Initially settled by Thomas and James Bell who immigrated from Florida
in 1822, as some of Stephen F. Austin’s earliest settlers. They donated
over 145 acres to Austin County. Bellville was named for them.
In 1883, there were six saloons on the square alone. Local legend tells the story that Irish immigrants were brought in to construct the railroad and bridge over Mill Creek. On Saturday nights a flatcar was used to bring them into town and later they were loaded back on the railcar (in a horizontal position) to take them back to the work camp. Bellville is a city rich in local Texas history.
The many markers in the area chronicle incidents from the early days of Texas, both as a republic and later as a state. Noted with plaques are the original school sites in the county, over 170 cemetery locations (some on private property), the Austin County Jail as well as many buildings and homes located around the town square and in the residential districts.