Novel Exposes Fulton

1 decade 4 months 1 week ago Wednesday, June 13 2007 Jun 13, 2007 Wednesday, June 13, 2007 5:35:57 PM CDT June 13, 2007 in News

"It's kind of a wonder that people even debated and debated and debated about whether it was about Fulton or not because it was so obvious, Jay Karr, King's Row Publisher, said.

In the spring of 1940, Henry Bellamann, a former Fulton resident, released his novel "King's Row," a scandalous book that aired all the dirty laundry of the town in which he grew up.

"All the ordinary people read it as quick as they could, and they passed it around, and they made lists of all the people in the book and equated them with people in the town," Karr said.

While the names are different, the characters are the same.

"When I found Bellamann's papers, I found a note that said North and South of 7th Street and then a list of names. The characters and the names of the real people they're represented," Karr said.

Some of the characters in the book were obvious depictions of Fulton residents, and their stories weren't always flattering.

These unwilling subjects tried to suppress the book even threatening a lawsuit against Bellamann.

"The only success they really had was they got the librarian at the city library to refuse to circulate the book," Karr said.

The other detail that pegged Fulton as "King's Row" was the lay-out of the town in the book.

"The street plan fits Fulton very well," Karr explained.

Despite some local disdain, "King's Row" became a best-seller spawning a box-office hit starring Ronald Reagan.

"What's in here is a suit worn by Ronald Reagan in the movie King's Row," Nancy Lewis, Director Fulton Chamber of Commerce, said. "And this was purchased by a group of people in the community, and they felt it needed to be in this community because King's Row is set in Fulton."

Karr believes Reagan is the reason people still read the book.

"People see the movie on TV all the time somewhere," Karr said.

While the movie was still seen, the book went out of print in the 60's, and was not reprinted until 1981.

"I got the rights to the book, and I published it. For people around here mostly. I didn't think there would be any national interest, but there turned out to be," Karr said.

He did this after presenting his research on King's Row and Bellamann in 1979 at Westminster College.

"It was so popular, there was standing room only," Karr said.

Interested perhaps in the town's connection, or more simply, more truthfully, interested in the scandal the book stirred up.

Karr said, "I found out that people around here were distinctly interested in the story still."

In the essence of "King's Row," Karr has followed Bellamann's lead of writing about his hometown.

Karr just published his novel "Leaving the Homefront" about a paratrooper who goes off to fight in World War II.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - One man was taken to a local hospital for a gunshot wound received Saturday night. CPD officers... More >>
6 minutes ago Saturday, October 21 2017 Oct 21, 2017 Saturday, October 21, 2017 9:56:00 PM CDT October 21, 2017 in News
NEW FRANKLIN - The Missouri River Relief organized about 250 volunteers Saturday to remove trash from the Missouri River as... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, October 21 2017 Oct 21, 2017 Saturday, October 21, 2017 7:38:00 PM CDT October 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Officers responded to reports of shots fired at about 6:00 p.m. Saturday at the McDonald's Restaurant on Stadium... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, October 21 2017 Oct 21, 2017 Saturday, October 21, 2017 7:36:00 PM CDT October 21, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY – Four people were injured in a three-vehicle collision at Obermiller Road Saturday afternoon according to a sergeant... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, October 21 2017 Oct 21, 2017 Saturday, October 21, 2017 6:24:00 PM CDT October 21, 2017 in News
FULTON - Dozens of trucks raced though the mud to raise money for the Central Missouri Honor Flight Saturday at... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, October 21 2017 Oct 21, 2017 Saturday, October 21, 2017 5:48:00 PM CDT October 21, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The state no longer will make children in foster care pay a $15 fee to get... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, October 21 2017 Oct 21, 2017 Saturday, October 21, 2017 4:56:46 PM CDT October 21, 2017 in News
HOLTS SUMMIT- New bike lines were painted in Holts Summit Thursday to make cycling safer and more accessible. The... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, October 21 2017 Oct 21, 2017 Saturday, October 21, 2017 3:49:00 PM CDT October 21, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Local entrepreneurs walked away with some cash Saturday after an annual pitch off competition. The sixth annual... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, October 21 2017 Oct 21, 2017 Saturday, October 21, 2017 3:42:00 PM CDT October 21, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis public school district is suing 32 teachers for breaking their contracts by leaving... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, October 21 2017 Oct 21, 2017 Saturday, October 21, 2017 3:35:00 PM CDT October 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri Museum of Art and Archaeology hosted an explorative event on Saturday for International Archaeology... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, October 21 2017 Oct 21, 2017 Saturday, October 21, 2017 3:23:00 PM CDT October 21, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis Community College professor was grabbed from behind by an officer, pulled to the... More >>
8 hours ago Saturday, October 21 2017 Oct 21, 2017 Saturday, October 21, 2017 1:33:18 PM CDT October 21, 2017 in News
MOBERLY - The Missouri Association of Student Financial Aid Personnel (MASFAP) is celebrating 50 years of providing greater access to... More >>
8 hours ago Saturday, October 21 2017 Oct 21, 2017 Saturday, October 21, 2017 1:09:00 PM CDT October 21, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Kansas City's efforts to obtain $40 million in federal funding to replace an important bridge are... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, October 21 2017 Oct 21, 2017 Saturday, October 21, 2017 10:43:44 AM CDT October 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Center Project, mid-Missouri's LGBTQ community center, will provide free health care and behavioral health services Saturday to... More >>
14 hours ago Saturday, October 21 2017 Oct 21, 2017 Saturday, October 21, 2017 7:20:00 AM CDT October 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Local charity Pink Pursuit raises money to provide mammograms on a van that travels across Missouri. "I... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, October 21 2017 Oct 21, 2017 Saturday, October 21, 2017 3:25:00 AM CDT October 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone and Callaway County has a new circuit judge. Judge J. Hasbrouck “Brouck” Jacobs will preside over... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 8:04:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Mid-Missouri high school football teams are kicking off the final week of Friday Night Fever. In our FNF... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 6:51:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri kicked off its 106th Homecoming game day early Saturday morning with a parade full... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 6:38:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 73°
10pm 72°
11pm 71°
12am 68°
1am 63°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

6:30p
College Football
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
10:29p
Saturday Night Live
9:30p
Seinfeld
10:00p
The King of Queens
10:30p
The Cleveland Show

Tonight's Schedule

6:30p
College Football
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld