William Burke Belknap the younger (1885–1965) was the son of William Richardson Belknap and Alice Trumbull Silliman. He was an entrepreneur in the family of William Burke Belknap, the elder (1811–1884), son of Morris Burke Belknap of Brimfield, Massachusetts who was engaged in the iron furnace industry and died in 1873.
The Belknaps were founders, inventors of patented merchandise, and owners of the now no longer extant Belknap Hardware and Manufacturing Company in Louisville, Kentucky. William Burke Belknap was an economist and a professor of economics at the University of Louisville. Leading up to and during World War II, he volunteered for service with the Red Cross in Ramsay and Plymouth, England. He was a trustee of Berea College and a graduate of Yale and Harvard. As a Kentucky legislator, he served two terms as a representative in the Kentucky General Assembly. He was the owner of Land O'Goshen Farms, where he bred and raised sheep and American saddlebred horses, and he was the president of F.C. Co-operative Milk Producers Association.
William Burke Belknap's mother, Alice Trumbull Silliman, was his father William Richardson Belknap's first wife. She was the daughter of Yale chemistry professor Benjamin Silliman, Jr. and Susan Huldah Forbes and granddaughter of Benjamin Silliman and Harriett Trumbull, a descendant of Connecticut Governor Jonathan Trumbull, Jr. In addition to their son, William Burke Belknap's parents had four daughters. Belknap's sisters were Eleanor Silliman Belknap Humphrey (1876-1964), Alice Silliman Belknap Hawkes (1878-1972), Mary Belknap Gray (1881-1974), and Christine Belknap Robinson (1890-1919).
Belknap was engaged in 1920 to Doris Hewitt, "granddaughter of Abram S. Hewitt, familiarly remembered as Mayor of New York, and great-granddaughter of Peter Cooper, merchant and philanthropist." But a date was not set and she wed another.
He was married on September 14, 1922, to Helen Clark Strong. In 1934 he filed for divorce asking for custody of their three young children, William Burke Belknap, Jr., Jonathan Trumbull Belknap, and Helen Belknap. Helen Strong counter-sued and on March 8, 1944 their financial settlement became part of a suit Belknap, et al. v.United States, in which Belknap's sheep-farming accounts, tax records, and divorce settlement were closely scrutinized. William Burke Belknap and his wife Edith Mary Clarke Belknap (whom he had married in 1937 in Hudson, Canada), initiated the suit in order to recover money paid in an inaccurate tax assessment, and the court granted the refund to the plaintiffs. His second wife Edith Clarke Belknap was born September 28, 1896, in Hudson Heights, Quebec, Canada, and petitioned to become a naturalized citizen on July 10, 1942. She lived at Land O'Goshen farm with William Burke Belknap until his death and died March 24, 1983 in Oldham, Kentucky.
|Offspring of William Burke Belknap, Jr. and Helen Clark Strong (c1885-)|
|William Burke Belknap (c1924)|| |
|Jonathan Trumbull Belknap (c1926)|| |
|Helen Belknap (C1928)|
|Offspring of William Richardson Belknap and Alice Trumball Silliman (1846-1890)|
|Alice Belknap (1878-)|| |
|Mary Belknap (1881-)|| |
|William Burke Belknap (1885-1965)||18 April 1885 Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky||7 September 1965|| Helen Clark Strong (c1885-)|
Edith Mary Clarke (c1885-)
|Christine Belknap (1890-1919)|| |
|Eleanor Silliman Belknap (1876-1964)||28 April 1876 Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky||7 September 1964 Coconut Grove, Miami-Dade County, Florida|| Lewis Craig Humphrey (1875-1927)|