The origin of the Smoot family is traced to thirteenth century Holland when a vassal of the Count of Holland chose the name Smout. The family, after conspicuous service, entered the ranks of the nobility and gained a coat of arms. William Smoot contracted to perform fifty days service in the Colony of Virginia in 1633. Impressed by the new land, he settled in America.
His decendent and the subject of this biography was born on February 17, 1815, in Owenton Franklin County, Kentucky, to George Smoot and Ann Rowlett who named their infant son Abraham Owen Smoot after an illustrious uncle, Colonel Abraham Owen. Young Abraham was so ill as a child that when he was nine years of age, burial clothes were prepared for his death which seemed imminent. Providence ruled otherwise. The young boy had a strong desire to live and find the true church. On March 22, 1835, at the age of twenty years, he was baptised by by Elder David Patten who in the confirmation promised Smoot that he would become strong and healthy which he did steadily from that date.
After being placed in charge of a local branch, Smoot was ordained an Elder on February 26, 1836 and labored as a missionary companion to Elders David Patten and Warren Parrish. He also labored as a missionary with Wilford Woodruff with whom he journeyed to Kirtland to go through the Temple where he was ordained a Seventy on December 20.
The Prophet Joseph sent Smoot back to the southern states to regain his health and to lead a company of southern saints to Missouri. Before starting south, he was promised in a Patriarchal Blessing pronounced by Joseph Smith Senior that he would recover his health and gain wisdom and fame among the saints and the Lord's protection while among his enemies. A Baptist Deacon who opposed Smoot in one of his public meetings of the journey was suddenly stricken dead.
College and Department
Religious Education; Church History and Doctrine
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Berlin, C. Elliott, "Abraham Owen Smoot: Pioneer Mormon Leader" (1955). All Theses and Dissertations. 4523.
A. O. Smoot, Abraham Owen, 1815-1895