“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Belton in Bell County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Bell County Courthouses

Bell County Courthouses Marker image. Click for full size.
cmh2315fl via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0), January 2, 2021
1. Bell County Courthouses Marker

Three Bell County courthouses have stood on this site — part of the 120 acres given by Matilda F. Connell Allen for the location of the county seat.

Prior to erection of a courthouse, early official business of the county (created and organized, 1850) was handled in blacksmith shop of John Danley, the first chief justice. His anvil (in one of the three original buildings in Belton) was the council table.

First courthouse was a one-story (16' x 18') frame building erected by contractor Thomas T. Havens in 1851, at cost of $199, financed by sale of city lots. On April 1, 1858, the commissioners contracted for a two-story (50' x 60') native limestone building with intersecting main halls, fireplaces on each floor, double doors and other fine details. Cost ($13,625) was so resented that none of the commissioners were re-elected. Simeon Bramlet was the contractor. This building was in service from Dec. 1, 1859 until 1884.

Cornerstone for third courthouse was laid on June 24, 1884; structure was completed by May 30, 1885. Ben D. Lee contracted to build it for $64.965. It has been improved at later dates. The county
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clerk's office was fireproofed in 1898. In 1950, there was extensive remodeling and modernizing.
Erected 1970 by State Historical Survey Committee. (Marker Number 358.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureLaw Enforcement. A significant historical year for this entry is 1851.
Location. 31° 3.351′ N, 97° 27.831′ W. Marker is in Belton, Texas, in Bell County. Marker is at the intersection of South Main Street (State Highway 317) and Water Street, on the right when traveling north on South Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 101 E Central Ave, Belton TX 76513, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Bell County Confederate Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Bell County Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Belton Farmers Co-op Gin (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); William Whitaker Reed (about 400 feet away); Cochran, Blair and Potts Department Store (about 600 feet away); The Carnegie Library Building (about 600 feet away); Site of Sam Houston Speech (about 600 feet away); Woman's Wednesday Club (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Belton.
1884 Bell County Courthouse image. Click for full size.
Amy the Nurse via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), May 20, 2010
2. 1884 Bell County Courthouse
Credits. This page was last revised on July 11, 2022. It was originally submitted on February 21, 2022, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 243 times since then and 130 times this year. Last updated on July 11, 2022, by Joe Lotz of Denton, Texas. Photos:   1. submitted on February 21, 2022, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.   2. submitted on February 23, 2022, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 11, 2023