Belinda Vernon (Close) Williams (1858 - 1926)

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Belinda Vernon (Close) Williams
1858 - 1926
December 22, 1858
Polk County, Iowa United States
September 24, 1926
Drummond, Garfield County, Oklahoma United States 73735
Other Names
Belinda Vernon Williams (Close)
Belinda Vernon (Close) Williams was born on December 22, 1858 in Iowa United States. Her maiden name is Close and she married into the Williams family. She is the child of Belinda Varnum (Smith) Close, with a sibling Napoleon Bonaparte. According to her family tree, Belinda was mother to 6 children. Belinda's partner was William Henry Williams, and they had children Bert Okla Williams, Howard Clinton Williams, Albert Rhesa Williams, Grace May Williams, Henry Lyman Williams, and Agnes Ethel Williams. She died on September 24, 1926 in Drummond, Oklahoma United States at age 67.
Updated: September 21, 2020
Belinda was born to William Rhesa Close and Belinda Varnum Smith Close. Her mother died six days after giving birth to Belinda. Belinda was the 8th child born to this union. Her father remarried and had 7 more children with Priscilla Long. When she was only 3 years old, her oldest brother, William Lemuel Close died from "congestive fever" while serving in Company B, Iowa 15th Regiment. Belinda's father, William Rhesa Close was one of several prominent brickmakers in Des Moines. Some of his brick was used in the building of the Court House and the new Capitol. In 1878, Belinda married William Henry Williams, who was also a brick maker, builder, coal miner, farmer and dealt in Real Estate. In 1879 they lost an infant son. In 1880 they lost a baby girl, Mary. Children born in Des Moines, Iowa: Howard Clinton-1881, Albert Rhesa-1883, Grace May-1886, Henry Lyman-1892 and Agnes Ethel-1897. William Henry drank too much and gambled. So much so that he lost the land where the University of Des Moines now stands on a presidential bet. Seems that life with William was getting to be too hard for Belinda. They began selling all their property, and Belinda filed for and was granted divorce. William was suppose to split all his assets with Belinda. And she won custody of the children. But, in 1900, he tried to swindle her out of some money he made from a real estate sale. Belinda found out, sued him and won and put a restraining order on him. William Henry and the boys, Howard, Albert and Henry were on their way to be part of the Land Run in Oklahoma territory. Whether it was William's idea or not, Belinda and the girls, Grace and Ethel, followed. (Grace May's remembrance about her life in the big house in Des Moines as told by her daughter Marguriet, "One afternoon when Grandmother was having a tea party the boys let loose a bag of marbles at the top of the stairs then ducked out the back door. She also said that they kept barrels of apples and whole stalks of bananas in the basement. Life was good and they should have stayed there.") At first they lived in a dugout, as many did who made the run. But soon, William had built another huge home in Weatherford, Oklahoma, where Belinda opened a boarding house for women. In 1902, a son was born in what was still Oklahoma Territory, as Oklahoma did not become a state until 1907. They named him Bert Okla. According to a letter written by Marguriet Lenora McDonald, Belinda learned to care for the sick, as her father William Rhesa had done. She would go with her father in a buggy and stay with and tend to sick neighbors. This Belinda continued to do, even in the new Oklahoma Territory. She was also very kind and generous with the Native Americans in the area, befriending and helping them. According to Bert Okla, Belinda had a very large garden with a variety of produce, that she would give or trade with the Native Americans, especially "give" when she saw any in need of food. William Henry was a restless soul, who did not stay with the family long before leaving again often abandoning the family for long periods of time. William started having trouble with his head. It might have been cancer or some other problem. He was living away from the family but wrote them to ask if he could come live with them, in El Reno, Oklahoma. 7 Jan 1917: While Belinda, Grace and her young daughter, Marguriet were out taking a walk, and Agnes Ethel was in the house, writing letters to those who had sent Christmas remembrances, William laid down, placed a pistol at his right temple and ended his life. Bert Okla was only 14 years old and he vowed he would never marry as long his mother lived. An excerpt from Marguriet' letter tells: "Ethel was living in Drummond and Bert and his mother came there also. Grandmother became sick while living in Drummond and died there. I came home from school and found mother crying." Belinda died on 24 Sep 1926.
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Belinda Vernon (Close) Williams
Most commonly known as
Belinda Vernon (Close) Williams
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Belinda Vernon (Close) Williams
Other names or aliases
Drummond, Garfield County, Oklahoma United States 73735
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Belinda Williams was born on in Polk County, Iowa United States
Belinda Williams died on in Drummond, Garfield County, Oklahoma United States 73735
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Raised a family but also would travel to sickly neighbors to care for them.

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Mother to 6 children, she passed away on September 24, 1926 in Drummond, Oklahoma United States at 67 years old. She was born on December 22, 1858 in Iowa United States. Belinda Vernon (Close) Williams is the child of Belinda Varnum (Smith) Close, with a sibling Napoleon Bonaparte. According to her family tree, Belinda's partner was William Henry Williams, and they had children Bert Okla Williams, Howard Clinton Williams, Albert Rhesa Williams, Grace May Williams, Henry Lyman Williams, and Agnes Ethel Williams.

1858 - 1926 World Events

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In 1858, in the year that Belinda Vernon (Close) Williams was born, on May 11th, Minnesota became the 32nd U.S. state. It was previously the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory.

In 1869, at the age of only 11 years old, Belinda was alive when on January 20th, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, speaking about women's rights - including the right to vote - was the first woman to testify before the US Congress. In May, she and Susan B. Anthony founded the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA).

In 1903, she was 45 years old when two brothers, Orville and Wilbur Wright, flew the first powered heavier-than-air plane. They flew 4 times in one day - the longest flight lasting 59 seconds and a little over 852 feet. While the brothers had notified several newspapers of their attempt, only one - a local paper - covered it. After their 4th flight, a gust of wind caught the plane, turned it over, and totaled it.

In 1914, when she was 56 years old, in June, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated by a Yugoslavian national. Austria-Hungary delivered an ultimatum to Serbia. Other major powers took sides - and World War I began: Austria declared war on Serbia; Germany on Russia and France; Britain on Germany . . . and on it went until most of the world was embroiled in the war.

In 1926, in the year of Belinda Vernon (Close) Williams's passing, on November 15th, NBC was founded. It was the U.S.'s first major broadcast network. Ownership of the network was split between RCA (a majority partner at 50%), its founding corporate parent General Electric (which owned 30%), and Westinghouse (which owned the remaining 20%).

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