MANNERS & MORALS Although the Mormon church has
banned polygamy since 1890, some fundamentalist heretics practice it in
defiance of church and state. Last week, Arizona authorities were
trying hard to catch one of them. The fugitive: George Merlin Dutson,
excommunicated middle-aged Mormon.Dutson, according to a Maricopa County prosecutor, not only has married
eight wives , but has had them all toiling cheerfully
for years to support him. Sheriff's officers arrested six of them on a
charge of “notorious cohabitation” last week. Four
were working happily together on a ten-acre farm near the town of Mesa.
One was toiling on another farm, and a sixth was
hard at work running a store and gas station. The two other wives live
outside the state, one in Salt Lake City, one in Rock Springs, Wyo.According to their neighbors, the six Arizona wives also go from door to
door in their spare time selling homemade layettes and
spectacle-cleaning tissues. But even after jailing Hilda Dutson, 46,
Arline Dutson, 48, Hazel Dutson, 55, Lura Dutson, 44, Sara Dutson, 43,
and Anna Dutson, 33, the local law didn't have too much hope of
catching their lord & master.The women, all neat, cheerful, housewifely types, obviously harbored no
jealousy of each other, and they had nothing but admiration for Dutson.
They were not bothered at hearing that he was courting three more
women. When asked where he was, they answered happily, “Between here
and there.” At week's end it seemed likely that Dutson had jaunted off
to Mexico, where, Mormon Bishop Wendel Davis suspects, he maintains a
sort of foreign branch with two wives.