Chamber History & Mission
"Providing vision, leadership and support to business and community leaders to create economic prosperity."
Every few minutes a sleek, diesel-powered locomotive roars past the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce building, a reminder not only of Killeen’s beginning but also signaling the advancements the city has made in its century of existence. A steam locomotive chugged to this spot on May 15, 1882, and the city of Killeen was born. It is a town established by the Sante Fe Railroad and named for one of its officials, Frank P. Killeen.
Today, the Sante Fe Depot, abandoned years ago when rail passenger services was discontinued in Killeen, houses the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce and sits just off the railroad right of way and directly behind restored buildings that house part of the municipal government.
The modern equipment that travels the railroad, now the Burlington Northern Santa Fe line, is reminiscent of the development of Killeen from a sleepy, agricultural village into the hub city in a metropolitan statistical area that is one of the leading centers in the state. As the westbound locomotives move in the area, the pass through the historic village of Nolanville, Harker Heights, and past the attractive and growing Killeen Business Park. After passing through the revitalized downtown area of Killeen, the train moves past the western city limits and onto Fort Hood, the largest Army post in the free world. It was after Fort Hood’s establishment in 1942 (then Camp Hood) that Killeen went on a growing spree that has continued for more than 60 years. That growth has produced a cosmopolitan city that is continually expanding its economic base but it is a city that still prides itself as being the ideal community for its military friends and neighbors. Out of earshot of the locomotive whistles is a “new city” that has developed along the newly named Interstate 14. There, the mall, strip centers, discount superstores, national chain restaurants, hotels and motels are used to a different kind of traffic - the hum of thousands of automobiles that pass along I-14 each day.
Killeen proudly boasts that it is “A City Without Limits,” a city whose potential has not been scratched. As has been the goal in the past, the goal in the future is to keep pursuing that full potential, even with the realization that in a unique city such as Killeen, it can never be totally reached. While remembering its heritage, Killeen, like the modern locomotive, is streaking confidently into the future.