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History

The history of the Bell County Museum begins in 1899, when the Belton Women's Wednesday Club requested a library grant from steel magnate Andrew Carnegie. His approval of a $10,000 library grant resulted in the construction of the Belton Carnegie Library. The building was completed in 1905. Belton's Carnegie Library served citizens until 1975, when the Lena Armstrong Public Library opened nearby.

Local officials awarded use of the Carnegie Library to the Bell County Historical Commission in 1975. On December 7, 1975, the group hosted an official opening for the Bell County Museum. In 1988, a large scale renovation of the Carnegie Library began. Three years later, the project was complete, and the magnificent results can be seen to this day!

In April 2003, the museum initiated a campaign to expand its facility by linking the Carnegie Library and Guffy Building with a central walkway. Museum trustees, staff, and community members soon raised the necessary expansion funds, and the newly expanded Bell County Museum opened on May 19, 2006.


Credit: Yeilding, David, Carnegie Public Library and the Bell County Museum Belton, Texas, 2016.


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