Founded in 1850, Belton is the Bell County seat and has historically served as both the local government center of the county and as a marketplace and shipping point for area farmers and ranchers. Between 1860 and 1880, Belton was a regional center for the cattle boom and even became an important stopping point for cattle herds along the famed Chisholm Trail. Between 1880 and 1930, Belton was a processing center for the regional cotton crop which became the county’s principal cash crop during this period, particularly in the blackland prairie region in east Bell County. Belton’s long and distinctive past is evidenced by the city’s many historic homes and commercial buildings. Charming storefronts characterize the historic commercial district, the center of which is the impressive Bell County Courthouse, built in 1885.
Today, Belton is home to an estimated 20,517 people. New residents continue to be drawn to Belton by outstanding schools, great parks and by the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, also located in Belton. Chartered by the Republic of Texas in 1845, the historic college campus provides both students and area residents with educational, cultural and recreational opportunities. Providing a natural backdrop to historic Belton are over 160 acres of parkland located throughout the city.
Situated along Belton Lake, Belton is a city abounding with parks and recreational opportunities. The beautiful Nolan Creek meanders through central Belton where residents and visitors can enjoy a walk along the Nolan Creek Hike and Bike Trail. This unique 1.5 mile trail provides a scenic tour through three city parks. The trail offers residents and visitors beautiful views of the Nolan Creek, as well as numerous opportunities to take a break while reading about the historic Chisholm Trail in one of ten pocket parks located along the trail.
Active sporting enthusiasts will be impressed with Belton’s outstanding sports fields, park complexes and water-based recreational activities. In 2006, the City of Belton received over $370,000 in grants from various state and private organizations allowing continued improvement to local parks and fields. By leveraging city funds with grants and building community partnerships with citizens and community organizations, the City of Belton continues to enhance the quality of life for all its citizens.
Also available to visitors and residents is the T. B. Harris Community Center, a project recognized with numerous awards. The completely renovated facility features multiple rooms offering state of the art accommodations for business meetings, while at the same time providing ample space and beautiful vistas into the ten-acre park surrounding the school. The building is well suited for conferences and training events while providing an idyllic setting for wedding receptions, parties and reunions.
Come to Belton and enjoy its small town charm and natural beauty! What are you waiting for?