Discover your family's story.
Enter a grandparent's name to get started.
The subject of this sketch was born May 3, 1854, and is the eldest son of William F. Belt and Margaret I. John’s parents moved from Tennessee to Arkansas in or about 1847, where they were in the mercantile business. In his younger days John was sent to a neighborhood school. Leaving his family about the year 1877, he commenced dealing in merchandise on his own account at Sans Bois, Choctaw Nation, in which business he continued for one year. In 1878 he moved to Hackett City, Arkansas, entering the same line (merchandise) and successfully following it for a period of six years. In 1884 he left there, removing to Brooken, Choctaw Nation, and here he continued for over six years, proving himself an excellent as well as popular merchant. In December 1890, he opened a stock in Eufaula, at the same time embarking in the livery business. In the August following he commenced the erection of an extensive building, 30×112 feet, with large ware-rooms, and capable of holding at least $50,000 worth of stock. Although only just opened out, this fine house is furnished with over $30,000 worth of goods, of every possible variety, including all classes of general merchandise, and its proprietor proposes to allow no competitor to sell goods at lower prices. Special attention is called to his clothing department, and here he carries a stock most varied in style and assortment. His livery stable has just been refitted and refurnished with buggies, harness, etc., etc. He is also agent for the McCormack mowers and reapers. Mr. Belt was married June 24, 1876, to Miss Ida M. Kezette, stepdaughter to L. Quinn, of Fort Smith, Arkansas. By this marriage he had two children, Willie L. and George A., who died before he was eight months old, in September 1879, his mother having passed away in February of the same year. In 1884 Mr. Belt married Miss Artelle A. King, second daughter of Rev. E. W. King (of the M. E. Church, N.) of Sebastian County, Arkansas, a prominent and well-known clergyman. Mrs. Belt is a young woman of superior education. She was teaching in the public school at Hackett City, Arkansas, when she first met her husband. Mr. Belt is undoubtedly one of the brightest among the young businessmen of the territory, as is evidenced by the great success he has achieved within a very few years. He is affable and courteous in manner, and is looked upon as highly honorable in all his business transactions. He is a member of the Masonic order, and has been for the past seven years, while for five years or over he has been a member of the Knights of Honor.