Main Births etc
Killeen, Texas
—  City  —
City of Killeen
Nickname(s): "K-Town"
Motto: "Where Freedom Grows"
Location of Killeen, Texas
Coordinates: 31°6′20″N 97°43′36″W / 31.10556, -97.72667Coordinates: 31°6′20″N 97°43′36″W / 31.10556, -97.72667
Country  United States
State  Texas
County Bell
 • Type Council-Manager
 • City Council Mayor Scott Cosper
Elizabeth Blackstone
Jonathan Okray
Jared Foster
Wayne Gilmore
Jose Segarra
Terry Clark
Steve Harris
 • City Manager Glenn Morrison
 • Total 54.2 sq mi (140.5 km2)
 • Land 53.6 sq mi (138.8 km2)
 • Water 0.7 sq mi (1.7 km2)
Elevation 890 ft (270 m)
Population (2013 est.)
 • Total 137,147
 • Density 2,513/sq mi (970.3/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 76540-76549
Area code(s) 254
FIPS code 48-39148[1]
GNIS feature ID 1360642[2]

Killeen is a city in Bell County, Texas, United States. According to the 2010 United States Census, the city's population was 127,921,[3] making it the 21st most populous city in Texas. It is the "principal city" of the Killeen–TempleFort Hood Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Killeen is directly adjacent to the main cantonment of Fort Hood, and as such its economy heavily depends on the post and the soldiers (and their families) stationed there.


In 1881, the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway extended its tracks through central Texas, buying 360 acres (1.46 km2) a few miles southwest of a small farming community known as Palo Alto, which had existed since about 1872. The railroad platted a 70-block town on its land and named it after Frank P. Killeen, the assistant general manager of the railroad. By the next year the town included a railroad depot, a saloon, several stores, and a school. Many of the residents of the surrounding smaller communities in the area moved to Killeen, and by 1884 the town had grown to include about 350 people, served by five general stores, two gristmills, two cotton gins, two saloons, a lumberyard, a blacksmith shop, and a hotel. Killeen expanded as it became an important shipping point for cotton, wool, and grain in western Bell and eastern Coryell counties. About 780 people lived in Killeen by 1900. Around 1905, local politicians and businessmen convinced the Texas legislature to build bridges over Cowhouse Creek and other streams, doubling Killeen's trade area. A public water system began operation in 1914 and its population had increased to 1,300 residents.

Until the 1940s Killeen remained a relatively small and isolated farm trade center, but this changed drastically after 1942, when Camp Hood (re-commissioned as Fort Hood in 1950) was created as a military training post to meet the demands of the Second World War. Laborers, construction workers, contractors, soldiers, and their families moved into the area by the thousands, and Killeen became a military boomtown. The opening of Camp Hood also radically altered the nature of the local economy, since the sprawling new military post covered almost half of Killeen's farming trade area. The loss of more than 300 farms and ranches led to the demise of Killeen's cotton gins and other farm-related businesses. New businesses were started to provide services for the military camp. Killeen suffered a recession when Camp Hood was all but abandoned after the end of the Second World War, but when Fort Hood was established as a permanent army post in 1950, the city boomed again. Its population increased from about 1,300 in 1949 to 7,045 in 1950, and between 1950 and 1951 about 100 new commercial buildings were constructed in Killeen.

By 1955, Killeen had an estimated 21,076 residents and 224 businesses. Troop cutbacks and transfers in the mid-1950s led to another recession in Killeen which lasted until 1959, when various divisions were returned to Fort Hood. (Elvis Presley lived in Killeen for a time during his stint in the army.) The town continued to grow through the 1960s, especially after the Vietnam War led to increased activity at Fort Hood. By 1970 Killeen had developed into a city of 35,507 inhabitants and had added a municipal airport, a new municipal library, and a junior college (Central Texas College). By 1980, when the census counted 49,307 people in Killeen, it was the largest city in Bell County. By 1990 its population had increased to 63,535, and 265,301 people lived in the Killeen/Temple metropolitan area. In addition to shaping local economic development after 1950, the military presence at Fort Hood also changed the city's racial, religious, and ethnic composition. No blacks lived in the city in 1950, for example, but by the early 1950s the town had added Marlboro Heights, an all-black subdivision, and in 1956 the city school board voted to integrate the local high school. The city's first resident Catholic priest was assigned to the St. Joseph's parish in 1954, and around the same time, new Presbyterian and Episcopal churches were built. By the 1980s the city had a heterogeneous population including whites, blacks, Mexican Americans, Koreans, and a number of other foreign nationals.

