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Bell Bottom Information

By Ray Horton

The community of Bell Bottom, situated approximately three miles east of Cedar Lane, lies on the banks of Caney Creek.  Bell Bottom was names for A. C. Bell, who purchased a portion of the Cooper Morrison League in the late 1800ís for the purpose of development.

In 1905 two Negroes, Stieve (Steve) Armstrong and Lewis Thomas, each purchased a tract of land from Bell.   Armstrongís tract was forty acres, while Thomasí was sixty acres. Thomas later purchased another fifty acres.  Each of these men erected a house on his property.  Thomas moved his family from Gainesmore, while Armstrong moved his family from Brazoria.  Armstrong had a daughter, Alonia, born in 1907.  Alonia Armstrong Keyes still lives in Bell Bottom and tells how dense the underbrush and timber were when she was a little girl. She also tells about her father killing black bears for food.

By 1910 the community had spread up Caney Creek into the A. C. Buckner League.  In the late 1920ís and early 1930ís, the community had developed into a vegetable farming area with approximately twenty families growing and marketing corn, beans, peas, and greens. 

In the mid-1970ís a gas well was brought into production on the Nora Caldwell property.  Several other wells have been drilled but none have produced. 

In 1985 there are only a couple of small vegetable farms along with a few small ranches and sod (grass) farms.  There are approximately forty-three families making their homes in Bell Bottom today.

Historic Matagorda County, Volume I, 1984 Typed by Faye Cunningham



The descendants of the Steve Armstrong family conceived the idea of
the Bell Bottom History House to preserve the heritage of the early
settlers of the area. The house is the former residence of
Alonia Fletcher-Keys and is located at 1549 County Road 162 in
the Bell Bottom Community about one mile from St. Marks
Missionary Baptist Church.

For more information contact Israel L. Armstrong 832-795-4352.


Steve Armstrong (at left)
Justina Armstrong (above)

Photos courtesy of Israel Armstrong


Living Room

Living Room

Piano in living room

Sideboard in dining area

Kitchen safe

Wood-burning stove in dining area

Front Room

Front Room

Front Room

Tools and school bench in front room

Bedroom with iron bedstead

Dressing table

Chest with hats

Bed with iron bedstead and springs

Sewing machine in back bedroom.



Members of the Matagorda County Historical Commission toured the
Bell Bottom History House on March 8, 2008.



Copyright 2006 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Jan. 16, 2006
Sep. 14, 2009