Bell, a rural town, is 160 km north-west of Brisbane and 35 km north-east of Dalby. It is at the western foot of the Bunya Mountains, and was named after Joshua Bell, owner of the Jimbour pastoral station. The village of Jimbour is 25 km west of Bell.

The origins of the Bell township coincided with the implementation of the Closer Settlement Act in the early 1900s and the subdivision of the Jimbour property. Joshua Bell, who supported closer-settlement, was also a keen proponent of a railway line from Dalby to the Bunya Mountains, and the opening of the line in 1906 led to the naming of the terminus in commemoration. Most farmers engaged in dairying, railing their produce to the dairy factory in Dalby. By 1920 a town of about 500 people had grown, when the Post Office directory recorded the Bell View and Bunya hotels, a school of arts, a stock and station agent, a bank, two refreshment rooms and a store.

Dairying had consolidated in the district by the 1940s, with the Maxam Cheese factory at Cooranga (to the north) and the Sunnyside Cooperative Cheese factory in Bell. A noticeable decline in population occurred in the 1960s as dairying fell away, to be replaced by sheep and grain production. Large silos now form a backdrop to Bell, along with the Bunya Mountains.

Bell has a general store, the Bell View hotel, a primary school (1907) with a secondary department, golf and bowls venues, a showground, a racecourse, a tourist information and crafts centre (2001), Presbyterian (1908), Anglican (1910) and Catholic (1912) churches and a railway heritage park. The school of arts is a memorial hall.

Bell's census populations have been:

Census DatePopulation

A.L. Williams, Wambo shire centenary, 1879-1979, Dalby, Wambo Shire Council, 1979



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