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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



From the earliest ages the science of architecture has fascinated men of broad mental vision. The monuments and cathedrals that have stood in massive grandeur for centuries untold bear witness to the desire of man to express his aspirations and visions in stone or marble. At no time, however, has the profession risen to such prominence as in the history of the twentieth century, whose remarkable commercial development demands artistic yet substantial architecture as the expression of its character. Noteworthy among the architects who are formulating and developing the cities of the ]3resent day, mention belongs to Clarence C. Cuff, member of the firm of Cuff & Diggs, architects who for some years successfully have engaged in their chosen profession in Sacramento, meanwhile design- ing and planning a number of the finest structures in this part of the state.

Of Canadian birth and ancestry, Clarence C, son of H. W. and Mary Cuff, was born in the city of Toronto January 15, 1871. The excellent schools of Toronto furnished him with the best grammar-school advantages and he continued his studies until he was fifteen years of age, when he discontinued school work for the occupation in which he was destined to make a subsequent success. The preliminary study of architecture was carried on with an architect of Toronto, whose instruction guided him wisely and thoroughly through the formulative period of his researches. Later he had the advantage of three years of study in the Toronto School of Architecture, from which he was graduated with a high standing. Immediately after completing his course of study he went to Buffalo. N. Y., and entered the office of an architect, with whom he remained five years. Later he was employed by architects in different parts of the United States and thus gained a thorough conception of favorite styles of architecture in the various localities. While following his profession in New York City he there married in September of 1904 Miss Louise Schuster, a cultured woman of eastern birth and thorough education.

After his arrival in the west during 1905 Mr. Cuff engaged with an architect in San Francisco for one year, after which he came to Sacramento and for two years held a position in the office of the state architect. Later he formed his present partnership with M. I. Diggs and under their capable alliance the substantial grammar-school at Marysville has been erected, the Diepenbrock theatre presents an added attraction for lovers of dramatic art in Sacramento, the Travelers Hotel of Sacramento and the Eldorado county court- house at Placerville have been built, the California Hospital at Sacramento is accepted as a model of the kind, the warehouse of Thom- son, Diggs Company forms an addition to the business part of the city, and the residences of D. W. Carmichael, C. B. Dewees and Senator M. Diggs stand as monuments to the originality and skill of the architects. Since he crossed from Canada into our own country Mr. Cuff has made a study of national problems and has given his allegiance to the Republican party. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and professionally is an active member of the Architectural League of Sacramento and an associate member of the American Institute of Architects. 

History of Sacramento County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011