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Margaret T. Smoot correspondence, 1851-1882

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 5
Identifier: MSS 3843 Series 1 File 5

Scope and Contents

This file contains letters to Margaret T. Smoot from various family members. Topics include mission updates, health updates, and a lock of hair from David P Woodruff. Materials dated 1851 to 1882.


  • 1851-1882


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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

Margaret Thompson McMeans, daughter of Anthony McMeans and Esther Hunter, was born in Chester, South Carolina, on April 16, 1809. Some time after her father's death in about 1815, her mother moved the family to Roan County in Tennessee. Here she met Charles Adkinson, whom she married on January 1, 1827; they raised one son, William Cochrane Adkinson. Due to later rumors of his infidelity, the couple separated, and in 1829 Margaret was forced to move west to keep Charles from taking custody of William. While living in Paris, Tennessee, in September 1834, she first heard the Gospel preached, and was baptised into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on November 8 of that year. In the spring of 1837, she joined a company of Saints bound for Far West, Missouri, traveling along with Abraham O. Smoot, to whom she was betrothed. They were married in Far West on November 11, 1838 while prisoners of war; Margaret was did her share to help the men by cutting patches, running bullets, cooking meals, dressing wounds, making beds, tending the sick, cheering the down-hearted, and otherwise sharing whatever she had with those in need. Margaret and Abraham had no children together, but Smoot legally adopted and was sealed to her son William in the original Nauvoo LDS Temple immediately upon its completion (approximately 1836). Abraham was suqsequently sealed to other wives in this Temple under the doctrine of plural marriage. The family eventually crossed the plains with the first waves of Saints, arriving in the Salt Lake Valley in September 1847. After the family was well settled, Abraham was called on several missions throughout the States and to Europe. While living in Salt Lake City, Margaret was called as President of the Twentieth Ward Relief Society, where she served for many years until she moved to Provo with Abraham in 1868 due to his calling as President of the Provo Stake. While there, she served as president of the young ladies' organization. She also served as President of the Silk Association of Utah County, and in 1878 was called as Stake Relief Society President of Utah County (in which capacity she remained until her death). She died in Provo, Utah on September 1, 1884 and was buried in Provo City Cemetery. She is credited with having named the Sugar House neighborhood of Salt Lake City.

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 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.


1 folder

Language of Materials


Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States