Killeen

Killeen is on U.S. Highway 190 in western Bell County about forty miles north of Austin. In 1881 the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway, planning to extend its tracks through the area, bought 360 acres some 2½ miles southwest of a community known as Palo Alto, which had existed since about 1872. Soon afterward the railroad platted a seventy-block town on its land and named it after Frank P. Killeen, the assistant general manager of the railroad. When the first train passed through the new town in May 1882, about forty people lived there. Before the end of that year the town included the railroad depot, several stores, a saloon, and a school. Many of the earliest residents of Killeen moved to the site from smaller communities in the surrounding area, while others were attracted by a national promotional campaign sponsored by the railroad. 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. As it became an important shipping point for the cotton, wool, and grain produced on local farms, Killeen continued to expand. By 1896 it included six general stores, three cotton gins, three blacksmiths, two hardware stores, and a jeweler; around this time telephone service was introduced. Some 780 people lived in Killeen by 1900, virtually all of them White Protestants, since the community openly discouraged Blacks and Catholics from living there. The First National Bank of Killeen was incorporated in 1901, and the town's first electric-light system and power plant was installed in 1904 and 1905. About that same time local boosters helped to convince the Texas legislature to build bridges over Cowhouse Creek and other streams, effectively doubling Killeen's trade area. A public water system began operating in 1914, and by that year the town had two banks, and its population had grown to about 1,300.

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.

Belongs to

Killeen is part of or belongs to the following places.

Adopt a Town

The Texas Almanac's Land Rush program lets you adopt the town or county of your choice and share your message with the world. 100% of the proceeds benefit education in Texas.

Great Texas Land Rush logo
Adoption Status: ⭐
This place has been adopted and will not be available until October 4, 2022
Adopted by:
Laurie Moore-Moore
Dedication Message:
In memory of Ray C. Moore and Lois Cameron Moore

Currently Exists

Yes

Place type

Killeen is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Palo Alto)

Locations

  • Latitude
    31.08498520
    Longitude
    -97.72980700

Has Post Office

Yes

Is Incorporated

Yes

Proud to call TX home?

Put your name on the town or county of your choice.


Search Places »

Killeen 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..."

Population Counts

Killeen
Pop. Year Source
151,547 2019 Texas Demographic Center
127,921 2010 Texas Demographic Center
86,911 2000 Texas Demographic Center
63,535 1990 Texas Demographic Center
46,296 1980 Texas Demographic Center
35,507 1970 Texas Demographic Center
23,377 1960 Texas Demographic Center
7,045 1950 Texas Demographic Center
1,263 1940 Texas Demographic Center
1,260 1930 Texas Demographic Center
1,298 1920 Texas Demographic Center
1,265 1910 Texas Demographic Center
780 1900 Texas Demographic Center
285 1890 Texas Demographic Center