The year 1991 was a roller coaster year for Killeen. After the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in the late summer of 1990, the city prepared for war, sending thousands of troops from the Second Armored Division and the First Cavalry Division to the Middle East. On October 16, 1991, George Hennard murdered 23 people and then committed suicide in the Luby's in Killeen (see Luby's shooting). In December 1991, one of Killeen's high school football teams, the Killeen Kangaroos, won the 5-A Division I state football championship by defeating Sugar Land Dulles 14–10 in the Astrodome.

By 2000, the census listed Killeen's population as 86,911, and by 2010 it was over 127,000, making it one of the fastest-growing areas in the nation. A large number of military personnel from Killeen have served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As of April 2008, over 400 of its soldiers had died in the two wars.[4]

On November 5, 2009, only a few miles from the site of the Luby's tragedy, a gunman opened fire on people at the Fort Hood military base with a handgun, killing 13 and wounding 32. The gunman, Nidal Malik Hasan, sustained four gunshot wounds after a brief shootout with a civilian police officer, causing paralysis from the waist down, before he was arrested and sentenced to death (see 2009 Fort Hood shooting). In 2011, Killeen got media attention from a new television series called Surprise Homecoming, hosted by Billy Ray Cyrus, about military families that have loved ones returning home from overseas. On April 2, 2014, a second shooting spree occurred at several locations at Fort Hood. Four people were killed, including the gunman, Ivan Lopez, who committed suicide, while sixteen additional people were injured (see 2014 Fort Hood shooting).[5][6]


Killeen is located in western Bell County at 31°6′20″N 97°43′36″W / 31.10556, -97.72667 (31.105591, -97.726586).[7] It is bordered to the north by Fort Hood and to the east by Harker Heights. Killeen is 16 miles (26 km) west of Belton, the county seat and nearest access to Interstate 35.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 54.2 square miles (140.5 km2), of which 53.6 square miles (138.8 km2) is land and 0.66 square miles (1.7 km2), or 1.24%, is water.[3]


Climate data for Killeen, Texas
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 88
Average high °F (°C) 58
Average low °F (°C) 34
Record low °F (°C) 5
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.66


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1890 285
1900 780 173.7%
1910 1,265 62.2%
1920 1,208 −4.5%
1930 1,260 4.3%
1940 1,268 0.6%
1950 7,045 455.6%
1960 23,377 231.8%
1970 35,507 51.9%
1980 46,296 30.4%
1990 63,535 37.2%
2000 86,911 36.8%
2010 127,921 47.2%
Est. 2013 137,147 57.8%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census[1] of 2010, there were 127,921 people, 48,052 households, and 33,276 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,458.9 people per square mile (949.3/km²). There were 53,913 housing units at an average density of 999.9 per square mile (386.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 45.1% White, 34.1% Black, 0.8% Native American, 4% Asian, 1.4% Pacific Islander, 7.9% from other races, and 6.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 22.9% of the population.

There were 48,052 households out of which 40.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.1% were married couples living together, 17.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.8% were non-families. 24.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.17.

In the city the population was spread out with 33.2% under the age of 20, 38.7% from 20 to 39, 22.8% from 40 to 64, and 5.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years.

The median income for a household in the city was $44,370, and the median income for a family was $36,674. The per capita income for the city was $20,095, compared to the national per capita of $39,997. About 11.2% of families and 16.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.5% of those under age 18 and 8.6% of those age 65 or over.

In 2007, Coldwell Banker ranked Killeen, Texas as the most affordable housing market in the United States with an average cost of $136,725.[9]


According to the city's 2008 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[10] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Fort Hood 58,187
2 Killeen Independent School District 6,000
3 Central Texas College 1,360
4 MetroPlex Hospital 1,300
5 Fort Hood Exchange 1,218
6 City of Killeen 1,100
7 First National Bank 1,000
8 Sallie Mae (Now Aegis Limited) 936
9 Killeen Mall 800
10 Wal-Mart 650

Killeen Mall serves as the city's main shopping destination, and one of two regional shopping malls in Bell County.

