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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 36 Collections and/or Records:

A. O. Smoot blessings and other material, 1837-1899

 File — Box: 2, Folder: 19
Identifier: MSS 3843 Series 2
Scope and Contents Primarily blessings given either to A.O Smoot (by Joseph Smith, Sr. and Wilford Woodruff) or by him to his wives and children, including adoptees; dated 1837-1899.
Dates: 1837-1899

A. O. Smoot family genealogy records, 1880-1881

 Sub-Series — Box: 2, Folder: 11-12
Identifier: MSS 3843 Series 2 Sub-Series 2
Scope and Contents Smoot family life sketches, family documents, and genealogical records, 1880-1881.
Dates: 1880-1881

A. O. Smoot genealogy correspondence, 1880-1902

 Sub-Series — Box: 2, Folder: 1-10
Identifier: MSS 3843 Series 2 Sub-Series 1
Scope and Contents Primarily incoming items to William R. Minnish (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., all circa 1880-1902.
Dates: 1880-1902

Abraham Owen Smoot Family Association records, 1922-1947

 File — Box: 2, Folder: 20
Identifier: MSS 3843 Series 2
Scope and Contents Abraham Owen Smoot Family Association constitution and bylaws, newsletter, and family reunion program, 1922-1947.
Dates: 1922-1947

Bill sent to Elijah Thomas (Salt Lake Mail Company)

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS SC 442
Scope and Contents Handwritten bill of $437.84 for food and dry goods delivered between March 22 and July 9, 1857 to various agents. Payment was received 1859 August 10.
Dates: 1859

Biography of Anne K. Smoot

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS SC 1873
Scope and Contents Handwritten biography of Anne Kristin Smoot and a photocopy of it. The item was written by an unnamed daughter of Anne Smoot. Anne came from Norway and married Abraham O. Smoot. The biography contains information concerning the temporal and spiritual experiences of Anne Smoot.
Dates: 1910

Ida Smoot Dusenberry papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSS 1432
Scope and Contents Collection includes biographical materials, correspondence, writings and notes, newspaper clippings and mementos relating mainly to her personal and family history. Includes funeral guest register and transcript of funeral.
Dates: 1881-1955

Gustive O. Larson business correspondence, 1921-1978

Identifier: UA 622 Series 3
Scope and Contents note Correspondence with fellow scholars, Church notables, and others. Also business records, including job application, home files, tax returns, employment contracts, Credit Union records, research grants, student rental records, Medicare records, bank statements, do-it-yourself pamphlets, investments, ration coupons.
Dates: 1921-1978

Gustive O. Larson collection addendum, 1900-1947

Identifier: UA 622 Series 9
Scope and Contents From the Collection: Contains Gustive O. Larson's personal and professional papers. These include personal history, scholarly and religious writings, research files, teaching files, business records, civic and professional organization files, papers by students and other scholars, personal and business correspondence, and personal memorabilia. Includes a personal life history Larson had been preparing, other autobiographical writings relating to his personal life, church service, travel, as well as personal...
Dates: 1900-1947

Gustive O. Larson papers on civic affairs and professional organizations, 1949-1978

Identifier: UA 622 Series 7
Scope and Contents note Programs, conference papers, news clippings, pamphlets, flyers, correspondence, and other materials from Larson's involvement with Provo Heritage Mountain development, the Echo Canyon project, Glen Canyon Dam Project, the Democratic party, Red Cross, American Heart Association, Rotary club, United Nations, American Historical Association, Western History Association, Utah Folklore Society, Utah Westerners, Mormon History Association, Sons of the Utah Pioneers, Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts and...
Dates: 1949-1978