Temple is a city in Bell County, Texas, United States. In the 2010 census, Temple's population was 66,102, an increase of more than 20 percent from the 2000 census.
Located near the county seat of Belton, Temple lies in the region referred to as Central Texas and is a principal city in the Killeen–Temple–Fort Hood Metropolitan Statistical Area. Located off Interstate 35, Temple is 65 miles (105 km) north of Austin and 34 miles (55 km) south of Waco.
Temple has developed as a small city with a number of arts and retail amenities not typically associated with a smaller community. The primary economic drivers are the extensive medical community (mostly due to Scott & White Memorial Hospital) and goods distribution based on its central location and proximity to larger cities.
|City of Temple|
Kyle Hotel, a former hotel-turned-apartment building, at 111 Main Street in December 2009
|Nickname(s): "Wildflower Capital of Texas"|
|Motto: "Choose Temple!"|
Location of Temple, Texas
|Coordinates: 31°5′37″N 97°21′44″W|
Temple was founded as a railroad town in 1881, by theGulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad. It was incorporated in 1882. The town was named after a Santa Fe Railroad official, Bernard Moore Temple.Temple was a civil engineer and former surveyor with the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway Company.
In 1882, the Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad built through the town, and soon after, the Santa Fe railroad made Temple a division point. In its early years, Temple was a town of shacks and tents with a large number of saloons and tough characters found in the early West. Locally, it was nicknamed Tanglefoot, because some citizens found that the combination of muddy streets and liquor made walking through the town challenging. After the town was incorporated in 1882, two private schools were founded in the city: the Temple Academy was organized and public school was established in 1884. In 1893, the annual Temple Stag Party began, growing out of a privateThanksgiving celebration attended by the town's leading men. It was held until 1923.
The Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum, on the second floor of the Santa Fe Railroad station at 315 West Avenue B, commemorates the connection between railroads and the city.
Temple is located northeast of the center of Bell County at (31.093678, -97.362202). It is the second largest city in Bell County, population 66,102. It is bordered to the southwest, on the opposite side of the Leon River, by Belton, the county seat.
Temple is situated within a relatively short drive of most of the major cities of Texas: 124 miles (200 km) north to Fort Worth, 130 miles (210 km) north-northeast to Dallas, 68 miles (109 km) southwest to Austin, 147 miles (237 km) southwest to San Antonio, and 168 miles (270 km) southeast to Houston. The city is located right on Interstate 35 running alongside the Balcones Fault with very mixed geography. Towards the east lies the Blackland Prairie region (a rich farming area), and towards the west the terrain rises with low rolling limestone layered hills at the northeastern tip of the Texas Hill Country. As the Central Texas economy develops at a fast pace, the fertile farming land to the east is transitioning to more suburban residential developments, retail centers and scientific/industrial complexes.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 69.4 square miles (179.8 km2), of which 69.0 square miles (178.7 km2) is land and 0.42 square miles (1.1 km2), or 0.60%, is water.
Over a hundred years ago, the local economy began with the regional Santa Fe Railroad hospital. Temple now thrives in a complex economy, with both goods distribution and its reputation as a regional medical center leading the way. Scott & White is the largest employer in the area with about 12,000 employees.
Temple is home to many regional distribution centers and is headquarters to two large, multi-national companies, Wilsonart International and McLane Company, as well as parent McLane Group. Temple is also home to the Temple Bottling Company which produces Dr Pepper (with Imperial Cane sugar).
The Temple Mall serves as one of the city's major shopping destinations, and together with other local shopping centers offers most popular national retailers. The mall has the only Macy's between Austin and Dallas.
Temple is within 30 miles (48 km) of Fort Hood, and military personnel contribute a small part of the city's economy.