Originally the area around Bell on the Bunya Highway in Queensland was part of a large land holding called Jimbour Station. In the 1870s the area was opened up for closer settlement and Angus & Christina McPhee from Scotland became the first settlers nearest to what would become the village of Bell. Over time other families – including Bellingham, Bradley, Edwards, Ensor, Rush and Walker – settled in the vicinity of Cattle Creek and in 1878 a school was established at Maida Hill to cater for these families. In April 1906 the railway line was extended from Dalby and the first land sales in Bell were in May 1906. The village was named after Sir Joshua Peter Bell who, at that time, was owner of Jimbour Station.
The Bell Township
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. 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. The population at the 2006 censas was 297.
The drive along the Bunya Highway from Dalby to Kingaroy (110 Kms) passes through Bell and is a delightful run either with or without a camera.