JOHN M. BELT
& McDowell Publications
719 E. 6th Street
Owensboro, Kentucky 42301
This reproduction authorized by John M. Belt
John M. Belt
719 East 6TH ST.
OWENSBORO KY 42301
Many people in the last two or three years have written me for photos, and I decided to place one of both of us in this book. It seems appropriate at this time to recognize Golda in my undertaking to compile the data for this manuscript. We have shared forty-two years to gether up to this time. We were blessed with three children and the good health that makes our lives happy ones.
Once a philosopher made a statement that every man should:
Raise a boy
Plant a tree
Write a book.
It seems obvious the first thing in order should be to raise the boy, or make the beginning. It takes a big part of one's life to raise a boy, or plant a tree and watch it grow. It also takes quite a bit of time to get things together to write a book.
When a man invests in a son like he should, he expects dividends in return that will prove his work has not been in vain. One is always concerned with the health, the education and general welfare of his life. The great companionship that is developed between father and son is worth mentioning. I raised one boy, and as he grew, I could almost see the same companionship my father and I had. A boy likes to copy after his father because he believes and has a love that makes him believe that his dad is the greatest person on earth. I provided dogs, guns, ammunition, and fishing equipment essential to making a boy happy, and it also provided enough employment to keep him off the streets. Man has a great responsibility in the upbringing of a boy; to teach him honesty, truthfulness, and to indoctrinate him spiritually. When these things are all taken care of properly, one can always say, "I have nothing to regret." One endeavors to raise a nice son. Proverbs 10:1 says, "A wise son maketh a glad father."
Douglas McArthur once said, "By profession I am a soldier and take pride in that fact. But I am prouder to be a father. My hope is that my son, when I am gone, will remember me not from the battle, but in the home, repeating with him one simple prayer, 'Our Father, which are in Heaven.'" No man believes genius is hereditary until he has a son. One night a father overheard his son pray, "Dear God, make me the kind of man my Daddy is." Later that evening, the father prayed, "Dear God, help me to be the kind of man my son wants to be."
Sooner or later, that son launches out in the world to have his own family, but the tree that man plants will never leave the spot where it is planted. There is a true saying, "Timber is the source of all income." You can hardly do anything without some wood. Hardly anyone gives much thought to the trees as they drive down the highways. Having worked awhile with the U.S. Forest Service, it made me concious of the fact that a tree is more valuable than it is given credit. No one person can afford the undertaking to plant a forest or to practise reforestation to a great extent, because it takes too much time. But if one plants a tree and its health permits it to grow, it will be a memorial to the planter. In the hot summer days, we can sit under a nice shade tree and boast that "I planted that tree." It also serves as a place for the birds to build nests and a place of refuge, especially in the summertime. No one ever treasured the trees more than the Shawnee Indians who once roamed these forests as their "Happiest Hunting Ground." The former Peters Creek tower site is a little bit east of the center of Hardin County in our Shawnee Unit. Some of our ancient people believed that forests were set upon the earth as a curse of man's disobedience. However, this is not any worse than some of the ideas of today. Valuable timber was cut and let fall any way and later set fire and burned completely in order to have land to cultivate and pasture. I think forestry should be taught to our youth and the love of trees to our children. We must plant trees, protect and grow trees for our comfort, our health, and the conservation of our county and country. One poet said, "Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree." Have you planted a tree? I have and really enjoyed it.
Now, writing a book is a whole different category. I published and copyrighted the book, The Life of Logan Belt, by Shadrach Jackson. I wrote the preface, put in the picture and also the map. I have had a tremendous response from this book and also much correspondence. So many questions have been asked about different incidents that it has prompted me to try to clarify many things that were not understood.
I have done considerable research, particularly to the relationship of the Belts that were mentioned in The Life of Logan Belt. This was a thing that had been neglected almost too long. In fact, there may still be some questions that cannot be answered. I will try to connect the relationships the best I can with what information I have gathered. I will also try to answer questions about Logan's assassination, which has been of interest to many people, especially those related to the family.
One does not know the time and hard work that is put into writing a book when you are trying to present facts. You not only spend a lot of hard work, but also a lot of hard-earned cash. I have had the cooperation of relatives and friends in compiling the information that I shall present.
A lot depends on the type of story you are about to write. If you write a story that is largely imagination, then you do not have to be too particular about the subject matter. Many good writers have written many books from pure imagination. However, they are a genius in their work inasmuch as they can keep the subject matter in line. Theologians have written many books and they also have to be a genius to keep the thought in line with truth, or they will receive severe criticism. A historical story, such as this, may not always be completely factual, as much of the materials are gathered from different sources, and our story can be only as good as our resources. Many things are left unanswered and makes the reader