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A. O. Smoot genealogy correspondence, 1880-1890

Identifier: MSS 3843 Series 2 Sub-Series 1

Scope and Contents

Primarily incoming items to William R. Minish (1880-1890), as well as incoming and outgoing items to Abraham Owen Smoot, Alma Eldredge, William, Daniel, and other Smoot family members; pertaining to Smoot and Eldredge genealogy, and including filled forms, etc. Materials dated 1880-1902.


  • 1880-1890


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to use material from this collection must be obtained from Reference Services at

Biographical History

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 was ordained an Elder and began preaching the Gospel in Kentucky and Tennessee along with Wilford Woodruff, David W. Patten, and others. In 1837, he moved to western Missouri, and was called on a proselyting mission to southern Missouri and Arkansas in 1838. Being forced west with the Saints, he fought in the Missouri Mormon War in Far West. On November 11 of that year, in the aftermath the siege, Smoot married Maragret Thompson McMeans, then moved on to Iowa. 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. He served as an officiator in the Nauvoo Temple in 1845 and 1846, then was asked to live the law of polygamy. 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; these include U.S. Senator Reed Smoot, Brigham Smoot, Ida Smoot Dusenberry, and Zina Beal Smoot, wife of Orson F. Whitney.

Smoot led companies of Saints 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 (where was also bishop twice), serving until 1866. He stepped down when he received a call as President of the Provo Utah Stake. After the move, 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 University (then Brigham Young Academy). 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.Biop

Biographical History

William R. Minish, Sr., son of Richard C. Minish and Sarah Lester, was born on September 14, 1840. He entered the pharmaceutical business in 1855, and at the time of his death was the oldest druggist in Kentucky. He served in the U.S. Civil War as Private in the 54th Kentucky Mounted Infantry under Captain Robert H. Young. He married Adrian Frances Thomas (1850-1915) in about 1870. They bore five children: William R. Minish, Jr., Edith Rowlett Minish Suter, Gertrude Gibson Minish Brown, Grace Thomas Minish, and Sarah Frances Minish (three survived infancy).

Minish was the Local Registrar for the State Board of Health of Kentucky over the Town of Gratz in 1915. He was also a Master Mason in Keystone Lodge No. 470, in the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. He died at age 89 of natural causes in Gratz, Kentucky, on May 20, 1929 and was buried in Mount Minish Cemetery.


10 folders

Language of Materials



Materials are arranged chronologically by writer and recipient.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States