Bell County, Texas

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Bell County, Texas
Belton Courthouse (1).jpg
The Bell County Courthouse in Belton.
Map of Texas highlighting Bell County
Location in the state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location in the U.S.
Founded 1850
Seat Belton
Largest city Killeen
Area
 • Total 1,088 sq mi (2,818 km2)
 • Land 1,060 sq mi (2,745 km2)
 • Water 28 sq mi (73 km2), 2.59%
Population (Est.)
 • (2013) 326,843
 • Density 292.7/sq mi (113/km²)
Congressional districts 25th, 31st
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website www.bellcountytx.com

Bell County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 310,235.[1] Its county seat is Belton.[2] The county was founded in 1850 and is named for Peter Hansborough Bell, the third governor of Texas.

Bell County is part of the KilleenTemple, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area.

In 2010, the center of population of Texas was located in Bell County, near the town of Holland.[3]

History[edit]

  • 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.[4]
  • 1836 The settlements are deserted during the Runaway Scrape,[5] reoccupied, deserted again after the Elmwood Creek Blood Scrape, re-occupied again. Texas Ranger George Erath establishes a fort on Little River.[6]
  • 1843-44 Settlers return.[4]
  • 1845 University of Mary Hardin–Baylor founded by the Republic of Texas as “Baylor Female College”.[7]
  • 1850 Bell County is formed and named for Texas Governor Peter Hansborough Bell. Population 600 whites – 60 black slaves.[4]
  • 1851 County seat is Belton.[8]
  • 1859 Last serious Indian raid of the area.[4]
  • 1860 Re-survey of the line between Bell and Milam County. Bell County assumes its present boundaries.[4]
Confederate statue at Bell County Courthouse
  • 1861 County votes for secession from the Union.[4]
  • 1862-1865 Union sympathizers and Confederate deserters hole up in "Camp Safety."[4]
  • 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.[4]
  • 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.[4]
  • 1875 Miriam A. Ferguson, first woman Governor of Texas, is born in Bell County.[4]
  • 1881 Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway, the first railroad to be built in Bell County, establishes Temple as its headquarters[4]
  • 1884 Current Bell County Courthouse is built. Renaissance Revival design is by architect Jasper N. Preston and Sons.[9]
  • 1905 The Belton and Temple Interurban electric railway is constructed,[4]
  • 1920’s Ku Klux Klan revived in Bell County.[4]
  • 1925 Miriam A. Ferguson is inaugurated as Governor.[10]
  • 1926 Temple Junior College (later Temple College) opens.[11]
  • 1933 Miriam A. Ferguson is inaugurated for her second, but non-consecutive, term as Governor.[10]
  • 1942 Fort Hood opens as a military training base.[4]
  • 1956 Killeen school board votes to integrate local high school.[12]
  • 1965 Central Texas College founded in Killeen.[12]
  • 1976 Temple Mall opens.[13]
  • 1980 Killeen becomes the largest city in Bell County.[12]
  • 1981 Killeen Mall opens.[14]
  • 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.[15]
  • 1995 As a result of the Luby’s shooting, Governor George W. Bush signs new law requiring a permit for concealed weapons.
  • 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.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,088 square miles (2,820 km2), of which 1,051 square miles (2,722.1 km2) is land and 37 square miles (95.8 km2) (3.4%) is water.[16]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Infrastructure[edit]

Major highways[edit]

The following are major highways that run through Bell County.

Transportation[edit]

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.[17]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 4,799
1870 9,771 103.6%
1880 20,518 110.0%
1890 33,377 62.7%
1900 45,535 36.4%
1910 49,186 8.0%
1920 46,412 −5.6%
1930 50,030 7.8%
1940 44,863 −10.3%
1950 73,824 64.6%
1960 94,097 27.5%
1970 124,483 32.3%
1980 157,889 26.8%
1990 191,088 21.0%
2000 237,974 24.5%
2010 310,235 30.4%
Est. 2013 326,843 5.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[18]
2013 Estimate[1]

As of the census[19] 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.

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.

Education[edit]

Bell County is served by several school districts:

Communities[edit]

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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Centers of Population by State: 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 29, 2014. 
  4. ^ 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. Archived from the original on 21 December 2010. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ Cutrer, Thomas W. "George Bernard Erath". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  7. ^ Brackney, William H (2009). Congregation and Campus: Baptists in Higher Education. Mercer University Press. p. 147. ISBN 978-0-88146-130-5. 
  8. ^ "Belton, Texas". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  9. ^ "Bell County Courthouse". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  10. ^ a b Huddleston, John. "Miriam Ferguson". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Archived from the original on 21 December 2010. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  11. ^ Hellman, Paul T (2004). Historical Gazetteer of the United States. Routledge. p. 1088. ISBN 978-0-415-93948-5. 
  12. ^ a b c Leffler, John. "Killeen, Texas". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  13. ^ Urban Retail Properties: Temple Mall Center Information. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
  14. ^ Jones Lang Lasalle (March 2010). "Killeen Mall". Jones Lang Lasalle. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  15. ^ Time Magazine, Oct, 28 1991
  16. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  17. ^ "The Hop General Info". Hill Country Transit District. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  18. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved March 31, 2014. 
  19. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 

External links[edit]

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