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Abraham Owen Smoot (February 17, 1815 – March 22, 1895) was a Mormon pioneer, the second mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, mayor of Provo, Utahmarker, and an early supporter of Brigham Young Academy (later called Brigham Young Universitymarker).

Early Life

Smoot was born in Owenton, Kentuckymarker on February 17, 1805 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 followed her 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. (Woodruff would later marry Smoot's niece and name a son, Abraham Owen Woodruff, after Smoot.)

He to western Missouri in 1837, and from there embarked on five-month proselytizing mission to southern Missouri and Arkansas in 1838. After the Missouri Mormon War, in which Smoot participated, he moved to Montrose, Iowamarker. In August 1841, he left to preach in South Carolina, and returned in July 1842. He led a branch of Church in Keokuk, Iowamarker. In 1844, he served another mission in Alabama.


On November 11, 1838, he married Margaret Thompson McMeans McMeans in Far West, Missourimarker in the aftermath of the siege..

Smoot officiated in the Nauvoo Temple during the winter of 1845-1846. 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. Senator Reed Smoot was one of his sons.

Leadership in Utah

Salt Lake City

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. He served as mayor until 1866. He also twice was a bishop in Salt Lake City.

Provo and Brigham Young Academy

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

Smoot was the first head of the board of trustees of Brigham Young Universitymarker, then known as 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 Brigham Young University is known as the Abraham O. Smoot Administration Building.


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