Harker Heights is located near Fort Hood, a major United States Army post that was designated a permanent military facility in 1950. As the post expanded, the surrounding civilian population increased. Water Control and Improvement District No. 4 was established on land near the Killeen city limits and the military post in 1955, and included the land owned by Pinckney R. Cox and Harley Kern, two hog farmers. 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. The town's boundaries expanded to include Forest Hills, Highland Oaks, and Comanche Hills. Cox, Sam Garth Jr., and Barney Sissom created GIASISCO Corporation, which was meant to help expand the town from 400 to 950 acres (160 to 380 ha).