Miles Park Romney

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Miles Park Romney (putative), c. 1860s
Hannah Hill Romney

Miles Park Romney (August 18, 1843 – March 1904) was a prominent builder in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was born in Nauvoo, Illinois, the son of Miles Romney.[1][2] He was the president of the St. George Social Hall Company and the St. George Dramatic Association, and also served as a chief of police, attorney-at-law, newspaper editor, and architect.[3] One of his sons, Gaskell Romney, was the father of George W. Romney and grandfather of Mitt Romney.[4][5]

Miles Park Romney moved to Utah with the body of the church while still a child. He became a builder like his father. After he married his first wife he was sent on a mission for the Church in England. After his return he followed the then teachings of the Church and married another wife.

Romney became prominent in the community, building Brigham Young's home. Miles Park Romney and his three wives and various children were then sent to settle St. Johns, Arizona, as part of the Church leadership's plan to settle a larger area. St. Johns was not particularly welcoming to the Mormon newcomers, with Romney, the editor of the local Mormon paper a particular target; Romney became entangled in a non-Mormon led effort to try David King Udall, another prominent Mormon and bishop, for fraud involving a homestead application and after various threats to hang the lot of them, the polygamous Romney family was told to try Mexico instead.[6]

A polygamist,[7][8] in the aftermath of the Edmunds Anti-Polygamy Act of 1882 (later amended by the Edmunds–Tucker Act, 1887), Romney, on April 7, 1885, joined a party leaving Arizona to find land outside the U.S., in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, on which his family could settle, free from fear of his arrest.[9] Romney died on February 26, 1904, in Colonia Dublan, Mexico.

Romney's five wives, in order of marriage, were Hannah Hood Hill (1862), Caroline "Carrie" Lambourne (1867), Catherine Jane Cottam (1873), Alice Marie "Annie" Woodbury (1877) and Emily "Millie" Henrietta Eyring Snow (1897).[8][10] Romney married Hannah Hood Hill on May 10, 1862, at Salt Lake City, Utah.[11]

Catherine Jane Cottam married Romney as a plural wife in 1873. Her personal diaries, now published, comprise a significant record of her life and times.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kranish, Michael; Helman, Scott (2012), The Real Romney, HarperCollins, p. 52
  2. ^ Gibbons, Daniel B.; Gaskell, Elizabeth (2002), A Gathering of Eagles: Conversions from the Four Quarters of the Earth, Writers Club Press, p. 245
  3. ^ "Polygamy Prominent in GOP Presidential Hopeful Mitt Romney's Family Tree". Fox News. December 6, 2011.
  4. ^ BURNETT, John (January 22, 2012), Mexican Cousins Keep Romney's Family Tree Rooted
  5. ^ Milbank, Dana (February 2, 2012), Meet Mitt Romney's cousin, Washington Post
  6. ^ Miller, Mark Edwin. "St. Johns' Saints: Inter-ethnic Conflict in Northeastern Arizona, 1880-1885," The Journal of Mormon History 23 (Spring 1997): 66-99.
  7. ^ Michaud, Jon (January 26, 2012), Takes: Polygamy and the Romneys, Lives of the Saints, The New Yorker
  8. ^ a b Compton, Todd (May 2012). "Mitt Romney's Polygamous Heritage".
  9. ^ Harris, T. George (1968), Romney's way: a man and an idea, Prentice-Hall, OCLC 437793
  10. ^ Peterson, Ethel Romney (2001). "Biography: Miles Park Romney". Orson Pratt Brown. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
  11. ^ a b Romney, Catherine Cottam; Hansen, Jennifer Moulton (ed.) (1992), Letters of Catherine Cottam Romney, plural wife, University of Illinois PressCS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)

Further reading[edit]