Arts and culture[]

Vive Les Arts Theatre[]

Killeen is home to Vive Les Arts Theatre, a full-time arts organization which produces several Main Stage and Children's Theatre shows each year.


2011 recall[]

On November 8, 2011, five members of the Killeen City Council were recalled. As a consequence, the remaining members of the council were not able to achieve a quorum, and the City Council was in effect disbanded until at least three seats were filled. It was believed that this would not occur until May 2012.[11]

Local government[]

According to the city’s 2008 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the city’s various funds had $133.4 million in revenues, $119.0 million in expenditures, $523.3 million in total assets, $219.9 million in total liabilities, and $90.4 million in cash and investments.[10]

The structure of the management and coordination of city services is:[10]

City department Director
City Manager Glenn Morrison
Assistant City Manager John Sutton
Building Official Earl Abbott
City Attorney Kathryn H. Davis
City Secretary Paula Miller
Chief of Police Dennis M. Baldwin
Director of Aviation Vacant
Director of Community Development Leslie Hinkle
Director of Convention & Visitor’s Bureau Connie Kuehl
Director of Finance
Director of Fleet
Director of General Services
Director of Human Resources Debbie Maynor
Director of Information Technology Vacant
Director of Library Services Deanna Frazee
Director of Planning Dr. Ray Shanaa
Director of Public Information Hilary Shine
Director of Public Works Scott Osburn
Director of Solid Waste and Drainage Services Vacant
Director of Street Services John Koester
Director of Utility Services Robert White
Director of Volunteer Services Will Brewster
Director of Water & Sewer Robert White
Fire Chief Jerry Gardner


Public schools[]

The Killeen Independent School District (KISD) is the largest school district between Round Rock and Dallas, encompassing Killeen, Harker Heights, Fort Hood, Nolanville, and rural west Bell County. KISD has, thirty-two elementary schools (PK-5), eleven middle schools (6-8), four high schools (9-12), and five specialized campuses. KISD's four high schools and mascots are the Killeen High School Kangaroos (the original city-wide high school), the Ellison High School Eagles, Harker Heights High School Knights, and the Shoemaker High School Grey Wolves.

Private schools[]

Memorial Christian Academy (K-12) and Creek View Academy (previously Destiny School), a K-9 charter school of Honors Academy, are in Killeen.[12]

Colleges and universities[]

Central Texas College was established in 1965 to serve Bell, Burnet, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Llano, Mason, Mills and San Saba counties in addition to Fort Hood. CTC offers more than 40 associate degrees and certificates of completion.

Texas A&M University-Central Texas opened on September 1, 1999, as a branch campus of nearby Tarleton State University. After the campus enrolled 1,000 full-time equivalent students, Tarleton State University-Central Texas became a separate institution within the Texas A&M University System. The university offers bachelor's and master's degrees.


Killeen's main newspaper is the Killeen Daily Herald, which has been publishing under different formats since 1890.[13] The paper was one of four owned by the legendary Texas publisher Frank W. Mayborn, whose wife remains its editor and publisher.

The Herald also publishes the Fort Hood Herald, an independent publication in the Fort Hood area, not authorized by Fort Hood Public Affairs, and the Cove Herald, a weekly paper for the residents of Copperas Cove.

The official paper of Fort Hood is The Fort Hood Sentinel, an authorized publication for members of the U.S. Army that is editorially independent of the U.S. government and military.



Killeen is served by a small regional airfield known as Skylark Field (ILE) and the larger Killeen–Fort Hood Regional Airport (GRK).

The Hill Country Transit District (The HOP) operates a public bus transit system within the city with eight routes including connections to Temple, Copperas Cove, and Harker Heights.[14] The HOP buses are easily identified by their teal and purple exteriors. The HOP recently purchased new buses with the new color green.

Major highways that run through Killeen are U.S. Highway 190 (Central Texas Expressway or CenTex), Business Loop 190 (Veterans Memorial Boulevard), State Highway 195, and Spur 172 (leading into Fort Hood main gate). Interstate 35 is accessible in Belton, 16 miles (26 km) east of the center of Killeen.

Public safety[]

The city of Killeen is protected by two municipal civil service departments, the Killeen Fire Department and the Killeen Police Department.

