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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:

Reminiscences of Brigham Young Academy

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197231243863]
Identifier: UA 594
Scope and Contents

Contains an article on the origin of the Music department by Susa Young Gates; recollections of teaching in the Primary department by Anna Smoot Taylor; a brief overview of the Ladies Work department by Jennie Tanner; and a tribute to A. O. Smoot (authorship unknown).

Dates: Publication: 1892

A. O. Smoot affidavit

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197230343979]
Identifier: MSS 183
Scope and Contents

Handwritten affidavits sworn before Smoot as mayor of Provo, Utah. The manuscript was apparently recorded by Smoot who seems to be responsible for much of its wording. The item deals with disturbances by United States soldiers in Provo, Utah.

Dates: 1870

A. O. Smoot family papers

Identifier: MSS 3843
Scope and Contents

The A. O. Smoot family papers consists of correspondence, publications, genealogy records, journals, account books, receipts, and related ephemera. The collection covers several generations and family members of the Smoot Family. Materials are dated 1815 to 1961.

Dates: 1815-1961

A. O. Smoot letters

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197225531455]
Identifier: MSS 3175
Scope and Contents One letter written from the Salt Lake City Mayor's Office, from Abraham O. Smoot to Brigham Young. Smoot informs President Young that despite being nominated for Mayor of Salt Lake City, he prefers to decline. He had already served for 9 years in that capacity. Also, a letter from Margaret T. Smoot, one of Abraham O. Smoot's wives, to a person whose identity has not been determined. The letter is four pages long, with Margaret's signature following the first three pages. The last page looks...
Dates: 1866-1872

A. O. Smoot papers

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197232489648]
Identifier: MSS 574
Scope and Contents Photocopies of handwritten and printed certificates, letters of appointment, letters, an invitation, and a patriarchal blessing. The materials include a missionary recommendation dated 1851 when Smoot was called on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Britain; a patriarchal blessing from Joseph Smith, Sr., the father of the first president of the Church, Joseph Smith, Jr.; two appointments as an agent for the Perpetual Emigration Fund for the Church; a letter...
Dates: 1837-1892

A. O. Smoot papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 896
Scope and Contents The A. O. Smoot papers comprise the accumulation of records over the period of fifty-seven years and include journals, diaries, financial records and correspondence dealing with business, personal, church, and Brigham Young Academy matters. The letters are holograph and typewritten, the journals are in both the original handwritten form and xerox copies.The missionary journals were written by A.O. Smoot for the years of 1837 to 1838 and 1844 to 1845 while he was serving in the...
Dates: 1837-1894

A. O. Smoot patriarchal blessing for Abraham Owen Smoot II

 Item — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197239236422]
Identifier: MSS 8886
Scope and Contents

Contains a father's patriarchal blessing given to Abraham Owen Smoot II by his father, A. O. Smoot. Date of production not identified.

Dates: date of production not identified

Edward H. Snow papers

 Collection — Box 1: [Barcode: 31197231042653]
Identifier: MSS 2367
Scope and Contents

This collection contains material from the life of Edward Hunter Snow and covers the years 1878-1932. These materials are in addition to other materials previously acquired by BYU.

Dates: 1878-1932

To his honor Abraham O. Smoot, ex mayor of Great Salt Lake City

 File — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 6012

One large 22 x 28 inch manuscript honoring ex-mayor of Great Salt Lake City, Abraham Owen Smoot, dated 5 March 1866.

Dates: 1866 March 5

Orson F. Whitney and Zina B. Smoot Whitney correspondence

 Collection — Box 1: [Barcode: 31197232585338]
Identifier: MSS 8669
Scope and Contents

Materials include photocopies of correspondence between Orson F. Whitney and Zina B. Smoot Whitney in addition to photocopies of correspondence from Abraham O. Smoot, Margaret T. Smoot Dusenberry, and some of their other friends, relatives, and associates. Most of the letters are concerning personal family matters and religion. Dated approximately 1868-1898.

Dates: approximately 1868-1898