Smoot, A. O. (Abraham Owen), 1815-1895

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Abraham O. Smoot was born 17 February 1815 in Owenton, Franklin County (later Owen County), Kentucky. He was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1835, when twenty years old, and led a group of Saints from the south to Far West, Missouri in 1837. He later served as captain of the second company to enter the Salt Lake Valley, arriving in September of 1847. He served approximately nine different missions for the Church, acted as president of the Perpetual Emigrating Fund in 1852, and was appointed mayor of Salt Lake in 1857. He was later asked by Brigham Young to move to Provo, Utah to serve as Utah Stake President and Provo's bishop. Several days after arriving he was also elected as Provo's mayor and acted in that capacity from 1868 to 1880. Smoot dedicated much of his energy and financial means to helping sustain the Brigham Young Academy and some have called him its financial savior. Smoot had six wives, including Margaret Thompson McMeans Adkinson (1809-1884), and died in Provo on 6 March 1895.

From the description of A.O. Smoot letters, 1866-1872. (Brigham Young University). WorldCat record id: 77553999

Mormon Church leader and pioneer.

From the description of Papers, 1837-1892. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122553574

Abrahem Owen Smoot was born 17 Feb. 1815 in Owenton, Franklin (later Owen County), Kentucky to Nancy Ann Rowlett (1787-1871) and George Washington Smoot (1785-1824). He was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at age twenty and thereafter became a major figure in its history. He served nine missions, led a group of Saints from the South to Far West, Missouri; was captain of the second company of Saints to enter the Salt Lake Valley; served as President of the Perpetual Emigration Fund in 1852; acted as Mayor of Salt Lake for ten years and of Provo for twelve. He is particularly recognized for his roll in shaping Provo and fostering the success of Brigham Young Academy, now Brigham Young University. Abraham O. Smoot died in Provo on 6 March 1895, arguably the most influential man in Utah County, Utah.

From the description of Smoot Family papers, 1836-1947. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 367988442

Brigham Smoot (1869-1892) served in the Samoa and Tonga missions from May 1889 to October 1892. He acted as president of the Tongan Mission from 14 July 1891 to 24 October 1892. Gilbert Van Schoonhaven was born 2 August 1828 in Albany, New York, married Mary Emma Greene (1843-1907) on 14 September 1859, and died 16 June 1903 in Salt Lake City. He served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to England from 1866 to 1868. Roland Nesbit Smoot, a son of Brigham Smoot, was a decorated Admiral in the Navy and served during World War II. Louisa Lula Greene Richards (1849-1944) was the first editor of the Woman's Exponent, an LDS periodical.

From the guide to the Smoot family papers, 1889-1984, (L. Tom Perry Special Collections)

Mayor of Provo, Utah, president of the Utah Stake, and a member of the board of trustees of Brigham Young Academy.

From the description of Papers, 1837-1894. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122699745

Mormon Church leader, businessman, and mayor of Provo, Utah.

From the description of A. O. Smoot affidavit, 1870. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122645230

From the guide to the A. O. Smoot affidavit, 1870, (L. Tom Perry Special Collections)

Smoot was mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah (1856-1866); president of the Utah Stake (1868-1895); mayor of Provo, Utah (1868-1880); and president of the Board of Trustees of Brigham Young Academy (1875-1895).

From the guide to the MS 2708 Abraham O. Smoot papers 1836-1893 (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Church History Library)

Mayor of Provo, Utah, president of the Utah Stake, and a member of the board of trustees of Brigham Young Academy.

Abraham Owen Smoot was born February 17, 1815, in Owenton Franklin County (later Owen County), Kentucky, son of George Washington and Ann Rowlett Smoot. He had two brothers, William Rowlett and Reed, and three sisters, Nancy Beal S. Freeman, Marstisha S. Smith and Jemimah S. Peck. When he was nine years old his father died. His mother later married Levi Taylor.

In 1828 the family moved to Benton County, Tennessee, where seven years later, at the age of twenty, he became a member of the L.D.S. Church on March 22, 1835. He was baptized by Warren Parrish and confirmed by David W. Patten, who promised him that he would by healed of a childhood infirmity and become a strong and powerful man. The blessing was realized to the letter. He was soon afterwards ordained a deacon and took charge of a small branch that had been organized by Apostle David W. Patten and Elders Woodruff and Parrish. He remained in charge of the branch until February 4, 1836 when he was ordained an Elder under the hands of Elder Wilford Woodruff.