The Killeen Fire Department is led by the current Chief Jerry Gardner,[15] who has been the Fire Chief since 2006 when he joined KFD after leading the Pasadena Fire Department in the Houston area for many years. Chief Gardner is assisted in his duties by three deputy chiefs: Steve Buchanan, Kenneth Hawthorne, and Brian Brank. In addition to the staff officers, the staff is supplemented and assisted by several secretaries and paid assistants.

The Killeen Fire Department is separated into three separate divisions; Training, Fire Prevention, and Operation. The latter is broken into three shifts: A, B, and C.

  • The Training Division is led by the senior training lieutenant Randy Pearson. He is assisted by junior lieutenant Mikkie Jordan. Together they are responsible for all of the training of on duty personnel, as well as Fire training academies of cadet trainees. The training division hosts two training academies per year for individuals that wish to become Texas Certified Fire Fighters. They also host a two-year program in conjunction with the Killeen Independent School District that allows high school juniors and seniors to become certified firefighters while graduating from high school. The Killeen Fire Department and Killeen Independent School District are the first in the State to have such a program. To date it has been a very successful program resulting in the hiring of many local men and women directly out of high school.
The training division is also responsible for community outreach programs:
Child Safety Seat Class
The Killeen Fire Department holds classes regarding child safety seats every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month. The class will discuss the values of proper child safety installation, as well as aid in installing your privately purchased seat. Also on a limited basis the Fire Department has Child Safety Seats available to low income families.
Child Immunization
The Killeen Fire Department hosts annual immunization drives. These are no-cost shot clinics aimed at both civilian and military families. They are hosted at the beginning of the school year during the end of summer vacation. They are also hosted on a monthly basis on every second Saturday (except for August) from 10:00-2:00 at the Killeen Fire Training Center. Again these are no-cost to the individual, and it’s aimed at providing a better standard of living for the citizens of central Texas.
  • The Killeen Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Division is currently helmed by Fire Marshal James Chism. Mr. Chism and his four inspectors are responsible for the inspection of all businesses within the City Limits. They are also responsible for the investigation of all fires, both accidental and malicious. Their arson investigations of have one of the highest conviction rates within Texas, sometimes doubling the rates of similar sized municipalities. The Fire Prevention division attained the rating of Number One in Fire Prevention in the nation in the mid 1970s.
  • The Third Division is also the largest and most well known, the Operations division. It is responsible for the day-to day operations of the fire department. The Operations Division is responsible for in excess of 12,000 ambulance calls and 6,000 fire calls annually. The Operation Division is led by Deputy Chief Steven Buchanan and is divided equally amongst three shifts each rotating on duty for 24 hours followed by 48 hours off. The schedule is designed so that there is a full complement of personnel 24/7/365. Each shift is further divided into two Battalions which are led by Battalion Captains.

Battalion 1 is headquartered at Central Fire Station and is led by BC Joel Secrist (A-shift), BC Leon Adamski (B-shift), and BC Cody Simmons (C-Shift). Battalion-1 encompasses Fire Stations 1, Central, 3, and 4 which protect the older northern portion of the city. Battalion 2 is headquartered at Fire Station #8 and is led by BC Bill Brooks (A-shift), BC Clay Brooks (B-shift), and BC Linda Brooks (C-shift). Battalion-2 encompasses fire stations 5, 6, 7, and 8 protecting the southern portion of the city in addition to providing protection to the extraterritorial jurisdiction in the rural area south of the city limits.

Currently the department provides emergency services from 8 fire stations strategically placed throughout the city. Nearly two hundred personnel staff 5 Engine Companies, 2 Ladder Companies, 7 Ambulances, and one Aircraft Rescue Firefighting unit. In addition to the line companies, the two battalion captains are assisted with EMS supervision by the EMS Lieutenant assigned to each shift.

KFD recently relocated Fire Station #1 to a new facility on Westcliff Road to provide improved responses in the northern areas of the city and Fire Station #9 is currently being planned on the southwest area of town to improve protection to the growing population in that area.


In 2008, there were 885 violent crimes and 4757 non-violent crimes reported in the city of Killeen as part of the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) Program. Violent crimes are the aggregation of the UCR Part 1 crimes of murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault. Non-violent crimes are the aggregation of the crimes of burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft.

