History of Belleville Kansas
Belleville Kansas township was incorporated on September 25, 1869 (City incorporated January 10, 1878) and was named Belleville in honor of founding father A.B. Tutton’s wife, Arabelle. Belleville was designated the Republic County seat and now houses the impressive art deco Republic County Courthouse which was built after the original Courthouse burned down. The first erected building was on the north side of the public square was the Belleville hotel. The front part of the building housed an office, parlor, confectionery store, cigar store and washroom. The upper story was used for six sleeping apartments, a bridal chamber, and staff housing.
In 1870, other substantial business buildings were built including a general store on the southwest corner of the square, drug/grocery store, general store, and a hotel on the north side of the square. Also during 1870, The Belleville Telescope was started with the first issue coming on on September 20th. The paper still operates today.
Belleville is located in the center of Republic County and was the junction of two divisions of the great Rock Island railway system. Information courtesy of History of Republic County Kansas. Belleville is also at the intersection of two major highways, U.S. Highway 36 and four-lane U.S. Highway 81, both contributing to the City being called The Crossroads of America for nearly a century and making Belleville the ideal place for businesses.
The City of Belleville is also known for it’s racing history at the historic 1910 era Belleville Highbanks Racetrack, which is the “World’s Fastest Half Mile Dirt Track”, and the Belleville Midget Nationals. In 2004, the High Banks Hall of Fame and National Midget Auto Racing Museum was started to help preserve all of Belleville’s racing history. Belleville also has many other great attractions including the Boyer Museum (a museum which houses amazing animated carvings), The Republic County Historical Society Museum, Rocky Pond, and awesome art deco architecture throughout town. Click here for more great ideas for Republic County Travel & Tourism.
Click on the Photo Gallery below to see pictures of our historic downtown!