1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Smoot, Reed

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SMOOT, REED (1862- ), American politician, was born at Salt Lake City, Utah, Jan. 10 1862. He was educated in his native town and at the Brigham Young Academy, Provo, Utah. He amassed considerable wealth as a banker and woollen manufacturer. In 1895 he was appointed one of the presidency of the Utah Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon), and in 1900 was made an apostle. He was elected to the U.S. Senate from Utah in 1902 and reëlected in 1908, 1914, and 1920. In 1903 attempts were made to prevent his entering the Senate because of his connexion with the Mormon church, and on the charge that he personally favoured polygamy and even that he himself was a polygamist. He was allowed to take his seat; but the matter was placed in the hands of the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections for further investigation. In June 1906 the Committee by a vote of 7 to 5 recommended that he be unseated; but as the personal charges against him had not been proved the Senate in Feb. 1907 by a vote of 42 to 23 refused to remove him. In 1919 he was chairman of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee. In 1921 he was a leading advocate of the adoption of a sales-tax, but failed to obtain its acceptance by the Senate, though the movement was widely favoured in business circles.