Ben Cheney

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Ben Cheney
Born Ben Bradbury Cheney
1905
Died 1971

Ben Bradbury Cheney (1905–1971) was an American businessman and sports enthusiast active in Pacific Coast states. Cheney founded the Cheney Lumber Company and is credited with standardizing the size of wall studs at 8 feet long by 2 inches thick by 4 inches wide,[1] commonly referred to as a 2-by-4. Cheney is also known for his efforts in constructing Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Washington.

In the lumber industry, Cheney established mills in Tacoma, Washington, and in Medford, Oregon. He also constructed mills in Greenville, Pondosa, and Arcadia, California. Cheney came up with the idea of standardizing an 8-foot 2-by-4 around 1937 as a way to use timber that was wasted when railroad ties were cut out of large logs. By 1940, large railroad car loads of 2x4s were beginning to be shipped and used in construction.[2]

As a sports enthusiast, Cheney sponsored sports teams in all the towns in which he was in business. He held an 11% stake in the San Francisco Giants. Cheney is most famous for helping build Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, personally contributing $100,000 to cover construction overruns of the stadium. A grinning, life-size bronze statue of Cheney, complete with scorecard and peanuts, occupies a front row seat in the grandstand of Cheney Stadium.[3]

In 1955, Cheney established the Cheney Foundation, a charity which encourages the growth and prosperity of communities where the Cheney Lumber Company was once active.[1] Cheney died in 1971, bequeathing $10 million to his ongoing charity.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Ben B. Cheney". The Ben B. Cheney Foundation. Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  2. ^ E-mail from Ken Ristine, Senior Program Officer, Ben B. Cheney Foundation
  3. ^ Lacitis, Erik (April 19, 2005). "Memories fade, but Ben Cheney lives on through stadium". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2008-09-13.