For some 45 years, Dale Carnegie was a frequent visitor to Belton and called it his hometown. Born in Maryville, Missouri in November of 1888, he got his start as a business manager for Lowell Thomas in 1919. He spent several years traveling in Europe, Africa, and the Arctic.
Carnegie's parents, Elizabeth and J.W. Carnagey, bought a farm on the outskirts of Belton in 1910. The house still stands today on Carnegie Street, just west of the railroad tracks. Mrs. Carnagey was a member of the Methodist church and active in its missionary society. She organized Belton's first Sunday school class.
Carnegie changed the spelling of his name because friends in the east constantly misspelled it, and he said he wanted to spare them the embarrassment of repeated corrections.
Carnegie started teaching public speaking and writing his own texts. He had a radio program and a syndicated column, which appeared in 71 newspapers. His formulas for success were broadened to include all phases of human relations. His most famous book, "How to Win Friends and Influence People," was published in 1936.
Dale Carnegie married in 1940 and died in 1955. He and his parents are buried in the Belton Cemetery.
For More Information
For more information on Belton history, please contact the Belton Museum
at (816) 332-3977.