a time, the only place to see the Courthouse as it was was in The Bell County
Museum in the form of a scale model. The Museum is in the beautifully restored
Carnegie Library (c.1904) at 201 N. Main St. The museum also houses memorabilia
from the administration of Miriam "Ma" Ferguson, Texas' first woman Governor.
(Not one of Texas' best Governors, but the first who was a woman). |
museum is well managed, with volunteers running the bookstore and giving tours.
Their brochure invites you to become a "Friend of the Museum", and after seeing
what a good job they do, you might want to do just that. 817-933-5243
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Ave. Looking East, Belton, Texas|
1914 Postcard courtesy rootsweb.com/~txgenweb//
Naming of Belton and Bell County|
Belton and Bell County were named after Peter (I-might-just-be-a-Colonel-but-I've-got-a-Texas-County-named-after-me)
Bell. Bell was a mere Colonel in the Civil War, but he was a Mexican War
Veteran, and before that, a San Jacinto Veteran. In his spare time he was a Texas
Ranger, a Congressional Representative and a Governor.
Belton is a little
different from other County Seats, in that it hasn't the dominant population in
the County. Belton's 14,500 are quite happy where they are and with Temple's
50,000 being where they are.
Chisholm Trail Rides Again by Clay Coppedge
to follow the Old Chisholm Trail through Bell County would find part of the quest
relatively easy, at least as easy as driving on IH-35. The old trail roughly paralleled
the Interstate from Salado
to Belton. After that following the old trail might get a little trickier,
though anyone who spends much time here passes or crosses it many more times than
they could ever know... more
Bass: The Not So Merry Bandit
by Clay Coppedge
If notorious Old West bandit Sam Bass buried all the
gold he is said to have buried in Central Texas, he would have been a wealthy
man indeed. He wouldn't have made the fatal decision to rob a bank in Round Rock
in July of 1878. He would simply have stopped by one of the caves where millions
of his dollars are said to have been buried, and hightailed it to Mexico, incognito.
Likewise, if he stopped by every place he is said to have been sighted on that
ill-fated trip to Round Rock... more
James, Supposedly by Clay Coppedge
the James and Younger brothers spent some time in Texas is not in dispute, and
local legends of the James and Younger brothers in Bell and surrounding counties
Sisters by Clay Coppedge
"... In their day, which ran
roughly from the 1860s to just after the turn of the century, the Sanctified Sisters
existed as one of the most unusual and, in their own way, influential religious
groups in Bell County history..."
Bell County Drives & Nearby Destinations|
County's Sunshine Road
Three towns, one ghost town, four cemeteries,
creeks and bridges ...
Belton: N.W. of Belton.
12,300 acres with 110 mile shoreline. 13 publuc
parks include nature reserve Miller's Spring Park and three parks with swimming
beaches: Cedar Ridge, Westcliff and Temple's LakeMiller
Springs Nature Center
At nearby Lake Belton, you'll find the Miller Springs
Nature Center, a non-profit, self-guided tour, located at Highway 2271 North of
the Spillway. Open from dawn to dusk, 365 days a year.
Hollow (Lake) : 6400 acres only 8 miles SW of Belton. Includes 5 parks.Belton
The Belton Chamber of Commerce - 254-939-3551
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Texas Forum Subject:
Remembering an old schoolhouse in Belton
Dear TE, I don't have a photo, but I remember the old Tyler Schoolhouse in Belton,
Texas on North Main Street. I attended Tyler from first grade (1951) through sixth.
The memories are many! Ms. Lucille Morgan was the principal and she had a paddle
which read: "The Board of Education." I remember at least twice being introduced
to the "board" for talking too much. A teacher named Ms. Corneilison used to say
that everytime my elbow would bend my mouth would fly open! I remember the lines
at lunch time and how one day a speaker came to tell us that we should chew our
milk. !? We always enjoyed our fire drills, since we got to slide down the big
fire escape! I use to pick pretty flag flowers on my way to school to give them
to a favorite teacher. The days spent in that old school are forever engraved
in my memory. I don't recall when it was torn down, but I still miss seeing it.
I also went to a one room schoolhouse in Belton on South Main Street in 1950.
The sweet teacher's name was Mrs. W.A. Means and I can still remember the smells
of all our sack lunches and the teacher's kindness. - Anna Jane Davis, (Anna
Thomas), Belton, Texas, May 25, 2007
Subject: The Beltonian Picture Show
Dear TE; What a great way to spend any evening just reading through your wonderful
web site! I recall the many Sat. afternoon's in 1954 to 1964 that I spent in the
Beltonian Picture Show in Belton, Tx. It cost 25 cents and being a poor child,
I often sold some metal junk to the local Griggs Iron place to go, but standing
in line for a long time was worth it, as I always got there very early. When I
would see a love story, I would pretend all the way home that I was a star and
singing while skipping! I could buy a big dill pickle and some popcorn for only
25 cents and oh what a great time to see friends and cut up at times too! The
Beltonian was beautiful inside and the ideal place to dream about the future.
