Belton, the county seat of Bell County, is on Nolan Creek at the junction of Interstate 35 and U.S. highways 81 and 190, near the geographic center of the county. The area was first settled in the late 1840s. When Bell County was established in 1850 the small settlement of Nolan Springs, named for adventurer Philip Nolan, was chosen as county seat and renamed Nolanville. Col. Henry B. Elliot surveyed the area, and E. Lawrence Stickney made a plat of the town. The town was laid out on the Shelbyville plan, with a large courthouse square as its focus. The first sale of town lots was held on August 26, 1850. Joe Townsend and A. T. McCorcle were among the first merchants to build stores. W. H. Tichenal is reported to have sold goods from his wagon on the square, and John C. Henry, with a barrel of whiskey and a tin cup, is supposed to have operated a saloon under a tree just east of the site of the later Main Street bridge. The post office was established as Nolanville in October 1850. In December 1851 the Texas legislature incorporated the town and changed the name to Belton, after Bell County. A small log courthouse was erected on the courthouse square in 1852. Weekly stagecoach service began the same year, and the town became a stop on the mail route from Little Rock, Arkansas, to San Antonio.
Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.
Christopher Long | © Texas State Historical Association
Belton at a Glance
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Belton is classified as a Town
- (Walnut Springs)
Has Post Office
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Belton by the Numbers
This is some placeholder text that we should either remove or replace with a brief summary about this particular metric. For example, "We update population counts once per year..."
|23,054||2020||United States Census Bureau|
|22,281||2019||Texas Demographic Center|
|18,216||2010||United States Census Bureau|
|14,623||2000||United States Census Bureau|
|12,463||1990||United States Census Bureau|
|10,660||1980||United States Census Bureau|
|8,696||1970||United States Census Bureau|
|8,163||1960||United States Census Bureau|
|6,246||1950||United States Census Bureau|
|3,572||1940||United States Census Bureau|
|3,779||1930||United States Census Bureau|
|5,098||1920||United States Census Bureau|
|4,164||1910||United States Census Bureau|
|3,700||1900||United States Census Bureau|
|3,000||1890||United States Census Bureau|
|1,797||1880||United States Census Bureau|
|777||1870||United States Census Bureau|
|305||1860||United States Census Bureau|
|300||1850||United States Census Bureau|