Skip to main content

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 92 Collections and/or Records:

Notes on Book of Mormon lectures

 Item — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197233645677]
Identifier: UA 5384
Scope and Contents

Composition notebook, handwritten in ink. Inscribed on first page is "Book of Mormon Lectures by Bro. Geo. Reynolds. Question and answers. Prof. Joseph S. Horne, Theology Teacher B.Y.A. 1900" with "Excellent, J.S.H." written in pencil. Inscribed on inside cover is a quote by George Brimhall.

Dates: 1900

Office of the President records

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197231036176]
Identifier: UA 204
Scope and Contents

Contains academic year President's reports concerning Brigham Young University organization and objectives.

Dates: 1905-1921

Office of the President report

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197231011047]
Identifier: UA 323
Scope and Contents

Includes the president's report of the faculty, students, curricula, facilities, and finances for 1903-1904.

Dates: 1903-1904

Office of the President reports

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 726
Scope and Contents

Includes information on enrollment, academic courses and curriculum, finances, buildings, and real estate. Includes reports from Presidents Cluff, Brimhall, Harris, Nuttall (Acting), Jensen (Acting), and McDonald.

Dates: 1892-1949

Oral history interview with Fern Eyring Fletcher

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA OH 70
Scope and Contents

Interview by Hollis Scott with Fern Eyring Fletcher of her recollections of childhood, her father Stephen L. Chipman, various General Authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, experiences in high school, as a student at Brigham Young University, about faculty members at BYU, her teaching experiences at BYU, and her feelings about BYU. Includes sound recordings and a transcript.

Dates: 1981

Oral history interview with Golden Henry Brimhall

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA OH 50
Scope and Contents

Contains and interview by Mark K. Allen with Golden Brimhall, son of George H. Brimhall, on the subjects of George H. Brimhall, the Brigham Young University Training School, and family interests. Includes sound recordings and transcript.

Dates: 1980

Oral history interview with Kiefer B. Sauls

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA OH 41
Scope and Contents

Interview by Mark K. Allen with Kiefer Sauls, Brigham Young University treasurer, purchasing agent and secretary to three presidents. Topics cover his association with BYU in those capacities over a 51 year period, childhood reminiscences and family data. Includes sound recording and transcript. Also includes related transcription materials and 16 page transcript of an incomplete interview with Sauls by Celestia Taylor, October 10, 1978.

Dates: 1979

Oral history interview with Moroni Otto Poulson

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA OH 60
Scope and Contents

Interview by Leonard R. Grover with Moroni O. Poulson, rancher and teacher, concerning his education with brief varied comments about Brigham Young University activities between 1905 and 1910. Also briefly discusses his family. Includes sound recordings and transcript.

Dates: 1980

Oral history interview with Russel B. Swensen

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA OH 32
Scope and Contents

Interview by Mark K. Allen with Russel B. Swensen, Brigham Young University professor of Medieval history and comparative religion, concerning his family life, hobbies, education, early employment, Mormon mission to Germany, athletic participation, Seminary, and teaching at BYU. Swensen gives his impressions of several BYU presidents, and discusses his philosophy of teaching. Includes sound recording and transcript.

Dates: 1978

Patriarchal blessings, 1878-1903

 Series
Identifier: MSS 1421 Series 2
Scope and Contents

Contains serveral patriarchal blessings of Zina Prescinda Young Williams Card. Dated 1878 to 1903, with some undated material.

Dates: 1878-1903