Belle Center, Ohio
Belle Center, which has also been known as Belle Centre, is a small community in northern Logan County, Ohio.
Prior to the arrival of white settlers, the Shawnee Indians principally inhabited the area that now includes Belle Center. Whites drove most of the Shawnee and other Indian groups from the region during the War of 1812, but whites did not establish Belle Center until circa 1846. The principal reason for this delay was due to the swampy land in northern Logan County.
Residents named the community Belle Center because it was located roughly between Bellefontaine, Ohio and Kenton, Ohio. Townspeople formally incorporated the village in 1867. Belle Center grew slowly. By 1880, only 434 people resided in the village, with nearly three hundred of them being school-age children. The town also included two newspapers, one bank, and four churches. Several hotels and an opera house also operated in Belle Center during the late nineteenth century, but most residents either worked as farmers or by providing services to their agriculturalist neighbors.
During the twentieth century, Belle Center continued to remain a small community. In 2000, only 807 people resided in the village. Much of Belle Center's business district was destroyed by two fires during the 1930s. Undaunted, residents rebuilt the community. Today, much of the downtown now consists of restaurants and various stores.
- Howe, Henry. Historical Collections of Ohio in Two Volumes. Vol. II. Cincinnati, OH: C.J. Krehbiel & Co., Printers and Binders, 1902.