Killeen’s namesake, Frank P. Killeen, was an official of the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway railroad, serving as assistant general manager in Galveston.
Frank P. Killeen was born in Clare Morris, Mayo County, Ireland, and came to the United States after the death of his parents.
In 1881, the City of Killeen was known as Palo Alto, Texas. The Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway extended its tracks through central Texas, buying 360 acres (1.5 km2) a few miles southwest of Palo Alto. The construction of a railroad station and tracks began soon after. Construction was competed in 1882. A group of dignitaries from the City of Galveston and Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway, rode the train to Killeen to Celebrate. When the railroad arrived, Palo Alto became Killeen. Frank P. Killeen may have been among the people on the train. It was never verified. It is also possible Frank P. Killeen never set foot in the town named in his honor. He died in Galveston in 1924 at the age of 86.