Bellville was founded in 1848 and incorporated in 1927. Thomas and James Bell emigrated from Alabama in 1822 as two of Stephen F. Austins earliest settlers. They donated over 145 acres of land to Austin County, and Bellville was named after them. The Courthouse Square is as it was laid out in 1846. Bellville is the countyseat and boasts a population of about 3,500.
Because of its historic character, Bellville attracts tour groups as well as the casual visitor. More than 20 historic homes, the twelve sided German dance pavilion and restored Masonic Lodge are within walking distance. A half block off the square the old County Jail, now a museum, stands like a red brick castle; its gallows tower rises four stories. The historic buildings around the square have been transformed into a collection of unusual and unique shops. A number of good restaurants and accommodations make Bellville a great place to spend the day or a weekend. A scenic drive on the "Bluebonnet Trail" gives a visitor a pleasant drive past farm houses, over hills and through valleys covered with oaks and cedars. The countryside is always changing color as the different wild flowers take their turns, but is particularly lovely in the spring when the bluebonnets bloom.
Today Bellville is one of the most livable small towns in the Houston area. Blessed with many fine churches, an excellent school system, and a first-class hospital, Bellville and its friendly, peaceable surrounding countryside has become a place that a variety of people call "home".
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