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William Budge in Brief

After his conversion to Mormonism in Scotland at the end of 1848, William Budge spent nine years (April 20, 1851 to May 10, 1860) as a missionary in England, Switzerland and Germany. Then in 1860 he came to Utah, where he spent ten years prior to his assignment to Paris, Idaho. He served as Bear Lake stake president , and, after an absence on another European mission from 1878 to 1880, eventually became recognized as spokesman for Idaho’s large Mormon population. When Idaho was admitted as an anti-Mormon state, he led the opposition to constitutional restrictions that prevented the Latter Day Saints from voting, holding office, or serving on a jury. Before Mormons were excluded from politics, he had legislative experience e in the territorial Council to which he was elected in 1880; after the Saints were readmitted to public life, he was chosen a Bear Lake county senator in 1898. Finally in 1906 he became president of Logan temple. One of his sons, Alfred Budge, [son of William and second wife Eliza Pritchard] served for many years as a district judge and on the Idaho supreme Court. One of Alfred’s sons, Hamer Budge, represented Idaho in Congress before his appointment as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

--Idaho State Historical Society Reference Series, No 539, 1971

While a missionary in England, William met and married Julia Stratford, sister of Lucetta Stratford.

On December 16-17, 1904, William Budge and Charles W. Penrose testified before the United States Senate in the Smoot Hearings (1903-1906). Elected Utah senator Reed Smoot faced a challenge to his right to occupy his Senate seat. Those opposed to Smoot asserted that plural marriages continued to take place Post-Manifesto and that the Mormon church condoned the practice. Senator Smoot was not a polygamist, but he was a Mormon apostle. Idaho Senator Fred Dubois and others questioned Budge.

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