Killeen’s 2008 UCR Part 1 crimes break down as follows:

Crime Reported offenses[16] Killeen rate[16] Texas rate[17] U.S. rate[18]

Murder 10 8.6 5.6 5.6
Rape 66 56.9 32.9 29.4
Robbery 216 186.4 155.2 154.0
Aggravated assault 593 511.6 314.4 281.6
Violent crime 885 763.5 508.2 470.6
Burglary 1711 1476.2 946.5 743.4
Larceny - Theft 2877 2482.2 2688.9 2200.1
Motor vehicle theft 169 145.8 351.1 330.5
Non-violent crime 4757 4104.2 3986.6 3274.0

Rates are crimes per 100,000 population. The Killeen rates are calculated using the estimated 2008 population figure of 115,906 as provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Notable people[]

  • Amerie, R&B singer; father was stationed at Fort Hood and she lived in Killeen and attended Ellison High School at one time
  • Tommie Harris, defensive tackle for the NFL's Chicago Bears; former star at Ellison High School in Killeen
  • Othello Henderson, defensive back for the NFL's New Orleans Saints
  • Burgess Meredith, actor; played the Penguin on Batman television series that aired during the 1960s; also played Rocky's manager in the movie Rocky that starred Sylvester Stallone
  • Tia Mowry and Tamera Mowry, of Sister, Sister fame; father was stationed at Fort Hood and they lived in Killeen for a short time
  • Elvis Presley, stationed at Fort Hood and lived in Killeen for a short time
  • Burt Reynolds, actor, lived in Killeen at one time
  • Darrol Ray, NFL player, Attended Killeen High School where he played quarterback. Drafted in the 2nd round by the New York Jets in 1980. Owner of Ray's Smokehouse BBQ in Norman, Oklahoma.
  • Terry Ray, American and Canadian football player for Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots, Edmonton Eskimos, and Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Attended Ellison High School.
  • Michael Cummings, Quarterback for Kansas Jayhawks, Attended Killeen High School.
  • Cory Jefferson, (#21)Power Forward for the Brooklyn Nets, he was drafted 60th in the 2014 draft by the San Antonio Spurs and was traded to the Brooklyn Nets. Played at Baylor from 2009-2014 & Attended Killeen High School.

Twin towns — Sister cities[]

Osan, South Korea, has been Killeen's Sister City since 1995.[19]

Killeen is also twinned with San Juan, Puerto Rico.[20]


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Killeen city, Texas". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved April 10, 2014. 
  4. ^ Beale, Jonathan (2008-04-09). "Grief hangs over Texas army town". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  5. ^ Herskovitz, Jon (April 2014). "Shooter at Fort Hood Army base in Texas, injuries reported – police". Reuters. Retrieved April 2, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Fort Hood shooter snapped over denial of request for leave, Army confirms". Fox News Channel. 7 April 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  8. ^ "Monthly Averages for Killeen, TX". The Weather Channel. Retrieved August 14, 2013. 
  9. ^ Most Expensive and Most Affordable Housing Markets
  10. ^ a b c City of Killeen CAFR Retrieved 2009-07-17
  11. ^ [1] Retrieved 2011-11-16
  12. ^ "Contact Us." Creek View Academy. Retrieved on September 6, 2011. "Address: 1001 E. Veterans Memorial Blvd. Ste. 301 Killeen, Texas 76541 "
  13. ^ "Killeen Daily Herald". Killeen Daily Herald. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  14. ^ "The HOP Urban Time Schedule". Hill Country Transit District. Retrieved March 16, 2014. 
  15. ^ [
  16. ^ a b Texas DPS Crime In Texas 2008, Retrieved 2010-08-27
  17. ^ Texas DPS Crime In Texas 2008, Retrieved 2010-08-27
  18. ^ FBI Uniform Crime Reports - 2008 Crime In The US, Retrieved 2010-08-27
  19. ^ "Osan, South Korea"
  20. ^ "sister cities"
  • Bell County Historical Commission. Story of Bell County, Texas 2 vols. Austin: Eakin Press, 1988.
  • Duncan Gra'Delle, Killeen: Tale of Two Cities, 1882–1982. Killeen, Texas: 1984.

External links[]

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