Harker Heights, just like its home state, has a wealth of history and an interesting past that led to its inception. In 1957, two landowners by the names of Pinckney R. Cox and Harley Kern had over 400 acres of land in their possession and were itching to sell it. They subdivided the land which happened to border Water Control and Improvement District No. 4 and sold it.
Just before 1960, about 600 to 700 residents were established in the newly sold land and soon filed a petition for an incorporation election, seeking to be recognized as an independent city. This formal incorporation led to Cox being elected as mayor, where he did great things, such as name the city after his late friend Harley Kern and answer the residents’ demands for water by establishing a well-working water system.
By 1988, the city annexed the Comanche Hills utility district which increased its size substantially and added around 3,500 people to the population, leading to a total of 16,500 residents.
The City Today
Located in Bell County, Harker Heights has grown significantly since its inception in the 50s. As of 2019, it boasts an estimated population of about 32,421. The Heights does not have a particularly large single industry that upholds the town. Most workers commute to surrounding local areas for their jobs, such as the 8% that work at Fort Hood. That being said, there are still many houses and developments popping into construction as the town continues growing.
In 2020, there was $13.83 million worth of permits issued which means a lot of work has been recently initiated. A notable ongoing project is the expansion of Interstate 14, which is expected to finish its third phase in the fall of 2022. Another recent construction project is the west-to-east turnaround at FM 2410 and I-14 in Harker Heights.
Native American History
As with most communities in Texas and across the pioneer west, the area that would someday become Harker Heights saw both conflict and peacemaking between early settlers and Native Americans throughout the 1800s.
Tension between the two groups erupted in 1859, when the Comanches killed four settlers, including the parents of Rhonda and Margaret Riggs, two women who were captured in the attack. A gang of settlers chased the Native Americans until Rhonda and Margaret were abandoned near the current-day Heights. After the incident, Major Earl Van Dorn, great-nephew of Andrew Jackson, led armed cavalry against the Comanches and destroyed several villages throughout his career.
Notable People from Harker Heights
Some famous people have lived in or visited the Heights at one point or another.
- Dominique Zeigler, former Wide Receiver for both Baylor University and the San Francisco 49ers from 2007 to 2011. He currently works as Head Coach for Girls Track and Field at Killeen High School and lives in Harker Heights.
- Isaac Murphy, two-time All-Big 12 Track and Field heptathlete at the University of Texas. His personal bests include a 6.99s 60m dash, 8.49s 60m hurdles, 12.78m shot put, and 7.07m long jump.
- Kyle Thompson, seven time All-Big 12 Track and Field athlete at the University of Texas. His personal bests include a 48.70 400m, 1:48.14 800m, and 4:00.38 1500m.
- D.J. Stephens was a star basketball athlete out of Harker Heights High School who went on to play for the University of Memphis from 2009 to 2013. He displayed the highest vertical leaps ever recorded by the NBA, at 40 inches (standing) and 46 inches (running), and made his NBA debut with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2014. Currently, he is signed with the professional Ukrainian Basketball SuperLeague team the BC Prometey.
Harker Heights History Interesting Facts
- The town was once a pig farm owned by its founders, Pinckney R. Cox and Harley Kern.
- Dominique Zeigler, former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver, lives in Harker Heights.
- As of 2018, the crime rate of Harker Heights is less than half the national average.
- The average daily traffic of every bridge in Harker Heights is 352,450 vehicles.
- 11.4% of the population in Harker Heights is foreign-born.
- As of 2012, over 250 businesses in town were owned by veterans.
- In 2014 Harker Heights became the business hub of operations for Amy’s Attic Self Storage.
- One of the oldest Native American trails runs through the intersection of Comanche Gap Road and Farm to Market 2410.
Camping, Fishing, and Fun in Harker Heights
Stillhouse Hollow Lake, also known as Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir, is one of the largest sources of water for the communities surrounding it, including Harker Heights. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers maintains the dam, as well as two parks along the shore of the lake: Dana Peak Park and Union Grove Park. Both are open to the public, as well as the lake itself, which offers recreational boating, fishing, hiking, scuba diving, and swimming.
The lake is stocked with largemouth, smallmouth, and white bass, as well as catfish and crappies. Several sandy beaches are also situated along the shore of the lake.
Harker Heights Important Phone Numbers
Police Department: (254) 953-5400
Fire Department: (254) 699-2688
Public Works Department: (254) 953-5649
Hospital – Seton Medical Center: (254) 690-0900
High School: (254) 336-0800
Public Library and Activities Center: (254) 953-5491
Municipal Court: (254) 953-5620
Central TX Self Storage Facilities | Amy’s Attic Self Storage
Amy’s Attic Self Storage is proud to call Harker Heights our home for one of our largest self-storage facilities. With brand new temperature-controlled units, stellar service, and an insurance program, we are a great option for Texans looking to store their important items. If you are interested in renting a storage unit or have any questions, then please contact us at 855-426-9728. If you are a business manager or entrepreneur in Harker Heights, then we would love to hear from you and discuss ways we can support each other through business referrals.