Rachel Jenkins

BELL BOTTOM, TEXAS. Bell Bottom is on Caney Creek and Bell Bottom Road sixteen miles southeast of Bay City in southeastern Matagorda County. The settlement is named for A. C. Bell, who in the late 1800s bought land to develop in what was then a thickly overgrown area. The site was settled by around 1905 by two black families from Gainesmore and Brazoria who purchased small tracts from Bell. The settlement gradually developed and by around 1927 was served by a one-classroom black elementary school, Mable Kennedy School. During the 1930s at Bell Bottom around twenty families were engaged in vegetable farming, and at least as late as the late 1940s the community had a church, though the school was probably gone by that time. A successful gas well was drilled in the area in the mid-1970s, though additional drilling did not pay off. In the mid-1980s a few small ranches, vegetable farms, and sod farms remained in the community of around forty-three families. Though Bell Bottom was unlabeled on county highway maps, a cemetery and St. Mark Church were shown at the site in 1990.

Frank J. Balusek, Survey and Proposed Reorganization of the Schools of Matagorda County, Texas (M.Ed. thesis, University of Texas, 1939). Matagorda County Historical Commission, Historic Matagorda County (3 vols., Houston: Armstrong, 1986).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Rachel Jenkins, "BELL BOTTOM, TX," accessed August 19, 2019,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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