Harker Heights, on U.S. Highway 190 just east of Killeen in Bell County, originated when two landowners, Pinckney R. Cox and Harley Kern, began subdividing their land and selling lots in 1957. Their 400-acre plot corresponded with the boundaries of Water Control and Improvement District No. 4, established in 1955. Purchasers of the lots demanded water, and Cox led in getting a water system completed in September 1960. Sometime before that, residents of the area, estimated at 600 to 700, had filed a petition for an incorporation election, which occurred on September 24, 1960. Voters overwhelmingly approved the incorporation and named Harker Heights in honor of Harley Kern, who had died earlier. Cox, the first mayor, held the office from November 1960 through April 1966. In December 1988 the city annexed the 2,200-acre Comanche Hills utility district, which increased the townsite from 4,400 acres to 6,600 and added almost 3,500 people to the population, bringing the total to 16,500. Harker Heights is a bedroom community; most of its residents work in Killeen, Fort Hood, or elsewhere in Bell County. A 1987 study estimated that 8 percent (approximately 4,300) of Fort Hood personnel living off base lived in Harker Heights. The city has 300 businesses but no major industry. The schools are a part of the Killeen Independent School District. Four recreation areas are available to citizens, in addition to the Killeen Municipal Golf Course and Stillhouse Hollow Lake. In 1990 the population of Harker Heights was 12,841. In 2000 it was 17,308.
Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.
David Yeilding | © Texas State Historical Association
At a Glance
Harker Heights is part of or belongs to the following places.
Adopt a Town
The Texas Almanac's Land Rush program lets you adopt the town, county, or lake of your choice and share your message with the world. 100% of the proceeds benefit education in Texas.
- Adoption Status: ✅
- This place is available for adoption!
- Adopted by:
- Your name goes here
- Dedication Message:
- Your message goes here
Harker Heights is classified as a Town
Has Post Office
Proud to call Texas home?
Put your name on the town, county, or lake of your choice.
Search Places »
Harker Heights by the Numbers
This is some placeholder text that we should either remove or replace with a brief summary about this particular metric. For example, "We update population counts once per year..."
|33,097||2020||United States Census Bureau|
|32,534||2019||Texas Demographic Center|
|26,700||2010||United States Census Bureau|
|17,308||2000||United States Census Bureau|
|12,932||1990||United States Census Bureau|