About This Place
Harker Heights is a city in Bell County, Texas, United States. The population was 17,308 at the 2000 census. This makes Harker Heights the 3rd largest city in Bell County, after Killeen and Temple. Incorporated in 1960, the city name is derived from the name of one of the two original landowners and founder, Harley Kern.
Harker Heights is part of the Killeen–Temple–Fort Hood Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Harker Heights is located near Fort Hood, a United States Army base that was designated a permanent military facility in 1950. As the base grew, the nearby town of Killeen also grew. Water Control and Improvement District No. 4 was established on land near the Killeen city limits and the military base in 1955, and included the land owned by Pinckney R. Cox and Harley Kern. These two men subdivided their land in 1957 and began selling lots. By 1960, between 600 and 700 of the lots had been developed and new residents supplied with water and other utility services. Following a petition for an incorporation election, the city was established on September 24, 1960 and Cox was elected mayor. Kern had died before the incorporation, and the Harker in Harker Heights was a concatenation of Harley Kern's name as a tribute to one of the original landowners.