Belton, Texas

Belton, Texas

View of downtown Belton, the seat of Bell County, Texas. Photograph by NativeTexan55.
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Map of Bell County

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.

By the mid-1850s numerous merchants had opened stores on or near the courthouse square, and Belton emerged as a regional trading center. The original log courthouse was sold at auction in 1855, and a new two-story limestone building was constructed in 1859. In 1860 Belton, with a population of 300, was the largest town in the county.

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Christopher Long | © TSHA

Handbook of Texas Logo

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Belton is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Belton is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Nolansville)
  • (Walnut Springs)


Latitude: 31.05782530
Longitude: -97.47478600

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated


Population Count, 2021 View more »


Place Type Population (Year/Source) Currently Exists
College or University Yes

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