Temple is a city in Bell County, Texas, United States. As of 2019, the city has a population of 78,439 according to a US census estimate, making it the second largest of Bell County's three principal cities after Killeen.
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 area, which as of 2015 had a population of 450,051. Located off Interstate 35, Temple is 65 miles (105 km) north of Austin, 34 miles (55 km) south of Waco and 27 miles east of Killeen.
The primary economic drivers are the extensive medical community (mostly due to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Temple) and goods distribution based on its central location between the Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Houston metropolitan areas, and proximity to larger neighbors Austin and Waco.
Temple was founded as a railroad town in 1881 by the Gulf, 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 residents found that the combination of muddy streets and liquor made walking through the town challenging.