Texas Landmarks / Attractions
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).
The 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
> Book Hotel Here
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 18,878 are quite happy
where they are and with Temple's
68,218 being where they are.
Chisholm Trail Rides Again by Clay Coppedge
Anyone wanting 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
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
Houston's trusted friend was born a slave
by Murray Montgomery
The man who was born into slavery and went on to become a trusted
friend of Sam Houston died in Belton on April 3, 1941. He was buried
in the East Belton Cemetery. He is honored by two Texas historical
markers; one at his grave site and one on the campus of the University
of Mary-Hardin Baylor in Belton.
Bass: The Not So Merry Bandit by Clay
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
"...That 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 abound..."
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..."
Church, post office, Municipal Swimming Pool, street scenes ...
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 Lake
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.
The Belton Chamber of Commerce - 254-939-3551
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
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
I 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:
Dear Texas 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.
I dont 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
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, 2004
( 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
I 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
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
> Book Hotel Here
in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas,
asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic
photos, please contact