The Five Firsts of Belton
Being the first (and best) at anything is what we all strive to achieve. It is always good to reflect on what and how things we take for granted came to be part of our everyday lives. Here are a few "firsts" that helped Belton become the city that I love to call home.
Belton's post office was established as Nolanville in October 1850. In December 1851, the Texas Legislature incorporated the town and changed the name to Belton, after Bell County which was named after Texas' Governor, Peter Hansborough Bell. Speaking of Bell, in 1884 the first telephones appeared in Belton when the Southwestern Telegraph and Telephone company connected Temple and Belton with other cities of Texas.
The year 1867 saw the opening of Belton's first bank organized by Josephus Zacharias Miller. In addition, the city began operating the first fire department and jail in 1884 and received electricity in 1889.
Our famous 4th of July Parade had its beginning in the year 1852 and by 1919, the parade became an annual event.
The first hotel was the Belton Hotel which was destroyed by fire in April 1892. In 1887, The Belton Woman's Commonwealth opened the Central Hotel which also featured the city's first library.
The Belton Journal has been publishing weekly issues since 1866, but it was not Belton's first newspaper. The Belton Independent was also a weekly newspaper that discussed local, state, and national news along with advertisements. The paper contained over 80 issues from the years 1857 to 1859. Following the end of The Belton Independent, The Belton Democrat published by James W. White went in to print in 1860.