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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:

Emil Maeser papers

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: UA 236
Scope and Contents Notebook containing various essays, reports, and schedules. Materials date from between 1886 and 1892.

Parley Pratt Nelson diaries

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 2261
Scope and Contents Collection contains photocopies of two diaries of Parley Pratt Nelson, a student who participated on the Benjamin Cluff Brigham Young Academy Expedition (1899-1900) and served a mission in Southern California for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1901-1903).

Office of the President correspondence

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 1093
Scope and Contents Contains the correspondence files of President Cluff, with the exception of his first year of administration. The papers extent cover 1893 to 1903, and are incoming except for 1897 to 1900. Also includes his correspondence as president of the Peoples Canal Irrigation Company. Includes information on his administration of the Academy, and the school's relationship to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Board of Education. Also includes correspondence regarding the Beaver Branch, the...

Photograph of Brigham Young Academy reunion

 Item — oversize-folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 7457
Abstract Photograph of a class reunion of former Brigham Young Academy students, taken between 1891 and 1895.

Photograph of first class to graduate from the new Academy Building

 Digital Record
Identifier: UAP2_F037_p037centerright

Photograph of the faculty of Brigham Young Academy, circa 1900

 Digital Record
Identifier: UAP2_F044_p044bottomleft

Photographs of university trustees

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 830
Scope and Contents Contains thirty-nine black-and-white photographs of presidents of the Board of Trustees of Brigham Young Academy and University; also views of chairmen of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of BYU. Also includes view of Karl G. Maeser's wife, Anna.

Presidential reports

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 726
Scope and Contents Includes information on enrollment, academic courses and curriculum, finances, buildings and real estate, etc.

Includes reports from Presidents Cluff, Brimhall, Harris, Nuttall (Acting), Jensen (Acting), and McDonald.

Eugene L. Roberts letters and diary excerpt

 File — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 901
Scope and Contents Typewritten copies of four letters and an excerpt from a diary. The letters relate to Roberts' attempt to gather material to write a biography of Benjamin Cluff (1858-1948), president of Brigham Young Academy in Provo, Utah. The items include an excerpt of Cluff's diary in 1904 and letters written about him in 1890.