Belton is a city in the U.S. state of Texas, within the Killeen-Temple metropolitan area. The city is on the Interstate 35 corridor between Austin and Waco and is the seat of Bell County. The population was 22,885 in 2019 according to a US Census Estimate. As of 2019 the metro region had a population of 450,051. Although the county seat and a sizable city itself, Belton is by far the smallest of the three principal cities in Bell County, even appearing as more of a suburb of Temple. Belton is not a suburb of Temple.
Belton and Bell County have been the site of human habitation since at least 6000 BC. Evidence of early inhabitants, including campsites, kitchen middens and burial mounds from the late prehistoric era have been discovered in the Stillhouse Hollow Lake and Belton Lake areas. The earliest inhabitants were the Tonkawa, who traditionally followed buffalo by foot. Belton was also home to the Lipan Apache, Wacos, Nadaco, Kiowas and Comanche. By the 1840s most tribes had been pushed out by settlements, but skirmishes with the Commanches existed until the early 1870s.
Belton was first settled 1850 and named Nolanville, taking the name of nearby Nolan Springs which were named for Texan explorer Philip Nolan.