Belton, Texas

Belton, Texas

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

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.

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Place type

Belton is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Nolansville)
  • (Walnut Springs)


  • Latitude

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Belton by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Pop. Year Source
22,281 2019 Texas Demographic Center
18,216 2010 Texas Demographic Center
14,623 2000 Texas Demographic Center
12,463 1990 Texas Demographic Center
10,660 1980 Texas Demographic Center
8,696 1970 Texas Demographic Center
8,163 1960 Texas Demographic Center
6,246 1950 Texas Demographic Center
3,572 1940 Texas Demographic Center
3,779 1930 Texas Demographic Center
5,098 1920 Texas Demographic Center
4,164 1910 Texas Demographic Center
3,700 1900 Texas Demographic Center
3,000 1890 Texas Demographic Center
1,797 1880 Texas Demographic Center
777 1870 Texas Demographic Center
305 1860 Texas Demographic Center
300 1850 Texas Demographic Center