Nolanville is on South Nolan Creek, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe line, and State Highway 190 just east of Killeen in western Bell County. It was originally named Nolan Valley, presumably for Nolan Creek, which was in turn named for explorer and filibuster Philip Nolan. It was one of the earliest white settlements in Bell County. The census of 1850 listed its population as forty-six. A post office named Noland Valley was opened there in 1878, and the railroad reached the community in the early 1880s. The town changed its name to Nolanville in 1883. Nolanville had been the old name for Belton before the latter became county seat in 1852. In 1884 Nolanville had 100 inhabitants, two mill-gins, three churches, and a school. A weekly newspaper, the Item, was started by 1896. Nolanville School, one of the larger rural schools in the county in the early twentieth century, had ninety pupils in 1903. The community had 150 to 200 residents through the mid-1940s but began to decline after World War II. After dropping to fifty inhabitants in the 1950s, the town began to revive in the 1960s and had 200 residents and six businesses when it incorporated in 1966. By the later 1960s Nolanville was caught up in the expansion of the Killeen-Fort Hood area, and, as a suburban community, its population shot up to 740 in 1968, 1,050 in 1974, 1,726 in 1988, and 1,834 in 1990. By 2000 the population reached 2,150.