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Smoot, Reed, 1862-1941



  • Existence: 1862 - 1941

Biographical History

Reed Smoot (1862-1941) was a Republican senator from Utah (1903-1933) and an apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1900-1941).

Reed Owen Smoot was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on January 10, 1862 to former mayor of Salt Lake City, Abraham O. Smoot and Anne Kristina (Morrison) Smoot. Reed Smoot attended public schools and the University of Utah, and graduated from Brigham Young Academy in Provo, Utah in 1879. After graduation, he served as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in England. He married Alpha M. Eldredge of Salt Lake City on September 17, 1884. They were the parents of seven children.

On April 8, 1900, Smoot was ordained as an apostle of the Church and became a member of the Church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. After becoming an apostle in 1900, Smoot received the approval of church president Joseph F. Smith to run for office in 1902. He was elected the same year to the United States Senate (58th Congress) as a Republican Senator, representing the state of Utah. His election sparked a bitter four-year battle in the Senate on whether Smoot was eligible or should be allowed to serve, due to his position as an apostle. As a result, the Senate began an investigation into Smoot's eligibility. The Smoot Hearings began on January 16, 1904. On February 20, 1907 the Senate defeated the proposal and Smoot was allowed to serve in the Senate. Smoot was reelected in 1908. The Senate bill creating the National Park Service was sponsored by Reed Smoot. Additionally, Smoot was Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee from 1923 to 1933 and served on the Senate Appropriations Committee. He served as a delegate to the Republican national convention in 1908, 1912, 1916, 1920, and 1924. He was Chairman of the 1928 Resolutions Committee at the 1928 Republican National Convention and chairman of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee. Smoot was a co-sponsor of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff in 1930. Smoot continued to serve in the Senate until March 1933.

After his retirement, Smoot moved back to Salt Lake City. He died on February 9, 1941 and is buried in Provo, Utah.

Citation:, Accessed April 29, 2013 (born Salt Lake City Utah January 10, 1862; parents Abraham O. Smoot, Anne Kristina Morrison; attended public school, University of Utah, graduated Brigham Young Academy 1879; LDS mission to England; married Alpha M. Eldredge September 17 1884, seven children; ordained LDS apostle April 1900, member of Quorum of Twelve Apostles; with Prophet's approval, elected Republican Senator for Utah 1902; eligibility investigated as LDS Apostle, Smoot Hearings held 1904-1907; re-elected 1908, sponsored National Park Service bill; Chairman of Senate Finance Committe, 1923-1933; Senate Appropriations Committee; delegate Republican National Convention: 1908, 1912, 1916, 1920, and 1924; Chairman, Resolutions Committee, 1928 Republican National Convention; Chairman, Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee; so-sponsor, Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, 1930; completed service in Senate 1933; returned to Salt Lake City, died February 9, 1941; buried in Provo, Utah). )

Found in 42 Collections and/or Records:

Reed Smoot photographs, 1903-1935

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 1187 Series 9
Scope and Contents

Contains photographs of Reed Smoot in various capacities. Includes pictures of him with Charles Lindbergh and President Calvin Coolidge. Also includes images of Smoot's early life and his relatives, particularly Abraham O. Smoot.

Dates: 1903-1935

Reed Smoot speeches and articles, 1883-1941

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 1187 Series 5
Scope and Contents

Contains addresses given by Smoot and articles authored by him. Includes his words on political and other subjects. Also contains his election addresses. Pertains to reclamation projects, prohibition, history, and religion. Newspaper articles address Smoot's life and success as a Senator. Dated 1883-1941.

Dates: 1883-1941

Reed Smoot subject files, 1837-1966

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 1187 Series 7
Scope and Contents

Contains research files arranged by subject which pertained to Smoot's career and work. Includes several files on the Mormon church and its history, particularly with polygamy. Also includes many economic papers, agriculture and forestry reports, and war during Smoot's political career. Includes a large book of clippings given to Reed Smoot from the Newspaper Enterprise Association about the Asia-Pacific Defenses era. Materials dated 1837-1966.

Dates: 1837-1966

Samuel Russell, Jr. correspondence, 1920 June 28-1936 November 12

 File — Box 9: Series 13 [Barcode: 31197233277653], Folder: 2
Identifier: MSS 1511 Series 13 File 2
Scope and Contents

Contains miscellaneous correspondence of Samuel Russell, Jr., including a letter to Reed Smoot (Latter-day Saint apostle and senator), and a letter from the Indian Defense Association. 9 items, dated June 28, 1920 to November 12, 1936.

Dates: 1920 June 28-1936 November 12

Reed Smoot certificate

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197233245015]
Identifier: MSS SC 596
Scope and Contents

Printed form with handwritten notations. A certificate appointing Reed Smoot, Latter-day Saint Church leader and later Utah Senator, as director of the Territorial Insane Asylum in Utah. On reverse is an affidavit signed by Smoot swearing to support the U.S. Constitution, especially the acts regarding polygamy.

Dates: 1894

Reed Smoot certificates and photograph

 Collection — Oversize 1: [Barcode: 31197218624069]
Identifier: MSS 3736
Scope and Contents Collection contains items relating to Reed Smoot, including two framed documents and one framed photograph. One of the documents certifies that Reed Smoot was chosen to be a representative of Utah for six years beginning on March 4, 1909. It is signed by Utah Governor William Spry. The glass is broken and mostly missing. The other document acknowledges that Mr. Smoot was appointed by the Vice President to make an Alaskan investigation on March 4, 1911. It is signed by Charles G. Bennett,...
Dates: 1909-1911

Reed Smoot correspondence with Alpha May Eldredge Smoot

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197233294500]
Identifier: MSS 7945
Scope and Contents

Contains six letters written by Reed Smoot to his wife, Alpha May Eldredge Smoot, between the years 1903 and 1906. The letters mainly report on family life. Smoot writes from Washington D.C., where he is serving as a United States Senator. His letters tell about the experiences he is having, his responsibilities as a senator, as well as responding to letters that his wife had sent him.

Dates: 1903-1906

Reed Smoot letters

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197230334119]
Identifier: MSS 1115
Scope and Contents

Photocopies of two typewritten letters and a certificate. The letters were addressed to Daniel B. Hill Richards, a Utah lawyer. The items recommend Richards for the position of consul general in Cairo, Egypt, and discuss strategy to be used against those who were attempting to unseat Smoot from the United States Senate.

Dates: 1903-1904

Reed Smoot papers

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197233275707]
Identifier: UA 290
Scope and Contents

Contains a typewritten assembly addresss and a typewritten Founder's Day assembly address.

Dates: 1930; 1932

Reed Smoot papers

Identifier: MSS 1187
Scope and Contents Contains correspondence, journals, photographs, newspaper clippings, speeches, and memorabilia. Most of the materials relate to Smoot's career as a senator and his activities as a church leader. His senatorial materials document his work with the United Sates Tariff Commission, as well as his confirmation hearings. His correspondents include the president of the United States: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover and...
Dates: 1827-1967