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Brimhall, George H. (George Henry), 1853-1932

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1853-1932

Biographical History

George H. Brimhall (1852-1932) was a student, teacher, principal, department head, acting president, president, president emeritus, and head of the alumni association at Brigham Young University.

George Henry Brimhall was born in Salt Lake City on December 9, 1852, to George Washington Brimhall and Rachel Ann Mayer. At age eighteen, he attended high school at the Timpanogos Branch of the University of Deseret in nearby Provo taught by Warren and Wilson Dusenberry. He and some friends built a school they named the Young Men's Academy. There Brimhall met Alsina Elizabeth Wilkins, a student at the academy, whom he married in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City on December 28, 1874. Together, they had six children. In September 1885, Brimhall married a second wife, Flora Robertson, in the Logan Temple. Together, they had eight children.

He gained teacher's certificates and diplomas and was elected superintendent of Utah County Schools and Provo City Schools. In 1891, the BYA Board of Trustees chairman, Abraham O. Smoot, asked Brimhall, to join Brigham Young Academy's teaching staff and head the Normal (teacher training) Department. Brimhall received the degree of Bachelor of Pedagogy and became BYA Alumni Association's first president. He received all of his higher education at BYA or BYU.

In 1898, Brimhall became a member of the General Church Board of Education. From 1900-1902, while Benjamin Cluff Jr. was away, he became acting principal of BYA. In December 1903, he received a letter from Joseph F. Smith asking him to be the president of the newly renamed Brigham Young University. He was inaugurated as BYU's second president on April 16, 1904 with Joseph B. Keller and Edwin S. Hinckley as his counselors.

Brigham Young University underwent a great deal of change under Brimhall's tenure. Student enrollment expanded, the degree of bachelor of pedagogy was replaced by the Bachelor of Arts and a master's degree was offered. In addition, The Banyan, the university's first yearbook was published, the block Y on a mountain above campus had been painted, thirty-seven acres of the upper (present) campus had been acquired, the first honorary degree had been conferred, and two new buildings (the Maeser Memorial Building and the Mechanic Arts Building, now known as the Brimhall Building) had been erected on upper campus.

Brimhall was released as president of BYU in 1921. He remained on campus and continued with his work for Church seminaries and as a member of the General Board of the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association. Brimhall died on July 29, 1932 in Provo, Utah.

Citation

"George H. Brimhall's Legacy of Service to Brigham Young University", Mary Jane Woodger and Joseph H. Groberg (George H. Brimhall; born 1852 in Salt Lake City on December 9, 1852, to George Washington Brimhall and Rachel Ann Mayer; attended high school at the Timpanogos Branch of the University of Deseret in nearby Provo taught by Warren and Wilson Dusenberry; built a school they named the Young Men’s Academy; met Alsina Elizabeth Wilkins; married in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City on December 28, 1874; had six children; In September 1885, Brimhall married a second wife, Flora Robertson, in the Logan Temple; had eight children; teacher’s certificates and diplomas; elected superintendent of Utah County Schools and Provo City Schools; In 1891, joined Brigham Young Academy’s teaching staff and headed the Normal (teacher training) Department; received the degree of Bachelor of Pedagogy and became BYA Alumni Association’s first president; received all of his higher education at BYA or BYU; In 1898, Brimhall became a member of the General Church Board of Education; From 1900-1902, while Benjamin Cluff Jr. was away, he became acting principal of BYA; inaugurated as BYU’s second president on April 16, 1904 with Joseph B. Keller and Edwin S. Hinckley as his counselors; Brigham Young University underwent a great deal of change under Brimhall’s tenure. Student enrollment expanded, the degree of bachelor of pedagogy was replaced by the Bachelor of Arts and a master’s degree was offered. In addition, The Banyan, the university's first yearbook was published, the block Y on a mountain above campus had been painted, thirty-seven acres of the upper (present) campus had been acquired, the first honorary degree had been conferred, and two new buildings (the Maeser Memorial Building and the Mechanic Arts Building, now known as the Brimhall Building) had been erected on upper campus; Brimhall was released as president of BYU in 1921; He remained on campus and continued with his work for Church seminaries and as a member of the General Board of the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association; died on July 29, 1932 in Provo, Utah)

Found in 86 Collections and/or Records:

Annotated copy of Banyan

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS SC 2949
Scope and Contents Brigham Young University yearbook containing signatures of the university presidency (George H. Brimhall, Joseph B. Keeler, Amos N. Merrill), studentbody presidency, instructors, and other associates.

Articles, poetry, and other material on Brigham Young University

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: UA 607
Scope and Contents Contains eight items related to Brigham Young University, including a poem "The Builder," a tribute to BYU, by Marie Clark Miller; a list of officers of Brigham Young University, 1923-1924; a news article examining the progress of BYU, 1918; a brief history and suggested outline for a history of BYU, with name of compilers, 1920; a copy of the Deseret Weekly containing article about Brigham Young Academy, 1891; a brief history of the Academy from the Contributor written by James Talmage, 1881;...

Collected correspondence to Arthur Edmund Berkman

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: UA 591
Scope and Contents Contains several letters to Arthur Berkman from President Brimhall, E.D. Partridge, and John L. Davis. President Brimhall's letter concerns Arthur's appointment to the Naval Academy. The other two letters were written to Arthur while he was at the Academy.

Brigham Young Academy certificates

 File — oversize-folder: 1
Identifier: UA 1283
Scope and Contents Materials include two certificates from Brigham Young Academy, one being a diploma granted to George H. Brimhall in 1891 and the second a certificate establishing the Student Loan Association of Utah in 1893. Dated 1891-1893.

Brigham Young University campus records

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: UA 115
Scope and Contents Collection includes correspondence and maps concerning the request for donations for land for the Brigham Young University campus.

Brigham Young University records on Students' Army Training Corps

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 110
Scope and Contents Contains reports, memoranda, schedules, lists, statements and correspondence concerning construction, the United States War Department, and Brigham Young University detachment of the Student Army Training Corps.

Brigham Young University roll books

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 1130
Scope and Contents The collection contains class roll books from Brigham Young University. The roll books contain attendance records and grades from courses by such professors as George H. Brimhall, Edwin S. Hinckley, and Karl G. Maeser. There are also a few roll books from high schools, and grade records from various years.

Flora Robertson Brimhall autobiography

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 458
Scope and Contents Typewritten autobiography. Brimhall writes about her family background, her youth in Spanish Fork, Utah, her marriage to George H. Brimhall, and gives her reflections on polygamy. As an adult, she lived in Provo, Utah.

George H. Brimhall graduation hood and robe

 Item — oversize: 1
Identifier: MSS 2121
Scope and Contents Contains one robe in plastic covering and one hood with a note that reads: George H. Brimhall. Graduation Hood Fits Over Regular Robe. Awarded to him about 1910 with Honorary Doctorate.

George H. Brimhall letters

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: UA 595
Scope and Contents Contains copies of two letters addressed to principles of LDS Seminaries. The letters ask for statistics on attendance, enrollment, and other information about the Seminary program. George Brimhall was, at the time, Director of the Department of Theology at BYU.