Mystery of “Lady Bountiful” – Saint, sinner or both?

Lillian Knox, once the prime suspect in the staged suicide of her timber tycoon husband, was back in the news on Jul. 15, 1939 following her arrest in Los Angeles on warrants out of Dallas and Shreveport.

The Big D district attorney announced that the notorious “Lady Bountiful,” the nickname bestowed upon Knox by East Texas admirers, would be extradited back to Texas to face seven counts of check forgery. The postal inspector in Shreveport was quick to add that the unlikely fugitive had a date in federal court on charges of mail fraud.

This story began innocently enough at the turn of twentieth century with the arrival in East Texas of Hiram Knox, Sr., who had amassed a $10 million fortune cutting down trees in Wisconsin. The magnate devoted a decade to clearing Polk County of its impressive part of the “piney woods” from the sawmill town he built near Livingston.


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