Ben B. Cheney
Ben B. Cheney lived life fully and richly, devoting himself to his work, his family and his community. Founder of the Cheney Lumber Company, he was a tireless businessman and innovator. He is credited with standardizing the length of building studs at eight feet, a concept that reduced discarded and wasted wood.
Ben Cheney's passion was athletics, especially the game of baseball. He helped to bring a Pacific Coast League franchise to Tacoma and contributed to the construction of Tacoma's ballpark, Cheney Stadium. He was also a stockholder of the San Francisco Giants and served on its board of directors. Ben Cheney's love of sports was not confined to his own interests. In the small logging communities of Washington, Oregon, and California many young people played on Cheney-sponsored teams. Over 5,000 youngsters developed their skills while participating under Cheney sponsorship. Today many of these participants still retain the enthusiasm, self-discipline, and team spirit that come from athletic involvement.
But perhaps Ben Cheney showed his love of life best by establishing the Cheney Foundation in 1955. Long after his death in 1971, the Cheney Foundation continues to honor his enthusiasm for life by supporting a broad range of needs through its philanthropic efforts in the communities where the Cheney Lumber Company was once active. The Foundation also honors Ben Cheney's innovative and thrifty spirit by never forgetting that the purpose of every grant is helping people. The Foundation has provided grants to help with basic survival needs, such as food, health care and shelter. Other grants have helped to enrich communities through the arts, athletics and historical programs.
Ben Cheney lived life fully and richly. The Ben B. Cheney Foundation strives to carry on his hopes and dreams for the people and communities that he knew and loved.
Mr. Cheney's life was profiled by Med Nicholson in the Fall 2000 issue of The Sou'wester, a copy of which can be found on the History page. The Foundation also created a video profiling Mr. Cheney's life titled An American Dream Shared. Both can be accessed through the links on the left of this page.