Welcome to the Killeen Area Heritage Association website. KAHA is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to preserving and teaching local history from the mid-19th century to the present. The association began as a group of interested citizens during the summer of 1983, one year after Killeen celebrated its centennial, and three years before Texas was to observe her sesquicentennial in 1986. KAHA was chartered by the state of Texas in 1984.
Early pioneers settled the local area in small scattered communities, many of which no longer exist, but whose names have been preserved in the names of many of the Killeen Independent School District’s elementary and middle schools. Several of the early settlers’ cabins have been preserved. It was the arrival of the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad in the 1880s, however, which brought stability and prosperity to the area. Killeen was named for Frank P. Killeen, assistant general manager of the railroad and an immigrant from Clare Morris, County Mayo, Ireland.
Killeen’s future changed dramatically with the establishment of Camp Hood during the Second World War. Robert Gray, a local boy, piloted plane number three in the famous 1942 Doolittle bombing raid over Japan. Killeen native Oveta Culp Hobby served as first commander of the Women’s Army Corps and later served in President Eisenhower’s cabinet. Lieutenant Jackie Robinson refused to move to the back of the bus in Killeen and won his case at an Army court martial at Camp Hood. “Patton’s Panthers” – the African-American 761st Tank Battalion – trained and experienced segregation here as well. Elvis Presley also trained at Fort Hood in 1958 prior to serving in Germany.
|Mail at:||KAHA, P.O. Box 11902,
Killeen, TX 76547.