He served on a mission with Elder Woodruff in the states of Kentucky and Tennessee. In the fall of 1836, he accompanied Elder Woodruff to Kirtland and during the following winter he attended school in Kirtland. Acting upon the advice of the Prophet Joseph Smith, he returned in the spring of 1837 to Kentucky as the climate of Kirtland did not agree with him. Soon afterwards, he and Elder H.G. Sherwood organized a company of saints and proceeded to Far West, Missouri, where the saints had settled after being driven from Jackson County, Missouri.

Elder Smoot resumed his missionary labors and continued to travel and preach until the latter part of 1838, when the saints were again driven out. While defending his people at Far West he, along with Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith and Parley P. Pratt and others, were taken as prisoners of war by the combined forces of the militia and mob of the state under the command of General John Clark. While he was imprisoned, he married his first wife, Margaret Thompson McMeans, a widow, on November 11, 1838. He adopted her son William Cochrane Adkinson.

In the month of July, 1839, they left Missouri in the general expulsion. They had only one small wagon in which to travel but they shared this limited room with a family of seven persons. The husband and father of this family was John S. Butler, who afterwards became the bishop of Spanish Fork, Utah.

They arrived in Quincy, Illinois on March 8, 1840. The following June, they moved to Nauvoo. After arranging for the comfort of his wife, he resumed his missionary labors, traveling in the southern states. After the death of Joseph Smith, he was assigned to gather the saints residing in the southern states and prepare them for the journey to the mountains. In the exodus from Nauvoo, he led a company of saints to Winter Quarters.

During the last months in Nauvoo, Brother Smoot helped with the completion of the temple. Under assignment from Brigham Young, he was one of the first to officiate in the temple ordinances. There on January 9, 1846, he had his second wife, Sarah Gibbons, and his third wife, Emily Hill, sealed to him. Sarah Gibbons did not accompany the family west. Emily Hill was a widow with a son, William Jasper Hill. Four children were born of his union to Emily: Albert Ether, Emily Ann, Margaret Thompson, and Zina Beal.

He became bishop of the Salt Lake Fifteenth Ward and was named the first justice of peace in the Territory of Utah, and in this capacity adjudicated many cases during the time of the gold rush to California. He also captained a train of merchandise to the valley, the first to cross the plains.

In the fall of 1851, he was called on a mission to England and arrived there January 1, 1852. When he left Salt Lake City, there had been no news from Liverpool for about seven months, and President Brigham Young was anxious for information of the work in Europe, so they traveled with all speed and made the quickest trip from the valley to England up to that time. Soon after his arrival in England he was notified that he had been chosen to conduct the first company of saints from Europe under the operation of the Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company. He left England in March in order to purchase the supplies for this company. He arrived back in the valley with his company on September 20.

After returning from England, he was made the first bishop of Cottonwood Ward. In 1853, he became construction superintendent of the sugar factory and then the first bishop of the Sugar House Ward. He soon married Diana Tanner Eldridge, and in February, 1856, his fifth and last wife, Anna Kirstine Morrison. He and Diana had twelve children, six boys and six girls: Abraham Owen, Nancy Diana S. Beebee, Olive S. Bean, Elizabeth S. Hardy, Leonora, Joseph Edmund, Ella Deseret S. Robinson, Arthur, Vilate S. Pierpont, Orson Parley, Horace Alma and William. Anna and President Smoot had seven children, three boys and four girls: Anna Christina S. Taylor, Alice S. Newell, Reed (a member of the Council of the Twelve Apostles and for thirty years a member of the United States Senate), George Morrison, Agnes Mary S. Glazier, Brigham Roland, and Ida Malline S. Dusenberry. Including his adopted son and his stepson, A. O. Smoot had twenty-five children, twelve sons and thirteen daughters.

Upon the death of Jedediah M. Grant, a business associate and first mayor of Salt Lake City, President Smoot succeeded him as mayor, serving ten years without salary. In February, 1868, President Brigham Young called him to go to Provo as president of Utah Stake, a position he held for the remainder of his life. He was elected mayor the month he arrived in Provo and held that office for twelve years also without pay.

One of his first projects was to have a road built joining Heber City and Provo. He organized the first co-operative mercantile store in Utah in 1869 and later the Woolen Mills. During these years he also served as the representative from Wasatch and Utah Counties on the Legislative Council for twelve years. The close of 1881 saw the beginning of one of his largest projects, the building of the Provo tabernacle, a project that was concluded in 1888.

