Harvey and her family. Materials date from between 1866 and 1947. Includes the following: 1. The Biography of Mildred Cluff Harvey by her daughter, Lucile H. Ursenbach, 1900-1947. Typed, 17 pages. 2. Newspaper pages about Benjamin Cluff Jr., Mildred's brother, August 1970. 2 leaves. 3. Mildred Cluff autobiography. 1862-1898. Typed, 9 pages. 4. Mildred Cluff autobiography. 1862-1898. Original pencil handwriting, 19 pages. 5. Photocopied articles about the Brigham...

Honorary memberships for Brigham Young University presidents

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: UA 1185
Scope and Contents Certificates of honorary membership in the Sons of Utah Pioneers for all Brigham Young University presidents from Warren Dusenberry through Cecil O. Samuelson.

Scott G. Kenney research materials

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 2022
Scope and Contents Photocopies of correspondence, minutes, journals, and subject research files of Scott Kinney. These materials relate to Joseph F. Smith (1832-1918) sixth President of the LDS Church. The bulk of the collection deals with the years 1870 to 1918. These research files are documentation for Kinney's proposed biography of Smith.