In 1845 a group was created to connect the Piedmont region of South Carolina by rail to the existing rail system which then ran from Columbia to Charleston. The expanded rail line ran through what was to become Belton, with a spur line which ran to the nearby town of Anderson. Because of the population explosion that occurred by the time the railroad had been completed in 1853, the state incorporated the town in 1855, with the boundaries being located within a half mile radius from the new railroad depot.
In bygone years Belton was the cotton ginning center for South Carolina, with many cotton mills that were part of the heritage.
Belton boasts an arts center that holds regular art exhibitions open to the public. The arts center adds much character and artistic vibrancy to the city, and is available for event rentals and hosting many city events. The old train depot has been completely refurbished and is currently used as a comfortable function venue. Part of the depot is a museum filled with old Belton history. Belton is know as the Standpipe City.
The city is home to two elementary and one middle school, with the high school being only 10 minutes away. Belton school system has plenty to offer.
Other cultural and educational facilities include the Belton Center for the Arts, the Belton Depot, Ruth Drake Museum and a new branch library.
Tennis is an integral part of Belton's culture. The South Carolina Palmetto championships are held in Belton each year, using local residential tennis courts as part of the competition.