In 1873, the First National Bank of Provo was organized and A. O. Smoot was president. Two years later a bank building was built as a cost of $20,000 on the northwest corner of Center Street and University, where it still stands. Along with these activities the Smoot Drug Company and other industries were made possible through his support and influence.

It was as president of the original trustees of Brigham Young Academy that he rendered one of his most enduring contributions. For nearly twenty years, he literally fulfilled President Brigham Young's request to him "... to take hold of the school, help it with your influence, and call upon the people to patronize it." Without his stalwart support the academy undoubtedly would have collapsed because of the difficulties which beset it. He suggested Karl G. Maeser to President Young as the principal of the academy. He underwrote the construction of additions to the Lewis Building, the early home of the academy. He made space available for the operation of the school when the Lewis Building burned down, and he assumed personal responsibility for obligations incurred constructing the new Education building, dedicated in January, 1892 after much delay and difficulty. In talking with his wife during this trying time he said:

"Annie, I haven't a piece of property that is not mortgaged. I have had to do it to raise money to keep the Brigham Young Academy going...I love that school and I can see what it means to our youth to have spiritual as well as book learning. It must live."

A. O. Smoot carried his responsibilities to Brigham Young Academy, to the Utah Stake of Zion, and to many of the financial institutions of Provo until the day of his death, March 6, 1895. From the time he joined the Church until his life was completed he was a faithful worker. At the time of his death he was a Patriarch of the Church and for twenty-seven years had been President of the Utah Stake of Zion.

He was described as large of frame, with strong features, one of the most prominent of which was a pair of piercing black eyes set beneath bushy, beetling brows. He was utterly devoid of ostentation, there was a dignity to his presence, a rugged grandeur to his physique that made him a striking personality wherever he appeared. When he spoke men listened, "...every word seemed to weigh a pound." Always practical and generally serious, he could be mirthful in season and sentiment as well as humor, bubbled up from the recesses of his soul. He was shrewd but honest in his dealings, and earnest in his convictions. No man was firmer in maintaining what he felt to be right, or more fearless in denouncing what he believed to bee wrong.

