President Brigham Young of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) charted Brigham Young College (BYC) on August 6, 1877, just twenty-three days before he died. President Young deeded 9,642 acres in south central Cache County to a group of trustees for the establishment of a college.
Classes first met on September 9, 1878 in a rented space inside Lindquist Hall on the corner of 200 North and 100 East in Logan. The school later moved into the basement of the Logan LDS Tabernacle from 1882 until 1884. That is when the trustees approved construction of a permanent home for the school at the corner of 100 West and 100 South in Logan on land donated by the family of LDS Apostle Moses Thatcher. BYC began operations within the newly constructed East Building at the beginning of the 1884-85 school year.
It was this gift of land (and apparently the influence of the Thatcher family) which effectively negated the idea of a permanent site for the college on the farm located in south central Cache Valley. Instead, that land was rented to farmers, providing a small income for the college. In early 1890, the farm was sold to the renters, apparently to avoid a contest for title with the Central Pacific Railroad. The funds realized from the sale of the land enabled the construction of the West Building in 1898-99.
At first, BYC offered four years of high school and four years of baccalaureate education, however in 1909 the LDS Church Board of Education eliminated much of the upper division coursework. The first year of high school was eliminated in 1909 as well. In 1920 the second year of high school was terminated and on March 31, 1926 the LDS Church Board of Education voted to close BYC along with all other Church-affiliated high schools. While the State of Utah assumed support of Weber Academy, Snow Academy, and Dixie Academy, it made no effort to perpetuate BYC since the state-supported Utah Agricultural College (UAC), now known as Utah State University (USU), was also located in Logan.
BYC’s forty-eighth and final commencement took place on May 23, 1926. Afterwards, much of the college’s equipment and library materials were sold at a nominal price to UAC while the campus itself became the home of the Logan Senior High School, where it continues to operate today.
This digital collection covers the history of BYC from its beginnings in 1877 to its final memorial service in 1926 and contains many of the college’s publications, such as the student-edited Crimson and Crimson Annual, and the official College Bulletins and Catalogues. While many of the BYC materials held in USU’s Special Collections and Archives are represented in the digital collection, the finding aids for the Brigham Young College Records Collection (1877-1926) and the Brigham Young College Photograph & Memorabilia Collection (1860-1963) contain a full inventory of items.
(landing page text adapted from text by A.J. Simmons)
Funding for the digitization of these materials was provided, in part, by a grant from the Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board (USHRAB).
Suggested Browsing Topics:
Dan Davis (photograph curator)
Alison Fabricius Gardner (project assistant)
Clint Pumphrey (manuscript curator)
Darcy Pumphrey (project manager)
Branson Roskelley (initial project planner)
Becky Thoms (project advisor/lead)