Until the outbreak of World War II, life in Killeen, Texas was that of a small farming community. Then in 1942 the army established Camp Hood in Killeen, Texas as a training center to meet part of the massive mobilization of troops needed to fight the war. The military base immediately consumed more than half of the local farming and ranching operations and put the local cotton gins and other agriculturally related businesses under.
For a brief period after the war Camp Hood was abandoned, which spelled doom for the local economy, but the rise of the Cold War led to the re-commissioning of the facility in 1950 as Fort Hood. With the return of the military presence, the local economy enjoyed an immediate upsurge. Now Killeen, Texas, a community of more than 93,000, continues to thrive as a military town.
Unfortunately in recent years in Killeen, Texas notoriety came from a tragic and unwanted source. In October 1991, a man named George Hennard killed twenty-four people in a local Luby's Cafeteria before committing suicide himself, an event which catapulted Killeen into the national news in an unwelcome way.
Since the outbreak of the war in Iraq, however, Fort Hood has been a major staging area for troops bound for overseas duty. Patriotism runs deep in Killeen, Texas and local residents are proud and supportive of the military men and women who are a vital part of their town.
The ethnic breakdown in Killeen, Texas shows forty-six percent Caucasian, thirty-four percent African-American, and eighteen percent Hispanic. The ratio of men to women is roughly equal. In Killeen, Texas homes the median income is $34,461 with males earning $26,502 and females $21,799.
Of Killeen, Texas homes, forty-two percent have children age eighteen and under and fifty-four percent of the homes are occupied by married couples. Some twenty-three percent of homes are owned by single individuals. The average age in Killen, Texas is fifty-five years.
Killeen, Texas homes come in a variety of architectural styles with about a third of the residential structures being either condominiums or town homes. The average purchase price for a stand-alone home in Killen, Texas is approximately $104,000.
Killeen remains a major railroad hub and has established an economic climate extremely welcoming of new businesses. Increasingly light and heavy manufacturing entities have been drawn to the area and the easy rail access it offers.
Killeen has the largest school system between Austin and Dallas with twenty-nine elementary, eleven middle, and four high schools. There are also an additional six specialized campuses. The city has been served by the Killeen Daily Herald newspaper since 1890.
As a mid-range community with a vital and important military presence at Fort Hood, Killeen, Texas is a one-time farming community that has successfully re-tooled itself into a friendly, welcoming town with good transportation and an ever-expanding business presence. More and more retirees have been drawn to the area making for a healthy real estate turnover and a ready supply of town homes and condominiums.