In March 1848, Bellville, named for early settler Thomas Bell, was platted and became the center of county government. The town still serves as an agricultural trading center, as it has for much of its history. The courthouse square is dominated by the blocky modernist courthouse (1960, Wyatt C. Hedrick), which replaced the previous building (1888, Eugene T. Heiner), a tall, towered, Second Empire design that burned. The courthouse is set in the center of a busy traffic rotary that unfortunately fragments the two sides of the rectangular public square.
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