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) a few miles southwest of a small farming community known as Palo Alto, which had existed since about 1872.
The railroad platted a 70-block town on its land and named it after Frank P.
Killeen is directly adjacent to the main cantonment of Fort Hood.
By 1970, Killeen had developed into a city of 35,507 inhabitants and had added a municipal airport, a new municipal library, and a junior college (Central Texas College).
By 1980, when the census counted 49,307 people in Killeen, it was the largest city in Bell County.
By 1990, its population had increased to 63,535, and 265,301 people lived in the Killeen/Temple metropolitan area.
In addition to shaping local economic development after 1950, the military presence at Fort Hood also changed the city's racial, religious, and ethnic composition. By the early 1950s, Marlboro Heights, an all-black subdivision, had been developed.