Bishop Budge, of Paris, state senator representing Bear Lake County, Idaho, one of the most widely known and influential men in the state as a citizen and as a Republican, and a power for good through his administration of the affairs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in his stake and throughout Idaho, is a native of Lanark, Lanarkshire, Scotland, and a son of William and Mary (Scott) Budge, born May 1, 1828. His father was of Highland Scotch ancestry and was born in Edinburg. His mother came of the Scotts, of Douglas Castle, Scotland. They were of the highest respectability, of good social status and members of the Presbyterian Church. Bishop Budge’s father died in the sixty-third year of his life, and his mother at the age of forty-seven. They had eight children, of whom Senator Budge was the second born. He attended school in Scotland, but the education he gained in that way was so meager that he may truly be said to be a man selfeducated, as he is undoubtedly selfmade in the best and most creditable sense of the term. At twenty he was converted to the faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and, almost immediately became one of its missionaries and labored in its behalf, in England, Scotland, Switzerland and Germany, with such great success that he sent many hundreds of converts to the headquarters of the church in America, and he was for some years second counselor of the president of the church in Europe. Much of this work he accomplished before he was thirty. In 1860, when he was thirty-two, he brought about six hundred men, women and children to America on the sailing vessel William Tapscott. Their destination was Salt Lake City. They arrived at New York in July and were there joined by other converts, making a devoted band which, as its captain. Bishop Budge led in a long journey across the plains. Seventy-two ox wagons were required. A few of the company died en route, and Bishop Budge lost his own little child by death on the plains. Once when they were encamped they were visited by a large party of Indians, whom they fed and who departed without molesting them in any way. The overland journey consumed three months, and the party reached Salt Lake City on October 5, 1860. Upon their arrival the church made provisions for those who were needy, and the others soon secured work-here and there, or engaged in business if they had the means, and became permanent settlers. As for William Budge, he located at Farmington, Idaho, and while he did not abate his work for the church, labored for his material support at whatever his hands found to do. After a time he was ordained a bishop of the church, and removed to Cache valley, where he engaged in farming and was for six years county assessor and collector of taxes. Later he was sent abroad as president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Europe and fulfilled the responsibilities of that high office with signal ability for some years. In 1870 he came to Paris, Idaho, as bishop of the church in Bear Lake County and became prominent in the affairs of the church in Idaho. This office also he has filled with marked ability, and under his management the church has had a steady and substantial growth. A splendid tabernacle has been built at Paris by the Bear Lake Stake, at a cost of forty-seven thousand dollars, which is much the finest house of worship in the state of Idaho. A large building is being erected for a pretentious educational institution under the church auspices, at which it is intended to fit students for college. These extensive building operations have been carried on under the Bishop’s general supervision, which has provided for the payment of all expenses as they have become due and has not created any debt, direct or indirect.
For many years the Latter Day Saints took little interest in politics, but about the time of the admission of Utah to statehood they began to side with different parties in different localities as they believed their church and personal interests dictated. Bishop Budge inclined to the Republican view of public questions and affiliated with that party. He was twice sent to the national capital to exert his influence with congressmen in the interests of his people, and was twice elected to the Idaho territorial legislature from Bear Lake County and made a favorable reputation for himself with the public men with whom he came in contact. In 1898 he was elected a member of the Idaho state senate, in which body he has served with ability, dignity and true devotion to the best interests of his constituency.
When Bishop Budge came to the territory now known as Bear Lake County, it was a poor country, sparsely settled and offering little encouragement to investment or enterprise. His life and that of his associates was in a sense the life of the pioneer. In all the trials through which the people have passed. Bishop Budge has stood by them manfully and has used his great ability and personal influence to silence opposition and remove obstacles. He has devoted so much of his time and labor to the church that he has been debarred from prospering financially as he might have done otherwise, and he has not acquired a large amount of property, but he has a pleasant home at Paris and a good ranch upon which he farms and raises stock successfully, and he is slowly but surely laying the foundation for a comfortable competence. He was married in 1856 to Miss Julia Stratford, a native of England. Five of their children have grown to maturity: Julia, who married Charles W. Nibley; Annie, who is postmistress at Paris: Mary, who married H. Smith Wooley: Jesse, now a student in the law department of the University of the State of Michigan; and Rose, who married Joseph R Shepherd.