The Community of Ding Dong
People from all around passing through Central Texas occasionally stop by the fire department looking for Ding Dong, Texas. Brought to wider attention via travel guides and book and a 15 minute special on "Ripley's Believe It Or Not," Ding Dong is an unincorporated community in Central Texas. It is situated on the Lampasas River, eight miles south of Killeen in southwestern Bell County.
As the saying goes, "If you find yourself in Ding Dong, you had to have been looking for it."
How details on how Ding Dong got its name is quite an interesting one. According to historical accounts, the Bells involved were Zulis Bell and his nephew Bert Bell, not Peter Hansborough Bell, the governor whom Bell County was named after. In the early 1930s the two Bells bought and ran a country store on the Lampasas River at a place then known as McBryde's Crossing.
The Bells hired a talented sign painter and farmer by the name of "Cohn" Hoover to paint the sign for their new store. But Hoover was not just any average sign painter, he was a well talented painter. When Hoover went to the Stokes-Blair Hardware Company in Florence, an employee gave him some insight on what the sign should say.
"Why don't you do something original with this sign," he suggested to Hoover. "How about drawing two Bells with the name Zulis in one and Bert in the other. Then print 'Ding Dong' on the sign." Over time, a community was formed around the small general store and travelers and settlers alike adopted Ding Dong as the town's name.
Ding Dong is now a part of Killeen as a result of the January 28th, 2006 annexation which extends the city limits down the State Highway 195 corridor. To preserve the unique history of the community, our fire apparatus continue to display "Ding Dong, TX".