Polygamy and Mormon Church Leaders William B. Smith

09 July

William B Smith

March 13, 1811

November 13, 1893

early mormon polygamistsOf all the polygamists that I’ve reported on thus far this man is at the top of my list for leaving a legacy of confusion.

Poor William was either misunderstood by everyone around him or he was born with a pre-disposition to find trouble, or both. His relationship with older brother Joseph wasn’t what the Church portrays as everyone being happy and whether that carried over to how other church leaders viewed him is left to be told. It seems the majority of his problems came after Joseph & Hyrum’s assassinations.

The Church has varying lists offering sparse info on his marriages (not a surprise there), but once I began my William Smithresearch I found upwards of twenty plus wives and an arrest record as long as my arm. He was a colorful individual indeed. You can get more info on his wives here.

Because William was ex-communicated on a number of occasions and eventually joined the RLDS Church (now the Community of Christ), there isn’t a lot of information on him in Church writings. He didn’t join the other Mormons when they left Nauvoo and he never lived in Utah. He died at the age of 82 in Iowa.

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