On August 2, 1875, James Yorgason, soon to be the Bishop of the Fountain Green Utah Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, took his first plural wife. In doing so he joined a rather elite group of Mormon men who were known as polygamists. Over the next thirteen years, as he built a financial empire to support them, he took five more plural wives, making him exceptional even among the elite.
But then in 1887 the Edmunds-Tucker law was passed and "The Raid" against Mormon polygamists began, the United States entered a time of monetary crisis in 1888, and by 1889 most of the western United States, including Sanpete County, Utah, was experiencing a severe drought. Together these situations destroyed James Yorgason's financial base, and shortly thereafter each of his plural wives filed for divorce, effectively destroying his polygamous family.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; History
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Yorgason, Blaine M., "The Impact of Polygamy Upon the Life of James Yorgason: A Nineteenth-Century Mormon Bishop" (1976). Theses and Dissertations. 5231.
James Yorgason, 1847-1917, Polygamy, religious aspects, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints