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Smoot, A. O. (Abraham Owen), 1815-1895



  • Existence: 1815 - 1895

biographical statement

Abraham Owen Smoot (1815–1895) was a Mormon pioneer, mayor of both Salt Lake City and Provo, Utah, and an early supporter of Brigham Young Academy.

Abraham Owen Smoot was born February 17, 1815, to George W. Smoot and Ann Rowlett of Owenton, Kentucky. His father died when he was young, after which his mother remarried and moved the family to Tennessee. Here he was converted and baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1835 at the age of 20; he was given immediate stewardship over the small branch of the Church there in Benton County. In February of the following year, he went on a mission to Kentucky and Tennessee. In 1837, he moved to western Missouri, and in 1838 he was called on a proselyting mission to southern Missouri and Arkansas. During this time, as Mormons were being driven out of Missiouri, he fought in the Missouri Mormon War in Far West. On November 11, 1838, in the aftermath the siege, Smoot married Maragret Thompson McMeans. Over the course of his life, he took five additional wives: Sarah Gibbens and Emily Hill in 1846, Diana Caroline Tanner Eldredge in 1855, Anne Kristine Mauritzen in 1856, and Hannah Caroline Rogers in [date unknown]. He had twenty-seven children, three of whom were adopted. He was called on another mission to South Carolina in August 1841, returning in July 1842. He led the Keokuk branch for a while before leaving on another mission, to Alabama, in 1844. Smoot led companies of Church members to the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, 1852, and 1856. He served as a councilman in Sugarhouse from 1854-1857, then became mayor of Salt Lake City, serving until 1866. He stepped down when he received a call as president of the Provo Utah Stake. In Provo, he was again elected mayor, serving from 1868-1881. He was a major investor in Provo Wollen Mills, cofounder of a bank and a lumber company, and first head of the board of trustees of Brigham Young Academy (now Brigham Young University). He is credited with making major financial contributions that allowed the Academy to continue functioning, and BYU's administration building bears his name today.

He died in Provo on March 6, 1895.

Citation:, accessed February 11, 2014 (born February 17, 1815, Owenton, Kentucky; parents George W. Smoot, Ann Rowlett; converted to LDS Church, baptized 1835 age 20; ordained Elder February 1836, preached in Kentucky and Tennessee with Wilford Woodruff, David W. Patten; 1837 moved to Missouri, proselyting mission to southern Missouri and Arkansas 1838; fought in Missouri Mormon War; November 11, 1838, married Margaret Thompson McMeans in Far West, moved to Iowa; mission to South Carolina 1841-1842; led Keokuk branch; mission to Alabama, 1844; officiated in Nauvoo Temple 1845-1846; asked to live law of plural marriage, took 5 other wives: Sarah Gibbens and Emily Hill 1846, Diana Caroline Tanner Eldredge, Anne Kristine Mauritzen, Hannah Caroline Rogers; twenty-seven children, with three adopted; notables Senator Reed Smoot, Brigham Smoot, Ida Smoot Dusenberry, and Zina Beal Smoot, wife of Orson F. Whitney; led Saints to Salt Lake 1847, 1852, 1856; Sugar House council man 1854-1857; mayor of Salt Lake City 1858-1866, bishop twice; Provo Utah Stake President starting 1868; Provo mayor 1868-1881; major investor, Provo Woolen Mills, also cofounder of bank and lumber company; first head, board of trustees, Brigham Young Academy, and major financial contributor; namesake of BYU's Abraham O. Smoot Administration Building), accessed February 12, 2014 (married Diana Eldredge 1855; married Anne Mauritzen 1856), accessed March 27, 2014 (dad died when young; mother remarried, moved family to Tennessee; assumed leadership of Benton County branch; died in Provo on March 6, 1895)

Found in 40 Collections and/or Records:

Gustive O. Larson photograph albums, 1911-1947

Identifier: UA 622 Series 9 Sub-Series 1
Scope and Contents note

Contains three photograph albums.

Dates: 1911-1947

Gustive O. Larson research files, 1826-1978

Identifier: UA 622 Series 5
Scope and Contents note Research notes from the holdings of various academic libraries, Huntington Library, etc. Files on Great Basin settlement and colonization, Nauvoo-Utah territory, contemporary Mormon issues (U.S. Land Office), the polygamy/underground period (Brigham Young serving as governor), immigration and the Perpetual Emigration Fund, Utah and Western History, Mormon history in general, the LDS Church and its dealings with Indians, U.S. federal government and dealings with Indians, Chief Walker and the...
Dates: 1826-1978

Gustive O. Larson student papers, 1955-1971

Identifier: UA 622 Series 6
Scope and Contents note Biographies of historical figures, and papers on African-Americans, Mormon splinter groups, Mormon culture, Mormon doctrine, Mormon economic issues, education, fashion, early American forts, Indians, industry, historical jubilees and celebrations, Kirtland and Zion's Camp, U.S. military, missionaries, Mormon colonization, Mormon-Gentile relations, newspapers and magazines, organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, historical places, politics and government, polygamy,...
Dates: 1955-1971

Kay Pierpont Kane family papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 3310
Scope and Contents

Collection contains photographs, genealogical information, news articles and obituaries, a family bible, and personal histories on A. O. Smoot and descendants and the Pierpont line collected by Kay Pierpont Kane. Materials date from between 1836 and 2008.

Dates: 1836-2008

Gustive O. Larson papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 622
Scope and Contents Contains Gustive O. Larson's personal and professional papers. These include personal history, scholarly and religious writings, research files, teaching files, business records, civic and professional organization files, papers by students and other scholars, personal and business correspondence, and personal memorabilia. Includes a personal life history Larson had been preparing, other autobiographical writings relating to his personal life, church service, travel, as well as personal...
Dates: 1826-1978

Margaret T. Smoot correspondence, 1851-1882

 File — Box 1: Series 1; Series 2 [Barcode: 31197227657191], Folder: 5
Identifier: MSS 3843 Series 1 File 5
Scope and Contents

This file contains letters to Margaret T. Smoot from various family members. Topics include mission updates, health updates, and a lock of hair from David P Woodruff. Materials dated 1851 to 1882.

Dates: 1851-1882

Photograph of Abraham O. Smoot

 Digital Record
Identifier: UAP2_F010_p010top

Photographs of Abraham O. Smoot and Diana Eldredge Smoot

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 9561
Content Description

Three platinum photographs of Abraham O. Smoot and Diana Eldredge Smoot. Dated approximately 1880-1890.

Dates: approximately 1880-1890

Photographs of university trustees

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 830
Scope and Contents

Contains thirty-nine black-and-white photographs of presidents of the Board of Trustees of Brigham Young Academy and University; also views of chairmen of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of BYU. Also includes view of Karl G. Maeser's wife, Anna.

Dates: 1875-1975

Photographs of Utah County, Utah

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS P 57
Scope and Contents

Collection includes photographs of Utah County, Utah from the early 20th century. Photographs include images of A.O. Smoot, William Howard Taft, and Utah County towns.

Dates: 1912-1917