Killeen, Texas, is a city in Bell County in Central Texas, USA. The history of Killeen dates back to the mid-1800s.
In the mid-1800s, Killeen was part of a vast, open prairie. That prairie was home to various Native American tribes, including the Comanche, Apache, and Tonkawa. The first settlers arrived in 1865 and began farming the land.
Killeen was established in 1882 when the Gulf, Colorado, and Santa Fe Railway laid tracks through the area. Frank P. Killeen is this city’s namesake. He was the GCSF railroad engineer responsible for bringing the railroad to town. The railroad brought new opportunities for Killeen, and it became a hub for transportation and commerce.
During World War II, the Army established Camp Hood (now Fort Hood) near Killeen in 1942. The army base provided employment opportunities and brought many soldiers and their families to the area. After the war, many soldiers chose to stay in Killeen and raise their families there, further contributing to the city’s growth.
Killeen was incorporated in 1955, and by the 1960s, the city’s population had grown to over 21,000. Killeen continued to grow and expand. It is now home to over 150,000 people. Fort Hood and a thriving retail and service industry are an integral part of the city’s economy.
However, Killeen faced tragedy in 1991 when a mass shooting occurred at a local cafeteria, killing 23 people and injuring 27 others. The incident became known as the Luby’s massacre and was one of the deadliest shootings in U.S. history.
Despite the tragedy, Killeen has continued to grow and thrive as a city with a diverse population and a rich history.