The Armored Sentinel (Temple, Tex.), Vol. 1, No. 14, Ed. 1 Thursday, April 9, 1953 Page: 23 of 31
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The Killeen story is one of ag
riculture and arms.
Agriculture gave it a steady
growth from the time of its birth
in June of 1882 when the railroad
came through. The army gave it
a jolt in 1941 and snapped it from
a town of 1200 persons to a city
Government payrolls are Kil
leen's major industrial income.
Fort Hood Gray Air Force base
and Killeen base are responsible
for Killeen's phenominal growth
The U. S. census in 1940 found
Killeen an average agricultural
community serving farmers and
ranchers with a population of
1265. When giant Fort Hood (then
Camp Hood) purchased about 160-
000 acres of land the economy of
Killeen quickly turned from
agrarian to a shopping center for
construction workers and for mili
tary men and their families.
Except for a few short periods
of time since 1941 construction
has been the major industry in
the Killeen-Fort Hood area. The
construction prompted of course
Host Of Clubs
The active club-minded woman
will have a field day when she dis
covers the number and extent of
women's organizations in Killeen.
Clubs to fit every taste and
every civic calling flourish.
One of the most important and
noteworthy groups of organizations
are the many church-affiliated
groups and auxiliaries.
Two groups which hold a large
share of the spotlight for activi
ties in civic improvement and oth
er endeavors are the Wednesday
Review club and the Business and
Professional Women's club. The
B&PW recently raised some $900
for donation to 1he city for street
The American Legion and Veter
ans of Foreign War Auxiliaries
are active in Killeen.
For ladies with gardening in
stincts there are two highly re
garded groups the Killeen Garden
club and the Castle Heights Gar
den club. Both have been widely
acclaimed for their work and both
regularly hear top speakers.
The Bell county PTA the Avenue
PTA and other local PTA
groups work long and. hard on
school problems and improve
One of the top social clubs in the
area is the USO Better Halves
club made up of servicemen's
Also highly important local
groups are the Hood Gray Ladies
Modern Study club Beta Sigma
Phi Order of the Eastern Star
Officer's Wives clubs Willow
Springs Home Demonstration club
NCO Wives club Killeen Base
Women's club and numerous oth
They open wide and varied social
and service activities to active
Cow House Creek Got
Its Name Honestly
Cow House creek which runs
near Killeen got its name hon
The stream which threads
through Fort Hood and empties
into the Leon river ran by an
early-day house constructed of
poles and stakes and covered with
cow hides. The house became
known as the cow house and the
creek took its name from the
8'i-i 4 i-'-V-'-Wi''
that now counts 10000 residents
and expects 5000 more in the next
Killeen is where Ihe west be
gins on the edge of Central Tex
as. It always has been a sprawl
ing cattle agriculture and sheep
and goat town. And now it's an
Government Payrolls Killeen's
Major Source Of Income Now
by the needs of the military.
When the former Camp Hood
was designated to be a permanent
military installation and renamed
Fort Hood another minor building
boom hit Killeen. This time again
in housing but also in business
buildings. This assurance of the
fort being permanent attracted in
vestors and businessmen to build
or repaired about 75 places of
business in 1952 and opened about
60 new ones.
All this still is based on the
government payrolls at the three
neighboring military installations.
The farming and ranching in
dustry has not disappeared. Sever
al large ranches are still operating
successfully south and east of
Killeen. Killeen is the trade cen
ter for them.
BED ROOM SUITE
Double Dresser and
Bar Bed with Rail and Foot
COIL SPRINGS and 2 PILLOWS.
Killeen Story One Of Farms Arms
army and air force town too but
the old pursuits continue too. The
military is just something addi
The Santa Fe railroad had pass
ed through Temple and Belton and
was racing westward in the war
ring days of early railroading. It
was June in 1882 and the track
got to where Killeen now stands.
Six miles away was the little com
munity of Sugar Loaf. Palo Alto
was four miles away. There
wasn't much to either of them in
those days and they picked up
lock stock and barrel and moved
over to the railroad.
Temple had been named for a
Santa Fe civil engineer and Kil
leen took the same route select
ing F. P. Killeen another Santa
Fe official as the namesake of
the town. Even today the whistle
for Killeen is FP to commemorate
the "father" of the town.
The railroad was important in
the new town. When the first
train came through people from
all over the country came to see
the new little town connected by-
rail to the outside world. No long
er was it necessary to hail cotton
and other farm commodities to
Belton to get them shipped. It
was a great day for the communi
By the turn of the century the
5-Coat Baked-on Solvent-resistant finish rubbed to
a lasting satin sheen.
5-Ply Tops and Fronts hot pressed with water-resistant
Full Dustjproofing assured by boxed-in construction
with partition under each drawer.
All Drawers center-guided and dovetailed front and
town had reached about 1200
population. It was a wool cotton
and grain shipping area for the
extreme west end of Bell coun
ty. A town of that size was just
about what the ranching and farm
ing in the trade area would sup
port. The number of cattle in
creased and more of them were
But the economy changed in
]941 changed abruptly. The acre
age of farms and ranches west of
Killeen was reduced by 160000
acres when the government took
over the land for Camp Hood.
The corolary of that loss of land
was an influx of construction
workers and military. Killeen be
came a shopping center for them.
The obvious thing happened and
Killeen began to cater to the new
people in addition to the ones who
always had shopped there.
Killeen boomed and soon be
came a shack town. But the city
fathers saw what was happening
and did everything they could to
By 1946 the situation began to
settle down. The growth con
tinued at a slower but steady pace
in 1947 and 1948. Civic improve
ments began to be made. The
big military impetus was over and
Killeen began to catch up.
BUILT from WITHIN
KfLLEEN OPEN HOUSE
In 1949 the city adopted a home
rule charter shortly after the
town was incorporated. A city
manager form of government was
Then in !1950 Camp Hood became
Fort Hood and was made a
permanent military installation.
That brought on another boom.
Killeen was no longer just a war
town. Added to the steadiness of
its agriculture was a permanent
military installation that would
contribute its share to the town.
Since then Killeen has engaged
in constructing houses and busi
nesses to serve Fort Hood Gary
Air Force base and Killeen Air
Force base. It has become a
modern respectable looking town
in the business section.
And new subdivisions have
sprung up in the residential area
which are able to take care of
all the personnel so far assigned to
Fort Hood and North Fort Hood
now a training center for recruits.
It has built and is building
schools which offer standard class
rooms to all students in all grades.
A move is underway now to build
a new high school consolidated
with the Fort Hood system.
Churches came until there are
15 established in the city now.
Killeen has become a complete
Sunday April 12
Here’s what’s next.
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The Armored Sentinel (Temple, Tex.), Vol. 1, No. 14, Ed. 1 Thursday, April 9, 1953, newspaper, April 9, 1953; Temple, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth254326/m1/23/: accessed June 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Casey Memorial Library.