Thursday, 06 September 2012 by Berneta Peeples
The City of Belton recognizes the importance of the date Aug. 26, 1850.
Aug. 26, 1850, was the date of the first sale of town lots to officially create the county seat of the nearly five-month-old Bell County.
Except the county seat was then named Nolan(d)ville.
That is the way the name is spelled in the Bell County records of 1854 as written by E. Lawrence Stickney.
Lawrence Stickney was among the entire population of the Childers Mill settlement on Salado Creek that moved to the new county seat in the spring of 1850.
They weren't interested in record keeping - just keeping the original settlers out of their hair.
However, research indicates that by August there were at least three businesses in operation in addition to the elected officials striving mightily to create a town and a county.
One business was John Danley blacksmithy. Apparently John Henry's whisky saloon - for some reason in early days saloons were listed as grocery stores - was still in operation and probably the widow Sarah Lawler still had her shed over on the south bank of the Nolan.
That blacksmithy also served as the official meeting place of the Bell County Commissioners Court.
The site is now home of City of Belton Fire station No. 1.
The date Aug. 26, 1850, is given as the official date of sale.
By August 1850 Matilda Fair Roberts Connell-Allen-Allen's gift of 120 acres of her headright grant for the county seat, had been divided into lots and blocks.
When he was elected Chief of Bell County, John Danley promptly moved from the Fulcher Colony in the area near today's Holland "to town."
He picked one of the choice spots on the north bank of Nolan Creek and set up shop. When the bidding started, he was merely protecting his own.
He already had a path beat to the Horsehead Spring was supposed to be in the area. He kept bidding until he spent the munificent sum of $14 for lots 1,2,3,4,5,6 in block 1 of the town.
Danley's log crib blacksmithy and Mrs. Lawler's cook shed probably met the same fate - firewood for cooking or heating.
In 2012 John Danley's $14 investment is valued at $159,259 for the City of Belton Fire Station No. 1 plus $20,000 for the adjoining parking lots.