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BELTON, TEXAS

Bell County Seat, North Central Texas
I-35 and Hwy 190
9 miles S of Temple
48 miles S of Waco
60 miles N of Austin

Population: 14,623 (2000) 12,463 (1990)

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Courthouse and Coca Cola sign, Belton, Texas
Bell County Courthouse and Coca Cola
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson

Belton Texas Landmarks / Attractions

  • Bell County Courthouse

  • Former Bell County Jail
  • Bell County Museum
    Former Carnegie Library
  • Wedemeyer
  • Belton - Wedemeyer Home/Academy
    Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
    National Register of Historic Places
  • For 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


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    The Naming of Belton and Bell County

    Both 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.
    Central Avenue, Belton, Texas street scene
    Central Ave. Looking East, Belton, Texas

    1914 Postcard courtesy rootsweb.com/~txgenweb// postcards/Index.html

    Belton Chronicles

  • The 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 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
  • Sam 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.
  • Sam 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
  • Jesse 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..."
  • Sanctified 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..."
  • Belton Scenes
    Church, post office, Municipal Swimming Pool, street scenes ...

    Bell County Towns and Ghost Towns
    Bell County Seat - Belton
    Bell County Courthouse
  • Alligator
  • Crossville
  • Ding Dong
  • Dog Ridge
  • Donahoe
  • Echo
  • Heidenheimer
  • Holland
  • Joe Lee
  • Killeen
  • Little River Academy
  • Maxdale
  • Nolanville
  • Okay
  • Prairie Dell
  • Rogers
  • Salado
  • Sefcikville
  • Stringtown
  • Temple
  • Troy
  • Zabcikville

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  • Bell County Drives & Nearby Destinations

  • Bell County's Sunshine Road
    Three towns, one ghost town, four cemeteries, creeks and bridges ...
  • Lake 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
  • Miller 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.
  • Stillhouse Hollow (Lake) : 6400 acres only 8 miles SW of Belton. Includes 5 parks.
  • Belton Hotels

    The Belton Chamber of Commerce - 254-939-3551
    Website: www.beltontxchamber.com
  • Belton 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

  • Subject: 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

  • Editor's 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 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, 2004

  • My 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

  • 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

  • Someone 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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  • Belton, Texas Area Destinations:
    Bell County Towns
    Temple
    Waco
    Austin
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