King Belk of Liberal, Missouri (cont.), News Article from March 30 1921

Note: James King Belk and his wife Charity (Palmer) were prominent Liberal residents present since the formation of the town. King had a first marriage, mentioned in J. P. Moore’s book on Liberal, which caused something of a scandal as his first wife had purportedly believed him to be dead, whereas he was very much alive and had remarried to a Charity Palmer and moved to Liberal. Steve Richardson of the Cawker City Hesperian Historical Society wrote asking if I had heard of him and was able to say that I had. His interest was due connections between Cawker and Liberal. A George W. Chapman is one citizen of Cawker who was alert to Liberal in the early 1880s and was prepared to donate his collection of geological specimens to the academy there if the citizens of Cawker did not provide a suitable building for it and a public library. Another resident of Cawker with a tie to Liberal was William Belk, a brother of King Belk. Thus this series, Steve having sent me several articles published on it in 1920-1921. All related posts will be found under the tag “Belk”.

Thanks to Steve Richardson for the below from the Hiawatha Daily World, written a couple of months before the case was scheduled for a hearing.

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Hiawatha Daily World
March 30 1921

CLAIMS KING BELK HAD NO PREVIOUS MARRIAGE

An attorney for Mrs. Charity Belk, of Liberal, Mo., says that her defense in the suit for half of the King Belk estate will be resisted on the grounds that King Belk and Mrs. Belk-Rogers in California were never united in marriage. Defense also says that plaintiffs will not be able to prove that the marriage ceremony was consummated. The alleged marriage occurred more than 50 years ago, therefore not many citizens here now were residents of Hiawatha at that time. On the other hand, attorneys for the California Mrs. Belk say they have in their possession indisputable proof that there was a legal marriage. The Belk suit, in which an effort will be made to take from the Missouri Mrs. Belk half of an estate estimated to be wroth $150,000, promises to be brim full of sensational charges. The California Mrs. Belk is 78 years old, has 2 sons, and King Belk is alleged to have been their father. The Belk case will come up for hearing in the May term of court.

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