Brigham Young Academy presidential correspondence, 1896-1897
Scope and Contents
Contains correspondence between Benjamin Cluff Jr. and students, parents, faculty, and others related to the administration of the Academy. Includes information on student life and the staffing of the school. Materials date from between 1896 and 1897.
Conditions Governing Access
Restricted. Closed for 70 years from the end date of the administration, and thereafter open to the public in accordance with the University Archives Policy.
Conditions Governing Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to use material from this collection must be obtained from Reference Services at email@example.com.
Brigham Young Academy (1875-1903) was established by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints under the direction of Brigham Young for the instruction of church members in the area of Provo, Utah.
Brigham Young Academy was the predecessor to Brigham Young University and Brigham Young High School. Brigham Young saw the school as a place where all secular learning should be fused with teachings from the scriptures. Despite steady growth during its early years, the Academy was threatened by a series of financial and physical setbacks. With the help and sacrifice of Abraham O. Smoot, the campus moved in 1891 to new facilities on University Avenue in Provo Utah. The Academy's curriculum strengthened and enrollment grew. In 1903, the name was officially changed to Brigham Young University.
Brigham Young Academy principals included Warren N. Dusenberry (1876), Karl G. Maeser (1876-1892), and Benjamin Cluff (1892-1894). Benjamin Cluff served as Academy president between 1894 and 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 Brigham Young 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.
Language of Materials
Arranged alphabetically by correspondent.