Yes, those were some fun days! - Anna Thomas, Belton, Texas, June 02, 2006
Pardon Me! A Belton, Texas Story
I alway's enjoy visiting your
web-site and reading all the many stories. I thought I might share a short family
plight with you. My maternal uncle, Willy [Will] Dupree was born in Belton in
1890 and when he was 26yrs. old, he shot a man on E. Central Ave. and N. Wall
St. It was said to be over a stolen roll of bread, as there was a boarding house
near by. He was sent to the Huntsville State Prison and rec'd. 2yrs. but after
serving only one yr. My grandmother, his mother, Ella D. Dupree who lived at our
old home place, 307 N. Wall St. went before the Tx. Gov. [Ma Fergerson] and appealed
to her on Will's behalf. Ella made the Gov. an offer to give her a grand milk
cow, in exchange for an early release for Willy from prison. And thus, the offer
was accepted and Willy came home. Yep! ther's one in almost every family. - Anna
Thomas, Belton, Texas, May 04, 2006
have the same memories Anna Thomas has of the Carnegie Library, which was my second
home from the time my big sister first took me there when I was in the second
grade. I spent many hours in the southwest corner looking at the stereo pictures,
and it was there I was introduced to the Bobbsey Twins. When I first started going
to the library Miss Lula Meyer was the librarian. She was a very proper lady in
the old sense of the word, and while she was very nice, I would not have dreamed
of ever misbehaving. When she retired Lena Armstrong replaced her, and she was
absolutely the nicest person I knew as I was growing up. I was there six days
a week, so Lena knew my taste in books and always knew what book to recommend
to me. I can't imagine the library without Lena Armstrong and > her sweet smile.
I have nothing but pleasant memories about her and the library. - Frances Barkley
Willess, August 11, 2005
note: Anna Thomas' mention of the Belton Carnegie Library piqued our interest
and so we asked if she'd mind writing about her patronage. Her story follows:
Escapes, As a child growing up in Belton, my fondest memory of going to the Carnegie
Library was sitting in the rear room to the right. There lying on the table would
be an old fashioned Stereo Photo Viewer. It was wooden and had a sort of telescopic
lens that you could see through and at the far end was a postcard holder . Being
hand held, you could insert the card and slide it near or far and it was very
interesting . My favorite cards were about history and animals.
recall the name of the lady Librarian, but I do remember that she was very nice
and always so helpful to me. I enjoyed looking through different books there,
and yet I never did have a library card.
There are many fond memories
to share as a child in Belton and events that I recall - even after so long a
time. All the old landmarks that I knew and loved are all gone now, but each time
I go downtown Belton, I can see each one and remember......each event.
I encourage other visitors to Texas Escapes to share their stories, as we all
have a story just waiting to be told. Thank You, again, for allowing me to tell
a small part of mine. - Anna Thomas (Anna Jane Davis) Belton, Texas, June 24,
Grandfather ( Herod G. Dupree), was of Belton, Tx. and he died in 1920. He owned
the corner lot of 201 N. Main St. in Belton, where he had a Blacksmith Shop for
many years. He also owned the lot directly behind it , where he had a Livery Stable.
I use to make many visits to The Carnegie Library, when I was a child and I'm
sure there are many old horse shoes buried underneath it today. Thanks for allowing
me to share this bit of my family history. They are all now deceased. - Anna
Thomas, Belton, Tx, June 23, 2004
just found your great web site and it has much to explore! I would like to add
a short bit of info. My father was Charles James Davis, known as "Blackie Davis",
in Bell County , TX. ( Belton, TX). In the 1940's, he had a band called, " Blackie
Davis and the Rhythm Rascals" and they played in Belton on East Central Ave. As
Belton was "wet" in those days. Now the date may be before the 1940's? He was
born May 13, 1890 and was 57yrs. of age when I was born. He died in 1946 , in
Belton. Thanks, for your time. - Anna Pearl Thomas, Belton, TX, June 08, 2004
just sent me the link for your web site, and I love it. I am passing it along
to others. The article about Belton must have been written by Berneta Peoples.
It has her writing style all over it, and I have loved her articles for years.
On the other hand, the entire web site appears to have that touch of humor.
I am glad you mentioned the restoration of the courthouse dome. I was working
across the street from the courthouse when the original dome was destroyed, and
it was one of the saddest experiences of my life to watch the demolition of something
so beautiful in the name of "modernization." I moved away from Belton many years
ago, but it will always be "home." - Frances Willess, May 19, 2001
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Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, and vintage/historic
photos of their town, please contact