Prairie Dell is on Interstate Highway 35 thirteen miles south of Belton in south central Bell County. It began in the late 1860s as a country store community on a cattle trail from South Texas to Kansas. A post office opened in the community in 1877, closed in 1878, then reopened in 1893. In 1896 the community had seventy-five inhabitants, two Baptist and one Presbyterian churches, two general stores, a drugstore, a gin and mill, and a blacksmith shop. In 1903 the Prairie Dell school, with 129 pupils and two teachers, was one of the largest rural schools in the county. The community reached what was apparently its peak population in 1904, when it reported 134 inhabitants. By 1948 it had two churches, a business, and two schools, and by 1964 the population had fallen to twenty. In 1990 Prairie Dell had a church and twelve inhabitants. The population remained unchanged in 2000.
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Prairie Dell by the Numbers
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