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Brigham Young Academy presidential correspondence, 1896-1897

 Series
Identifier: UA 1093 Series 6

Scope and Contents

Contains correspondence between Cluff 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.

Dates

  • 1896-1897

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Restricted. Closed for 100 years from the date of creation of the records, and thereafter open to the public in accordance with the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Restriction Policy. Requests to access restricted materials in the University Archives should be submitted to the University Archivist.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Administrative History

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.

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.

Extent

3 folders

Language

English

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

Other Finding Aids

Item-level inventory available online. http://files.lib.byu.edu/ead/XML/UA1093.xml

Creator

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

Contact:
1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States