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Clinton Larson papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 7580

Scope and Contents

Collection focuses on Clinton Larson's athletic, military, and physical education careers and include correspondence between him and his wife between 1917 and 1921, photographic slides from his larger collection, books that largely feature Clinton Larson as an athlete, clothing and accessories both from World War I and track meets, trophies and medals, scrapbooks that include newspaper clippings and photographs, and personal and professional documents, all dating between 1892 and 1980.


  • 1892-1975


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Clinton Larson papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

Clinton Larson (1892-1952) was an athlete and athletic official in Utah.

Clinton Larson was born December 16, 1892 in St. George, Utah, to parents John Thomas and Henrietta Riding Larson. He attended Dixie High School and in 1914 broke the Utah high school high jump record at 6'2" and then won first place at the national scholastic meet in Chicago, Illinois. As a track athlete for Brigham Young University, Larson won first place in the high jump in several competitions, most notably the National Junior A.A.U. championship at the San Francisco World's Fair in 1915 and the Penn Relays of 1917, at which Larson broke the collegiate world record in the high jump at 6'5 5/8" and held for seventeen years.

Clinton Larson joined the United States Army Air Corps in late 1917 and attended the Military School of Aeronautics in Austin, Texas, before serving as an athletic director of the 39th Squadron at Kelly Field, Texas. The 39th Squadron was a special force comprised of "entertaining" soldiers: musicians, dancers, athletes, etc., whose purpose was to maintain morale of the other troops. Larson, then, fulfilled his duty as a serviceman at various track meets in Texas and New York and at the Inter-Allied Games at Pershing Stadium in Paris, France, in June and July of 1919. He won first place in the high jump at that prestigious competition.

After graduating from Brigham Young University in 1921, he continued to train and compete in the high jump for several more years, and eventually focused his athletic ambition on organizational matters of Utah athletics. From 1930 until the time of his death, he was the chairman of field and track events for the Inter-mountain Athletic Association, and promoted several A.A.U. events. In 1947 he became the National A.A.U. Vice Chairman of track and field. He also served as an official in the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California.

Clinton Larson married Lillian Foster on September 26, 1918, and together they raised one son, Clinton Foster Larson, who was born on September 22, 1919. Clinton and Lillian divorced in 1946, but in April of 1947 married Hazel Winn Allen. His second married was annulled in Febrary of 1949. In June of that same year, Clinton married Louaine Proctor Tomlin.

Larson also taught high school for many years in the Granite School District and Salt Lake City Schools, working particularly in visual and physical education, collecting an estimated 10,000 slides featuring photographs of physical education exhibitions and serving as chairman of the state visual education group. As well as a slide collector, Larson was a leader and enthusiast for the Boy Scouts of America, serving as the district commissioner for the Salt Lake Council.

Larson retired from physical education teaching in 1947, but continued to substitute teach until his death on January 22, 1952 at age 59. In 1974, he was inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame and in 1975 joined the ranks of other great athletes in the Brigham Young University Athletic Hall of Fame.


10 cartons (10 linear ft.)

5 oversize boxes (2.5 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Arranged in nine series: 1. Clinton Larson books, 1909-1980. 2. Clinton Larson track clothing, 1892-1936. 3. Clinton Larson army attire and equipment, 1912-1952. 4. Clinton Larson trophies and medals, 1913-1928. 5. Clinton Larson correspondence, 1914-1940. 6. Clinton Larson scrapbooks and newspaper clippings, 1900-1952. 7. Clinton Larson documents, 1900-1952. 8. Clinton Larson slides and photographs, 1920-1952. 9. Clinton Larson funeral and hall of fame papers, 1952-1975.

Other Finding Aids

A more detailed finding aid is available in the repository upon request.

Custodial History

Maintained by Clinton F. Larson, son of Clinton Larson, until 1994. Maintained by Naomi Barlow Larson, Clinton F. Larson's widow, from 1994 to 2010. Donated by Sue Larson Booth-Forbes and Diane Larson Porter, granddaughters of Clinton Larson, in 2010.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Susan Larson Booth-Forbes and Diane Larson Porter; 2010.


19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts.

The Clinton Larson papers contain a record of Utah track and field athletics in the early to mid 20th century through the experience of high jumper Clinton Larson. They also portray the experience of Latter-day Saint young people during World War I (1914-1918).

Related Materials

See also the Clinton F. Larson papers (MSS 1984) and the Lillian Foster Larson papers (MSS 7605).

Processing Information

Processed by Audrey Spainhower, student manuscript processor, and John Murphy, curator; 2010.

Register of the Clinton Larson papers
John Murphy, curator, and Audrey Spainhower, student manuscript processor
June 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States