Historic Markers Across Florida


Marker ID:  
Location: n Nesmith Rd in front of the Belleville Recreation Center, Plant City, FL.
County: Hillsborough
Coordinates: N 27° 56.728    W 082° 04.529
  27.94546666    -82.07548333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMTHBB



The community that became known as Belleville was settled in late 1865 by former slaves from nearby plantations in Hopewell, Springhead and surrounding areas. The original settlers were Steven Allen, Issac Berry, Peter Dexter, Neptune Henry, Mills Holloman, Bryant Horton, Samuel McKinney, Roger Smith, Mary Roddick, Abe Segenger, Jerry Stephens, and Robert Story. After emancipation, they were assisted by former slaveholder Sarah Howell, and the settlement was originally known as Howell's Creek. The settlers then homesteaded property that they acquired through the 1866 Southern Homestead Act.

The name of the community first evolved from Howell's Creek to Alafia. In 1923, it changed to Bealsville in recognition of Alfred Beal, the son of Mary Reddick. After several freezes led to bankruptcy for some of the original settlers, Beal acquired the property and sold parcels of the land back to them, thus ensuring the continuity of the community.

Bealsville stands as a legacy of the emancipated slaves who sought to remake their lives in a new community of their own. Many citizens of Bealsville are descendants from the first settlers; others have moved here. All recognize and respect the original citizens for founding one of Hillsborough County's oldest and noteworthy communities.

2013 - Hillsborough County Historical Advisory Council