Killeen was initially established as a railroad town in 1881. It became an agricultural center for the area. Until the 1940s Killeen remained a relatively small and isolated farm trade center, but this changed drastically after 1942, when Camp Hood (re-commissioned as Fort Hood in 1950) was created as a military training post to meet the demands of the Second World War. It became a military boomtown. But the opening of Camp Hood also radically altered the nature of the local economy. The new military post covered almost half of Killeen's farming trade area leading to a demise of agri related businesses. The up side was new businesses were started to provide services for the military camp. But Camp Hood was all but abandoned after the end of the Second World War and Killeen suffered the consequences. Troop cutbacks and transfers in the mid-1950s led to another recession in Killeen which lasted until 1959, when various divisions were returned to Fort Hood. (Elvis Presley lived in Killeen for a time during his stint in the army.) Fort Hood has become one of the, if not, the primary Army Post in America and has continued to grow. Killeen, accordingly has grown as well, now with a population of over 127,000. Real Estate, light manufacturing, construction, transportation and service businesses flourish.
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