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Bell County, Texas
Belton Courthouse (1)
The Bell County Courthouse in Belton.
Map of Texas highlighting Bell County
Location in the state of Texas
Map of USA TX
Texas's location in the U.S.
Founded 1850
Seat Belton
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

1,088 sq mi (2,818 km²)
1,060 sq mi (2,745 km²)
28 sq mi (73 km²), 2.59%
 - (2010)
 - Density

292.7/sq mi (113/km²)

Bell County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. Bell County was founded in 1850. It is part of the KilleenTempleFort Hood Metropolitan Statistical Area. In 2000, the county's population was 237,974; in 2010 the U.S. Census Bureau reported that its population had reached 310,235. Its county seat is Belton[1]. The center of population of Texas is located in Bell County, in the town of Holland.[2] Bell is named for Peter Hansborough Bell, the third governor of Texas.

History TimelineEdit

  • 1834-1835 Little River becomes site for settlers from Nashville: families of Captain Goldsby Childers, Robert Davison, John Fulcher, Moses Griffin, John Needham, Michael Reed, William Taylor, and Judge Orville T.Tyler.[3]
  • 1836 The settlements are deserted during the Runaway Scrape,[4] reoccupied, deserted again after the Elmwood Creek Blood Scrape, re-occupied again. Texas Ranger George Erath establishes a fort on Little River.[5]
  • 1843-44 Settlers return.[3]
  • 1845 University of Mary Hardin–Baylor founded by the Republic of Texas as “Baylor Female College”.[6]
  • 1850 Bell County is formed and named for Texas Governor Peter Hansborough Bell. Population 600 whites – 60 black slaves.[3]
  • 1851 County seat is Belton.[7]
  • 1859 Last serious Indian raid of the area.[3]
  • 1860 Re-survey of the line between Bell and Milam County. Bell County assumes its present boundaries.[3]
Confederate statue in Belton, TX IMG 2405

Confederate statue at Bell County Courthouse

  • 1861 County votes for secession from the Union.[3]
  • 1862-1865 Union sympathizers and Confederate deserters hole up in"Camp Safety."[3]
  • 1867 Belton Women’s Commonwealth, the first women’s movement in Central Texas, is formed by Martha McWhirter. The group provides shelter to women in abusive relationships.[3]
  • 1865-1877 Reconstruction in the county is so troubled that Federal troops are quartered in Belton. Corruption, lawlessness and racial divides are rampant. Bell County has a local version of the KKK.[3]
  • 1875 Miriam A. Ferguson, first woman Governor of Texas, is born in Bell County.[3]
  • 1881 Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway, the first railroad to be built in Bell County, establishes Temple as its headquarters[3]
  • 1884 Current Bell County Courthouse is built. Renaissance Revival design is by architect Jasper N. Preston and Sons.[8]
  • 1905 The Belton and Temple Interurban electric railway is constructed,[3]
  • 1920’s Ku Klux Klan revived in Bell County.[3]
  • 1925 Miriam A. Ferguson is inaugurated as Governor.[9]
  • 1926 Temple College opens.[10]
  • 1933 Miriam A. Ferguson is inaugurated for her second, but non-consecutive, term as Governor.[9]
  • 1942 Fort Hood opens as a military training base.[3]
  • 1956 Killeen school board votes to integrate local high school.[11]
  • 1965 Central Texas College founded in Killeen.[11]
  • 1980 Killeen is the largest city in Bell County.[11]
  • 1991, October 16 - Luby's massacre - George Jo Hennard Jr. kills 23 people, wounds 20 others, kills himself. It's the largest mass murder by firearm in the United States up to that time. Hennard shouted "This is what Bell County did to me! This is payback day!" during the event.[12]
  • 1995 As a result of the Luby’s massacre, Governor George W. Bush signs new law requiring a permit for concealed weapons.
  • 2009, November 5 - Fort Hood shooting – Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan kills 13 people, wounds 30.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,088 square miles (2,817.9 km2), of which 1,060 square miles (2,745.4 km2) is land and 28 square miles (72.5 km2) (2.59%) is water.

Major highwaysEdit

Adjacent countiesEdit


As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 237,974 people, 85,507 households, and 61,992 families residing in the county. The population density was 225 people per square mile (87/km²). There were 92,782 housing units at an average density of 88 per square mile (34/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 63.41% White, 20.43% Black or African American, 0.72% Native American, 2.56% Asian, 0.48% Pacific Islander, 8.54% from other races, and 3.85% from two or more races. 16.68% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 13.3% were of German, 9.7% American, 6.7% Irish and 5.9% English ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 85,507 households out of which 40.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.60% were married couples living together, 12.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.50% were non-families. 22.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the county, the population was spread out with 28.90% under the age of 18, 13.40% from 18 to 24, 31.90% from 25 to 44, 17.00% from 45 to 64, and 8.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 100.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,872, and the median income for a family was $41,455. Males had a median income of $28,031 versus $22,364 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,219. About 9.70% of families and 12.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.30% of those under age 18 and 9.80% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and townsEdit

Bell county expo

The Bell County Expo Center, located off Interstate Highway 35 south of Belton


Bell County is served by several school districts:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Connor, Seymour V; Odintz, Mark. "Bell County, Texas". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  4. ^ Covington, Carolyn Callaway. "Runaway Scrape". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  5. ^ Cutrer, Thomas W. "George Bernard Erath". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  6. ^ Brackney, William H (2009). Congregation and Campus: Baptists in Higher Education. Mercer University Press. p. 147. ISBN 978-0881461305. 
  7. ^ "Belton, Texas". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  8. ^ "Bell County Courthouse". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  9. ^ a b Huddleston, John. "Miriam Ferguson". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  10. ^ Hellman, Paul T (2004). Historical Gazetteer of the United States. Routledge. p. 1088. ISBN 978-0415939485. 
  11. ^ a b c Leffler, John. "Killeen, Texas". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  12. ^ Time Magazine, Oct, 28 1991
  13. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 31°02′N 97°29′W / 31.04, -97.48

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Bell County, Texas. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.