Bell County, Texas
Bell County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 310,235. Its county seat is Belton. The county was founded in 1850 and is named for Peter Hansborough Bell, the third governor of Texas.
|Bell County, Texas|
The Bell County Courthouse in Belton
Location in the U.S. state of Texas
Texas's location in the U.S.
|• Total||1,088 sq mi (2,818 km2)|
|• Land||1,051 sq mi (2,722 km2)|
|• Water||37 sq mi (96 km2), 3.4%|
|• Density||295/sq mi (114/km²)|
|Congressional districts||25th, 31st|
|Time zone||Central: UTC-6/-5|
- 1834–1835 Little River becomes part of Robertson's Colony, settlers from Nashville, led by Sterling C. Robertson: families of Captain Goldsby Childers, Robert Davison, John Fulcher, Moses Griffin, John Needham, Michael Reed and his son William Whitaker Reed, William Taylor, and Judge Orville T. Tyler.
- 1836 The settlements are deserted during the Runaway Scrape, reoccupied, deserted again after the Elmwood Creek Blood Scrape, re-occupied again. Texas Ranger George Erath establishes a fort on Little River.
- 1843–44 Settlers return.
- 1845 University of Mary Hardin–Baylor founded by the Republic of Texas as “Baylor Female College”.
- 1850 Bell County is formed and named for Texas Governor Peter Hansborough Bell. Population 600 whites – 60 black slaves.
- 1851 County seat is Belton.
- 1859 Last serious Indian raid of the area.
- 1860 Re-survey of the line between Bell and Milam County. Bell County assumes its present boundaries.
- 1861 County votes for secession from the Union.
- 1862–1865 Union sympathizers and Confederate deserters hole up in "Camp Safety."
- 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.
- 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.
- 1875 Miriam A. Ferguson, first woman Governor of Texas, is born in Bell County.
- 1881 Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway, the first railroad to be built in Bell County, establishes Temple as its headquarters
- 1884 Current Bell County Courthouse is built. Renaissance Revival design is by architect Jasper N. Preston and Sons.
- 1905 The Belton and Temple Interurban electric railway is constructed.
- 1920’s Ku Klux Klan revived in Bell County.
- 1925 Miriam A. Ferguson is inaugurated as governor.
- 1926 Temple Junior College (later Temple College) opens.
- 1933 Miriam A. Ferguson is inaugurated for her second, but non-consecutive, term as governor.
- 1942 Fort Hood opens as a military training base.
- 1956 Killeen school board votes to integrate local high school.
- 1965 Central Texas College founded in Killeen.
- 1976 Temple Mall opens.
- 1980 Killeen becomes the largest city in Bell County.
- 1981 Killeen Mall opens.
- 1987 Bell County Expo Center opens
- 1991, October 16 - Luby's shooting - 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!" as he opened fire.
- 1995 Four years after the Luby’s shooting, Governor George W. Bush signs new law easing restrictions on carrying handguns by allowing Texans to carry concealed weapons with a required permit for concealed weapons. Texas thus tosses out a ban on carrying weapons that had been adopted by another Republican governor, E.J. Davis, 125 years earlier during a meeting of the post-Civil War Legislature.
- 2009, November 5 - 2009 Fort Hood shooting – Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan kills 13 people, wounds 30.
- 2014, April 2 - 2014 Fort Hood shooting - Army Specialist Ivan Lopez kills 3 people, wounds 16.
|U.S. Decennial Census
As of the census of 2010, there were 310,235 people, 114,035 households, and 80,449 families residing in the county. The population density was 295.2 people per square mile (87/km2). There were 125,470 housing units at an average density of 88 per square mile (34/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 61.4% White, 21.5% Black or African American, 0.8% Native American, 2.8% Asian, 0.8% Pacific Islander, and 5.0% reporting two or more races. 21.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 14.9% were of Mexican, 3.6% were of Puerto Rican, 0.2% Cuban, and 0.2% were of Dominican Republic descent.
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. As of the 2010 census, there were about 3.6 same-sex couples per 1,000 households in the county.
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.
Bell County is served by several school districts:
- Academy Independent School District
- Bartlett Independent School District (partial)
- Belton Independent School District
- Bruceville-Eddy Independent School District (partial)
- Copperas Cove Independent School District (partial)
- Florence Independent School District (partial)
- Gatesville Independent School District (partial)
- Holland Independent School District (partial)
- Killeen Independent School District (partial)
- Lampasas Independent School District (partial)
- Moody Independent School District (partial)
- Rogers Independent School District (partial)
- Rosebud-Lott Independent School District (partial)
- Temple Independent School District
- Troy Independent School District
- Salado Independent School District
The following are major highways that run through Bell County.
- Interstate 14/U.S. Highway 190
- Interstate 35
- State Highway 36
- State Highway 53
- State Highway 95
- State Highway 195
The Hill Country Transit District operates a regularly scheduled fixed route bus service within the urban areas of Killeen and Temple, as well as a paratransit service throughout the county. Amtrak also has scheduled service to Temple.
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2012-07-12. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "Centers of Population by State: 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
- Connor, Seymour V; Odintz, Mark. "Bell County, Texas". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Archived from the original on 21 December 2010. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
- Covington, Carolyn Callaway. "Runaway Scrape". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Archived from the original on 12 November 2010. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
- Cutrer, Thomas W. "George Bernard Erath". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
- Brackney, William H (2009). Congregation and Campus: Baptists in Higher Education. Mercer University Press. p. 147. ISBN 978-0-88146-130-5.
- "Belton, Texas". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
- "Bell County Courthouse". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
- Huddleston, John. "Miriam Ferguson". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Archived from the original on 21 December 2010. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
- Hellman, Paul T (2004). Historical Gazetteer of the United States. Routledge. p. 1088. ISBN 978-0-415-93948-5.
- Leffler, John. "Killeen, Texas". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
- Urban Retail Properties: Temple Mall Archived March 17, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Center Information. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
- Jones Lang Lasalle (March 2010). "Killeen Mall" (PDF). Jones Lang Lasalle. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- Time Magazine, Oct, 28 1991
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
- "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
- Where Same-Sex Couples Live, June 26, 2015, retrieved July 6, 2015
- "The Hop General Info". Hill Country Transit District. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
- Official website
- Bell County, Texas from the Handbook of Texas Online
- Bell County from the Texas Almanac
- Bell County from the TXGenWeb Project
- Bell County Ex Confederate Association Ledger, From 1888 To 1920.
- Historic Bell County materials, hosted by the Portal to Texas History.
- Bell County Jail Information
- Bell County Subreddit