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A. O. Smoot family blessings, 1838-1895

 File — Box: 2, Folder: 7
Identifier: MSS 3843 Series 2 File 1

Scope and Contents

This file contains blessings given either to A. O. Smoot, by Joseph Smith, Sr. and Wilford Woodruff, or by A. O. Smoot to his wives and children, including adoptees. Materials are dated 1837-1899.


  • 1838-1895


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 / Historical

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 / Historical

Joseph Smith, Sr. (1771-1840) was born on July 12, 1771 in Topsfield, Massachusetts to Asael Smith and Mary Duty. He married Lucy Mack in Tunbridge, Vermont on January 26, 1796, and had 11 children with her. He attempted several professions, including farmer, teacher, and shopkeeper, with limited success in any of them. In 1816, the family moved to Palmyra, New York, where Smith had started to make payments on a farm in neighboring Manchester Township. He was raised to the degree of Master Freemason on May 7, 1818, in Ontario Lodge No. 23 of Canandaigua, New York. Family life and progress were interrupted by the unexpected death of the Smith's eldest son, Alvin, in 1823, as a result of which they failed to make payments on the farm. Lemuel Durfee purchased it as a favor to the family and allowed them to continue living and farming there as renters until 1830.


1 folder

Language of Materials



Arrangement maintained original order.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States