Harker Heights is a city in Bell County. It is the third largest city in the county, after Killeen and Temple. The settlement originated in 1957 when Pinckney Cox and Harley Kern, the landowners, started to subdivide their land and sold lots. The buyers then demanded water, and Pinkney Cox made it possible to get a water system that was completed in 1960. That same year, the city was incorporated, under the name of Harker Heights, as a tribute to Harley Kern since he died before the incorporation. Cox, on the other hand, became the mayor. The city faced annexation in 1988; the townsite increased from 4,400 acres to 6,600, and the residents were increased by 3,500. Harker Heights has 300 businesses but no primary industry; it is a mere bedroom community for the workers of Killen, Fort Hood, and other places in the county. As of 2010, its population was 26,700.