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George H. Brimhall address

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 7712

Scope and Contents

One four-minute address given by Brimhall at College Hall on May 24, 1926. The talk discusses briefly why it is important to learn things repetitively. Brimhall also lays out what his eighteen basic needs are in categories such as places to visit yearly, things to read yearly, memory gems to repeat often, things to keep clear in mind, things to be, and things needed in daily life.


  • 1926 May 24


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 My needs / George H. Brimhall must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical history

George H. Brimhall (1852-1932) was a teacher and college administrator in Utah. He served as acting president of Brigham Young University from 1900 to 1902, and as president of Brigham Young University from 1903 to 1921.

George Henry Brimhall was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on December 9, 1852, and was a member of a family of Utah pioneers. His father, George Washington Brimhall, was born November 14, 1814, and came to Utah with the early pioneers. His mother was Rachel Ann Mayer, who was born in Indiana on February 9, 1829. Brimhall always credited his parents with playing an important part in his career. His father was a man of intellect, a master mechanic by trade, always interested in public affairs and in his church, and was a member of the early Iron County. Brimhall resembled his mother in physical features and mental endowments, and her constant encouragement during his early struggle for an education fortified his resolution and inspired him to reach the worthy goal of his ambition.

His first schooling was in a private school in Ogden. Later he attended public schools in Salt Lake City and at Cedar Fort in the Dixie country. While getting formal schooling, he was also getting experience by manual labor in the harvest fields, in logging and hauling timber, and in freighting to mining camps. Throughout his entire life he enjoyed activities of the out-of-doors: fishing and hunting, mountain climbing, and travel both at home and abroad. In October of 1872, he was one of forty-two youths who helped build one of the first high schools in the state, known as the Young Men's Academy, in Spanish Fork. Brimhall was one of its students and also became an instructor; while there he worked out a system of school grading. He attended the Timpanogos University, an institution of secondary grade, in Provo, Utah, before returning to Spanish Fork to teach. In 1875 he entered the Brigham Young Academy, meeting his expenses by work as a janitor and by outside jobs on holidays and vacations. He was given a normal diploma in 1877, and then became principal of schools at Spanish Fork and later also performed the duties of county superintendent of Utah County. He returned to Provo as superintendent of schools and again held the additional position of county superintendent.

From these positions he was called to the Brigham Young Academy, at first as a teacher in the preparatory department, at a salary of twenty dollars a month. Later he took charge of the normal training school, also directed the high school department, and during the presidency of Benjamin Cluff, Jr., was advanced to the chair of psychology and pedagogy. In 1900 he was made acting president of Brigham Young University and on January 3, 1904, was made president. He held that office for eighteen years, and in 1921 was given the honorary title of president emeritus and director of theology.

He received the degree of Bachelor of Pedagogy from Brigham Young Academy in 1893 and in 1898 the Latter-day Saints Board of Education conferred upon him the degree of Director of Science and Didactic. Brimhall was president of the Utah State Teachers Association in 1897-98, was a life member of the National Education Association, and was prominent in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, acting as state superintendent of Sunday Schools, and as a member of the Latter-day Saints General Board of Education, General Board of Examine, and General Board of Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association. He was a Republican in politics and in 1896 was a candidate for the State Senate.

Brimhall married Alsina Wilkins in 1874 and the children of this union were Lucy J., Alsina E., George W., Mark H., Wells L., and Milton H. (deceased). In 1885 he married Flora Robertson and the children of the second marriage were Dean R., Fay R., Fawn R., Burns R., Ruth Afton, Paul R., Alta R. (deceased), Golden H. and Areo.

George H. Brimhall died on July 29, 1932, in his home in Provo, Utah.


1 folder (0.1 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Materials were left in original order.

Custodial History

Donated by Brent Ashworth in 2010.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Brent Ashworth; 2010.


University history (University Archives collecting policy, February 2010).

Illustrates a topic that the former president of Brigham Young University felt was important enough to discuss with the student body.


Alternate title: My needs / George H. Brimhall

Processing Information

Processed; Elizabeth Ballif, student manuscript processor, and John M. Murphy, curator; 2011.

Register of George H. Brimhall address
Elizabeth Ballif, student manuscript processor, and John M. Murphy, curator
2011 August 8
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