This morning in the very early hours of the morning, at
that hour when my mind begins to work on problems and receive clear
pictures and inspiration, I began to receive some clear memories and
pictures. First came to my mind a paragraph in the Journal of Hyrum
Cluff containing a very brief narrative of an event. Benjamin Cluff and
a group from the BYU came to Col. Garcia on their way to South America.
Hyrum Cluff relates; "I took them to some Ancient Indian Ruins where
they excavated some excellent artifacts. Then I accompanied them for 90
miles on their trip south. On my return trip I was captured by two
outlaws and held prisoner for quite a few hours. Then they released me
and I got home safe and sound."
In my mind the clear pictures began to come of Benjamin
Cluff and his group prepared and equipped to explore a long their way to
South America. Then to my mind came many questions that I could not
answer. I had recently heard on BYUTV a short sketch on Benjamin Cluff
and his administration at BYU. From this I gathered that he was a very
active and innovative BYU President having studied under the founder,
Bro. Karl G Maser.
Now the questions that came into my mind: What was the
purpose of this expedition through Mexico and South America for this
group from BYU? How did they travel, was it by train or by horse back?
Certainly it would have been by horse back while they were in the Sierra
Madre and Col. Garcia. The date of this trip must have been between the
years 1905 and 1912. And at that time the only mode of travel would be
by rail or wagon or horse back. It could not have been by wagon in the
Sierra Madre past Garcia, because at that time there were no roads or
trails and would have been a rugged trip even by horse back with their
Hyrum Cluff did not give in detail the name of the point
where he left the expedition to return home to Garcia, but a proximately
90 miles from Garcia would have been the American Colony & Lord
Pearson's saw mill at Madera, if it was in and around 1910 or 11.
My mind began to search for a solution to these problems,
and I began to realize that certainly one or more of that group from BYU
would record and write down the day to day events of that trip. I
realized then that I would very much like to read and research the
details of that great undertaking of long ago. Being nearly blind and
with many physical limitations I knew that I could not go to BYU and do
this research. So I then thought of presenting theses enticing questions
to descendants of the Cluff Family at our Family Reunion. Then I thought
of the members of our Family that are also descendants of the Cluff
Family and then came up with the idea that DeMar is working at BYU and
would have access to the Library and the journals and documents left at
BYU. Of course DeMar is very busy with his work and studies so he would
have to catch the vision and feel the enthusiasm of this research
project for the Cluff Family. He might know someone of the descendants
of the Cluff Family that might undertake this project as a Thesis for
graduation. Think it over DeMar; you might uncover some very valuable
History, not only for the family, but for the University as well.