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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:

A. O. Smoot correspondence, 1852-1888

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

This file contains letters between Abraham O. Smoot and several correspondents including Brigham Young and William R. Minish. Topics include the alottment of Perpetual Emigration Funds for pioneers traveling to Salt Lake City, Utah, the persecution of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Missouri, and the settling of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in St. George, Utah. Materials dated 1852 to 1888.

Dates: 1852-1888

A. O. Smoot family blessings, 1838-1895

 File — Box 2: Series 2; Series 3 [Barcode: 31197227657209], 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.

Dates: 1838-1895

A. O. Smoot family correspondence, 1851-1914

Identifier: MSS 3843 Series 1
Scope and Contents

Contains incoming and outgoing letters from members of the Smoot family. Materials date from between 1851 and 1914.

Dates: 1851-1914

A. O. Smoot family documents, 1815-1961

Identifier: MSS 3843 Series 3
Scope and Contents

Contains receipts, diaries, poetry, account and memo books, certificates and other personal documents, autograph books, invitations, bank notes and warranty deeds, speeches, periodicals, letters, IOUs, and newspaper clippings. Materials are dated approximately 1815 to 1961.

Dates: 1815-1961

A. O. Smoot family genealogy, 1837-1947

Identifier: MSS 3843 Series 2
Scope and Contents

Contains genealogical materials, correspondence, blessings, and other materials related to the history of the Smoot family. Materials date from between 1845 and 1947.

Dates: 1837-1947

A. O. Smoot family genealogy records, 1880-1899

Identifier: MSS 3843 Series 2 Sub-Series 2
Scope and Contents

This subseries includes family life sketches, family documents, and genealogical records of the A. O. Smoot family. Materials are dated 1880-1881.

Dates: 1880-1899

A. O. Smoot family ordinance work papers, 1845-1890

Identifier: MSS 3843 Series 2 Sub-Series 3
Scope and Contents

Inclcudes family records of temple ordinances performed in the Nauvoo, Logan, Manti, and Salt Lake temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Also included are correspondence and charts on the Smoot and McMeans families. Materials are dated 1845 to 1891.

Dates: 1845-1890

A. O. Smoot family photographs, approximately 1880-1890

Identifier: MSS 3843 Series 5
Scope and Contents

This series contains photographs of A. O. Smoot and Orson Parley Smoot. Materials dated approximately 1880 to 1890.

Dates: approximately 1880-1890

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.

Dates: 1880-1890

Abraham Owen Smoot Family Association records, 1922-1947

 File — Box 2: Series 2; Series 3 [Barcode: 31197227657209], Folder: 8
Identifier: MSS 3843 Series 2 File 3
Scope and Contents

This file contains foundational documents, newsletters and family reunion programs organized by the Abraham Owen Smoot Family Association. Materials are dated 1922-1947.

Dates: 1922-1947