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Our History

Belton is a quaint and charming community founded in 1850 along the famous Chisholm Trail. Downtown Belton features the magnificent Bell County Courthouse; the historic Bell County Museum; a parade of beautiful historic homes; the oldest family owned department store in Texas founded in 1869, Cochran, Blair, and Potts; and the oldest continuously operating college in the state, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas.

The first female Governor of Texas, Miriam Amanda Wallace "Ma" Ferguson, was born in Bell County and studied at Salado College and Baylor Female College in Belton. She was married in Belton to James E. Ferguson, a Belton attorney, and governor of Texas from January 19, 1915 to August, 25, 1917. The couple resided in the “Honeymoon Cottage” on Penelope Street in Belton for five-years. "Ma" Ferguson served as governor from 1925 until 1927, and a second term in 1932 through 1935.

Independence Day celebrations in Belton are a tradition dating back to 1852. Today, the Belton's Fourth of July Parade has participation from most of the Central Texas communities attracting over 30,000 people every year.