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PRAIRIE DELL, TEXAS

Bell County, North Central Texas
Interstate 35
13 Miles S of Belton
21 Miles S of Temple

Population: 20 est. (2010) 12 (2000)

Prairie Dell, Texas Area Hotels > Temple Hotels | Belton Hotels

History in a Pecan Shell

Prairie Dell dates from the late 1860s when it barely had a store. Situated on a cattle trail on the way to northern cattle markets, it was granted a post office in 1877. It closed the following year, but reopened fifteen years later. In the mid 1890s the community had 75 residents served by two stores, a drugstore and a blacksmith.

Spiritual needs were served by two Baptist Churches and one Presbyterian congregation. The town’s school was one of the largest rural schools in Bell County in 1903 with a reported 129 students taught by 2 teachers.

Prarie Dell peaked in 1904 with a population of 134. Its proximity to Belton may have stifled it’s growth and the Great Depression no doubt took a toll, but by the mid 1960s the town had just 20 residents. The 1990 census counted 12 residents with only one church at that time.
Bell County Texas 1907 Postal map
1907 Postal map showing Prairie Dell
(S of Belton near Williamson County line. Below "EL" in "B-E-L-L")

Courtesy Texas General Land Office

Tranquil setting belies past Prairie Dell

by Clay Coppedge

Prairie Dell was once the site of a roadside attraction and later the principle set for the sequel to the movie "Texas Chainsaw Massacre."

The movie is often described as a cult favorite, which usually means it's either so bad it's good, or it has a preposterous premise that people think is based on a real incident. Contrary to a popular myth of the urban variety, neither the original "Texas Chainsaw," the sequel or a remake is based on fact. The term "Inspired By A True Story" has taken root in the imagination of some fans; in some cases, it has blossomed into a shocking true story that never happened. These people are not swayed by facts... more


Chain Saw Confidential: How We Made the World's Most Notorious Horror Movie by Dr. Kirk Bane
Prairie Dell, Texas
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