In 1895, prominent landowner and cattleman Captain Francis A. Hendry (1833-1917) platted a townsite at LaBelle, which was first settled as a center for cattle and citrus industries. A post office, general store, school, and a church were eventually built, and LaBelle became the first town and commercial center in what became Hendry County. Although Hendry is credited with settling LaBelle, E.E. Goodno (1858-1936), who purchased Hendry's former land holdings in 1903 and financed many of the town's first improvements, is recognized as the "Father of LaBelle." LaBelle's historic business district extends along and near Bridge Street from the Caloosahatchee River south to Hickpockee Avenue. At one time, both sides of the street were lined with commercial establishments, some of which feature living accommodations on the second floor. Sadly, many early downtown buildings were destroyed in a 1928 fire, but some have survived, including the Poole Store (1911), First Bank of LaBelle (1925), and the Royal Poinciana/Newcomb Bakery (1911-1912 — one of the buildings constructed for both commercial and residential use). The Downtown LaBelle Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.