Belton is the county seat for Bell County, formed in 1850 from the earlier Robertson colony. Two railroads served the town, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe and the Missouri, Kansas and Texas (MKT), both arriving in the latter part of the nineteenth century. The Baylor Female College moved to Belton in 1886 and still remains as the University of Mary Hardin Baylor at 900 College Street. By Texas standards, the community was a center of progressive programs that particularly catered to young women. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Belton prospered as a regional cotton center for a wide agricultural area. Today Belton is dominated by Fort Hood to the west, a major U.S. Army base for armor (tanks) training.
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