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, the Bell County Historical Commission severed its control of the museum. In the aftermath, a Bell County Museum Board was formed and the museum launched a fundraiser for a large scale renovation of the Carnegie Library. The "Save the Museum" fund drive was a success. The result of the extensive project was a beautifully restored building.
The Bell County government purchased the Carnegie Library and adjoining Guffy building in 2004 and 2001, respectively. These properties would soon be joined through a museum expansion effort. 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.The expansion added 10,000 square feet to the Bell County Museum complex. Bell County Museum and its visitors benefited from the expansion with the addition of the West Gallery traveling exhibit area, Marshall Log Cabin, Gault Site exhibit, Research Library, Gift Shop, public facilities, and staff offices
Credit: Yeilding, David, Carnegie Public Library and the Bell County Museum Belton, Texas