From the guide to the A. O. Smoot papers, 1837-1894, (L. Tom Perry Special Collections)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Gates, Susa Young, 1856-1933. Reminiscences of Brigham Young Academy. Harold B. Lee Library
creatorOf Smoot family papers, 1889-1984 L. Tom Perry Special Collections20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts
referencedIn Smoot, Margaret Thompson, 1809-1884. Autobiography [microform] (Typescript). Harold B. Lee Library
referencedIn Paul Thatcher family papers, 1809-1972 J. Willard Marriott Library, University of UtahManuscripts Division
referencedIn Dusenberry, Ida Smoot, 1873-1955. Ida Smoot Dusenberry papers, 1881-1955. Harold B. Lee Library
creatorOf LR 9629 21, Utah Stake. Presiding bishops' records 1851-1909 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Church History Library
referencedIn School of the Prophets (Provo, Utah). Minutes of the School of the Prophets held in Provo, Utah Provo (Utah), 1868 Apr 15-1869 Jun 8. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Snow, Edward Hunter, 1865-1932. Additions to the Edward Hunter Snow papers, 1978-1932. Harold B. Lee Library
creatorOf A. O. Smoot papers, 1837-1894 L. Tom Perry Special Collections19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts
creatorOf Smoot, Abraham Owen, 1856-1911. Missionary journal, 1876-1877. Harold B. Lee Library
creatorOf Smoot, A. O. (Abraham Owen), 1815-1895. A. O. Smoot affidavit, 1870. Harold B. Lee Library
referencedIn School of the Prophets (Provo, Utah). Minutes of the School of the Prophets held in Provo, Utah Provo (Utah), 1868 Apr 15-1869 Jun 8. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Smoot, Dianna Eldredge, 1837-1914. Autobiography [microform] (Typescript). Harold B. Lee Library
creatorOf Larson, Gustive O. (Gustive Olaf), 1897-1978. Gustive O. Larson papers, 1921-1978. Harold B. Lee Library
referencedIn Long, Emily Lunceford, 1901-1985,. Oral history interview with Emily Lunceford Long, 1983 February 2. Harold B. Lee Library
creatorOf MS 1322, Smith, George Albert 1817-1875. George A. Smith papers 1834-1877 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Church History Library
creatorOf Smoot, A. O. (Abraham Owen), 1815-1895. Smoot Family papers, 1836-1947. Harold B. Lee Library
creatorOf MS 19509, Woodruff, Wilford 1807-1898. Wilford Woodruff collection 1831-1905 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Church History Library
referencedIn Photographs of Utah County, Utah, 1912-1917. Harold B. Lee Library
referencedIn Biography of Anne K. Smoot, 1910 L. Tom Perry Special Collections20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts
creatorOf Smoot, A. O. (Abraham Owen), 1815-1895. Smoot family papers, 1889-1984. Harold B. Lee Library
referencedIn Biography of Anne K. Smoot, 1910? Harold B. Lee Library
referencedIn Ida Smoot Dusenberry papers, 1881-1955 L. Tom Perry Special Collections19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts
referencedIn Bill sent to Elijah Thomas (Salt Lake Mail Company), 1859 L. Tom Perry Special Collections19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts
creatorOf MS 1352, Woodruff, Wilford 1807-1898. Wilford Woodruff journals and papers 1828-1898 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Church History Library
referencedIn Photographs of BYU trustees, 1875-1975. Harold B. Lee Library
creatorOf Smoot, Abraham Owen, 1856-1911. Missionary journal, 1876-1877. Harold B. Lee Library
creatorOf Smoot, A. O. (Abraham Owen), 1815-1895. Biographical sketches [microform] (Typescript). Harold B. Lee Library
creatorOf A. O. Smoot affidavit, 1870 L. Tom Perry Special Collections19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts
referencedIn MS 10304, Smith, Joseph 1805-1844. Sturdevant and Mathews family collection 1807-1853 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Church History Library
referencedIn Cluff, H. H. (Harvey Harris), 1836-1916. Autobiography [microform] (Handwritten). Harold B. Lee Library
referencedIn Clark, Amassa Lyman, 1865-1968. Amassa Lyman Clark oral history interview : Tape and transcript, 1964 June 26 [sound recording] / conducted by Hollis Scott. Harold B. Lee Library
referencedIn PH 327, E.G. Williams & Bro. (Engraver : N.Y.). Engraved portrait collection circa 1890 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Church History Library
referencedIn Edward H. Snow papers, 1878-1932 L. Tom Perry Special Collections19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts
referencedIn PH 5962, Smith, George Albert 1817-1875. George A. Smith photograph collection circa 1862-1873 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Church History Library
referencedIn MS 5506, Woodruff, Wilford 1807-1898. Wilford Woodruff collection 1830-1898 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Church History Library
referencedIn Gustive O. Larson papers, 1826-1978 L. Tom Perry Special CollectionsUniversity Archives
referencedIn PH 8004, Smith, Bathsheba Wilson Bigler 1822-1910. Bathsheba W. Bigler Smith photograph collection circa 1865-1900 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Church History Library
creatorOf Smoot, A. O. (Abraham Owen), 1815-1895. Papers, 1837-1894. Harold B. Lee Library
creatorOf MS 2708, Smoot, Abraham Owen 1815-1895. Abraham O. Smoot papers 1836-1893 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Church History Library
