From Humble Beginnings
Killeen, Texas is located on U.S. Highway 190, adjacent to the Fort Hood military base in Bell County. In 1881 the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway, planning to extend its tracks through the area, bought 360 acres. The railroad laid a seventy-block town on its land and named it after Frank P. Killeen, the assistant GM of the railway. The First National Bank of Killeen was incorporated in 1901.
Killeen experienced a significant population and commerce boom in 1942 when Camp Hood was created right next door to train soldiers for World War II. Camp Hood was later re-commissioned as Fort Hood, and Killeen continued to grow in population. Growth and retraction are hallmarks of military towns and Killeen is no different. Rapid deployments impact the local community routinely, but one thing is always consistent – a population boom upon the return of the soldiers at Fort Hood. The implications of the base are felt beyond people and commerce increases; it is also felt through culture.
Home of the Brave
In Killeen, there is evidence of a military presence everywhere – flags flown high on homes, vehicles, and office buildings. Fort Hood embraces its connection with Killeen by opening its gates to civilians from the nearby city to gain employment and experience various celebrations on base. The love is reciprocated by Killeen, as many scores of soldiers and their families take up residence in the city. Taking appreciation a step further, many Killeen businesses offer military discounts to those possessing a military identification card. These perks are just a small way that Killeen says ‘Thank You for your service!’
While the military influence on Killeen is very evident, the city has its own merits, as well! Two man-made lakes, Belton Lake and Stillhouse Hollow, add a peaceful beauty to the local area, but also provide excellent water activities such as fishing, boating, and swimming. There are two higher education institutions in Killeen represented in Central Texas College and the Tarleton State University of Central Texas. Killeen-area residents are blessed with excellent medical facilities. Considered the gateway to the Hill Country, Killeen is a fantastic destination for a visit or place to put down roots.
Excellent schools, patriotic vibes, and a rich history – Visit Killeen, Texas!