Abraham O. Smoot

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Abraham O. Smoot
Abraham Owen Smoot.jpg
Photo of A. O. Smoot by C. R. Savage.
Born Abraham Owen Smoot
(1815-02-17)February 17, 1815
Died March 22, 1895(1895-03-22)
Spouse(s) Margaret Thompson McMeans
Sarah Gibbens
Emily Hill
Diana Caroline Tanner Eldredge
Anne Kirstine Mauritzen
Hannah Caroline Rogers

Abraham Owen Smoot (February 17, 1815–March 22, 1895) was a Mormon pioneer, the second mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, mayor of Provo, Utah, and an early supporter of Brigham Young Academy, which evolved into Brigham Young University (BYU).

Early life[edit]

Smoot was born in Owenton, Kentucky on February 17, 1815 to George W. Smoot and Ann Rowlett Smoot. His family moved twice in his childhood, first to southwestern Kentucky and then to banks of the Blood River in Tennessee. His mother converted to Mormonism in 1833, and he did the same in March 1835.


In February 1836, he was ordained an Elder and began preaching in Kentucky and Tennessee with Wilford Woodruff, David W. Patten, and others.[1] Woodruff would later marry Smoot's niece and name a son, Abraham Owen Woodruff, after Smoot.

Smoot moved to western Missouri in 1837. From there he embarked on a five-month proselytizing mission to southern Missouri and Arkansas in 1838. After participating in the Missouri Mormon War, Smoot moved to Montrose, Iowa. In August 1841, he left to preach in South Carolina, returning in July 1842. He led a branch of the church in Keokuk, Iowa. In 1844, he served another mission in Alabama.[2]


On November 11, 1838, he married Margaret Thompson McMeans McMeans in Far West, Missouri.[1]

Smoot officiated in the Nauvoo Temple during the winter of 1845-1846.[3] He began practicing polygamy in January 1846 by marrying Sarah Gibbens and Emily Hill. He eventually married three more women (Diana Caroline Tanner Eldredge, Anne Kirstine Mauritzen, and Hannah Caroline Rogers) and had twenty-seven children, three of whom he adopted. United States Senator Reed Smoot and Brigham Smoot were two of his sons; a daughter was Ida Smoot Dusenberry. Smoot's fourth child and third daughter, Zina Beal Smoot, was the wife of apostle Orson F. Whitney.

Leadership in Utah[edit]

Salt Lake City[edit]

Smoot led companies of pioneers to the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, 1852, and 1856. He was an alderman from the Sugar House district from 1854 to 1857. He became mayor of Salt Lake City in 1857 after the death of his business partner and then mayor Jedediah M. Grant.[4] He served as mayor until 1866. He also served twice as a bishop in Salt Lake City.[3]

Provo and Brigham Young Academy[edit]

Brigham Young called Smoot to be president of the Utah Stake in Provo, Utah. Smoot reluctantly accepted, and moved to Provo in February 1868. Within a week, he was elected mayor, an office he held until 1881.[5] He was a major investor in the Provo Woolen Mills, and was cofounder of a bank and a lumber company.[6]

Smoot was the first head of the board of trustees of Brigham Young Academy. Smoot is also credited with making major financial contributions to the Brigham Young Academy that allowed it to continue functioning. Today, the administration building at BYU is named after Smoot.


  1. ^ a b Whitney, Orson Ferguson (1904). History of Utah: Biographical. Salt Lake City: G.Q. Cannon. p. 99. 
  2. ^ Whitney, Orson Ferguson (1904). History of Utah: Biographical. Salt Lake City: G.Q. Cannon. p. 100. 
  3. ^ a b Whitney, Orson Ferguson (1904). History of Utah: Biographical. Salt Lake City: G.Q. Cannon. p. 101. 
  4. ^ Tullidge, Edward William (1886). History of Salt Lake City. Salt Lake City: Star Printing. pp. 874–875. 
  5. ^ Walch, Tad (2005-11-07). "Provo's wild bunch". Deseret News. p. B1. 
  6. ^ Whitney, Orson Ferguson (1904). History of Utah: Biographical. Salt Lake City: G.Q. Cannon. p. 102. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Jedediah M. Grant
Mayors of Salt Lake City
Succeeded by
Daniel H. Wells