creatorOf Bean, Olive Smoot. A memento and tribute of respect to Margaret T. Smoot from her family and friends on her sixty-seventh birthday this Easter Sunday, April 16, anno domini 1876, and in the centennial year of the independence of the United States, 1880, December 29. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Kane, Kay Pierpont, 1938- ,. Kay Pierpont Kane family papers. Harold B. Lee Library
referencedIn Reed Smoot collection, n.d. [photographs]. Utah Division of State History, Utah Historical Society
creatorOf Smoot, A. O. (Abraham Owen), 1815-1895. Papers, 1837-1892. Harold B. Lee Library
creatorOf Smoot, A. O. (Abraham Owen), 1815-1895. A.O. Smoot letters, 1866-1872. Harold B. Lee Library
referencedIn Kay Pierpont Kane family papers, 1836-2008 L. Tom Perry Special Collections20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts
creatorOf CR 100 334, Historian's Office (1842?-1972). Church emigration undated Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Church History Library
creatorOf MS 1308, Whitney, Orson Ferguson 1855-1931. Orson F. Whitney papers 1868-1930. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Church History Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Bean, Olive Smoot. person
associatedWith Beebe, Nancy Diana Smoot. person
associatedWith Brigham Young Academy. corporateBody
associatedWith Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints corporateBody
associatedWith Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Southern States Mission. corporateBody
associatedWith Clark, Amassa Lyman, 1865-1968. person
associatedWith Cluff, H. H. (Harvey Harris), 1836-1916. person
associatedWith Dusenberry, Ida Smoot, 1873-1955. person
associatedWith Grant, Heber J. (Heber Jeddy), 1856-1945 person
associatedWith Historian's Office (1842?-1972) corporateBody
associatedWith Kane, Kay Pierpont, 1938- , person
correspondedWith Larson, Gustive O. (Gustive Olaf), 1897-1978. person
associatedWith Long, Emily Lunceford, 1901-1985, person
associatedWith Nauvoo Temple (Nauvoo, Ill. : 1841-1850) corporateBody
associatedWith Perpetual Emigrating Fund. corporateBody
associatedWith Richards, Lula Greene person
correspondedWith Salt Lake City (Utah). Mayor corporateBody
associatedWith School of the Prophets (Provo, Utah) corporateBody
associatedWith S.E. Ward and Company corporateBody
associatedWith Smith, Bathsheba Wilson Bigler 1822-1910 person
associatedWith Smith, George Albert 1817-1875 person
associatedWith Smith, Joseph, 1771-1840. person
associatedWith Smoot, Abraham Owen, 1856-1911. person
associatedWith Smoot, Ann Rowlett. person
associatedWith Smoot, Brigham, 1869-1946 person
associatedWith Smoot, Diana Eldredge. person
associatedWith Smoot, Diana Eldridge, 1837-1914. person
associatedWith Smoot, Dianna Eldredge, 1837-1914. person
associatedWith Smoot family family
associatedWith Smoot family family
associatedWith Smoot, George. person
associatedWith Smoot, H. Alma. person
associatedWith Smoot, Margaret Thompson, 1809-1884. person
associatedWith Smoot, Martha Thompson, 1809-1884. person
associatedWith Smoot, Roland N. (Roland Nesbit), 1901-1984 person
associatedWith Snow, Edward Hunter, 1865-1932. person
associatedWith Sutherland, George, 1862-1942 person
associatedWith Taft, Robert, 1917-1993 person
associatedWith Terry, Ellen, Dame, 1847-1928 person
associatedWith Thatcher family family
associatedWith Utah Stake corporateBody
associatedWith Van Schoonhoven, Gilbert Henry, 1828-1903 person
associatedWith Van Schoonhoven, Mary Emma, 1843-1907 person
associatedWith Wells, Emmeline B. (Emmeline Blanche), 1828-1921 person
associatedWith Whitney, Orson Ferguson 1855-1931 person
associatedWith Woodruff, Wilford, 1807-1898. person
associatedWith Young, Brigham, 1801-1877. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Provo (Utah)
Utah--Provo
Provo (Utah)
Provo (Utah)
Salt Lake City (Utah)
Salt Lake City (Utah)
Utah
Utah
Kirtland (Ohio)
Salt Lake City (Utah)
Great Britain
Utah--Provo
Salt Lake City (Utah)
Provo (Utah)
Southern States
Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail
Provo (Utah)
Subject
Material Types
Mormon church--Missions--History--Sources
Universities and colleges--History--Sources
Politics, Government, and Law
Military
Mayor
Mormons--Persecutions
Mormon missionaries--England--Diaries
Mormon missionaries--Tonga--Diaries
Territorial Government
Soldiers--Utah--Provo--History--Sources
Universities and colleges--Utah--Provo--History--Sources
Correspondence
Ecclesiastical courts
Mayors--Utah--Provo--History--Sources
Mayors--History--Sources
Mormon women--Utah--Biography
Mormon missionaries--Samoan Islands--Diaries
Immigration and American Expansion
Politicians--History--Sources
Politicians--Utah--Provo--History--Sources
Mormon Church--Presidents--Correspondence
Mormon women--Biography
Mormons--Emigration and immigration--History--Sources
Mormon Church--Missions--Southern States--History--Sources
World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American
World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Pacific Area--Sources
Soldiers--History--Sources
Patriardchal blessings (Mormon Church)--History--Sources
Missionaries
Occupation
Stake presidencies
Missionaries
Function

Person

Birth 1815-02-17

Death 1895-03-06

Male

English

Information

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