Former Plural Wife Shares Her StoryOGDEN, Utah – Joanna Joseph, former wife of polygamist Alex Joseph, will present "Reflections of a Plural Wife – My Life with Alex Joseph" November 20 at 11 a.m. in Weber State University’s Stewart Library Special Collections.
Joanna grew up as a member of the Baptist church and graduated high school in 1971 as a National Merit Scholar. While attending the University of Montana in the early 1970s, she first met Alex Joseph and learned of his lifestyle. She married him in March 1973, becoming his fifth wife, and they spent 26 years together until his death in 1998.
An advocate for plural marriage, Joanna first became interested in polygamy while studying at the university. After watching Joseph interact with his other wives, she came to view monogamy as the reason for many of society’s problems, such as poverty, adultery, divorce and broken homes.
Her presentation focuses on the relationship she had with Alex and his other wives, as well as the duties and roles she handled for the family.
Alex Joseph attracted national media attention for his outspoken beliefs on the practice of plural marriage and his claims of having as many as 20 wives. He served three terms as mayor of Big Water, Utah, leading him to boast he was the only polygamist elected to public office in the United States. Despite repeated attempts by authorities to curtail Joseph, he successfully eluded prosecution.
Joanna Joseph’s appearance is sponsored by WSU’s honors program in conjunction with the criminal justice department.