Oakhill Drive house

The former home of Elvis Presley on Oakhill Drive in Killeen is shown.

The circa 1950 ranch-style house at 605 Oakhill Drive doesn’t have any visual features that dramatically set it apart from the other homes in the central Killeen neighborhood not far from Conder Park. It’s a one-story, brick home with a rather large mailbox out front.

There is no Texas landmark sign out front. There is no pink Cadillac. There is no visual evidence that “Elvis was here.”

But if these walls could talk, they’d sing.

In 1958, longtime Killeen resident Edith Carlile lived four doors down from the house Pvt. Elvis Presley lived in with his parents. Presley rented the home for seven months from a local lawyer when he was stationed at Fort Hood for Army training.

“The street was extremely crowded with cars going by,” said Carlile, who now lives next door to the house Presley lived in. “People were standing in the yard, wanting to touch him, kiss him.”

Carlile, 89, was a mother of four at the time, and wasn’t really into the rock ’n’ roll music that Presley is famous for.

“I’m not a fan of music of that age,” Carlile said, adding she is more into the tunes of the big band era.

Her children did get autographs from Presley, but Carlile said she threw the signed pieces of paper away years later.

She said the rock ’n’ roll king dated a few of the local girls when he was here, and his presence made a big impact, especially in the Oakhill Drive neighborhood, which in 1958 was home to lawyers, business owners and other upper-middle class families.

Surprise, Elvis was here

More than 54 years later, the house is still standing, and although it’s aged, the outside doesn’t look dramatically different from when Presley lived there.

The couple who currently owns the home did not respond to requests for a full interview, and did not allow permission for their names to be used.

Surprisingly, the owners said they didn’t even know the house had once been lived in by Presley when they bought it more than a year ago.

But they’ve heard the stories now, and even had some visits from die-hard Presley fans.

One of the owners said people regularly pop by the house to take a snapshot or inquire about the former home of the King.

Some drive hundreds of miles to do so. Others want to peep inside or look at the backyard.

Some renovation work is being done at the home. In mid-December, several 2-by-4 wooden boards were seen on the roof, modern windows were in place throughout the house, and a stone-mounted post office box bordered the street, all with the look of recent renovation.

Other renovation has been done on the inside; however, the owner was reluctant to offer details.

In November 2006, the 2,400-square-foot house was placed for purchase on the popular auction website eBay.

The owner at the time, Myka Allen-Johnson, a sales representative for CenTex Homes, said she wanted to sell the home to someone who would understand the historical significance.

“I didn’t buy the house with the intention of selling it on eBay,” Allen-Johnson told the Killeen Daily Herald in 2006. “I just don’t want people to forget that he lived here in Killeen.”

It’s unclear if the home ever did sell on eBay. Calls to Allen-Johnson for this article were not returned.

A place he dwelled

The historical significance of the home — if there is any — may be dwindling.

“It’s just a place he stayed at — like a hotel or something,” Carlile said.

Carlile and others in the neighborhood said the house doesn’t deserve a Texas landmark sign or any other marker indicating it has historical value.

Killen resident Penny Love was 3 or 4 years old and lived around the corner in 1958.

Love said she remembers seeing Presley sneak through her backyard to avoid the crowd that waited out front. She said she would sometimes sit on Presley’s father’s lap on the front porch.

While some locals still talk about the house that Presley lived in, Love, like Carlile, said the house doesn’t need an historical marker out front.

“It wasn’t like he owned the house,” Love said. “All he did was rent it.”

Attempts to officially recognize the house and street as historic never really caught on.

In August 1958, Presley fans petitioned the Killeen City Council to change the name of Oakhill Drive to Presley Drive, bringing nationwide publicity to the area. Today, however, Oakhill is still the name of the street.

And the number of fans who come to look at the home have dwindled over the decades, Carlile said. Some aren’t even quite sure which house it is anymore.

“A lot of people stop and take a picture of my house, and then they’ll ring the door bell and ask, “Is this the house that Elvis used to live in?” Carlile said.

But even that is rare nowadays, Carlile said.

The owner said she allows Presley fans to take a quick picture of the front of the house. But those who try to pry closer are not totally welcome.

The backyard has a steep incline, she said, which can be dangerous, and a German shepherd patrols back there, too.

For a good look at where Elvis Presley lived during his life, fans may just have to be satisfied with Graceland.

Contact Jacob Brooks at jbrooks@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7468

(5) comments

Wildelina logan

So all this posting are me Wildelina and Elvis fan.my history about the feelings i had for this oakhill home since before got sold .

Wildelina logan

I'm the same .Elvis fan just wasn't sure went thru.all this post is me.

Wildelina logan

That was my Dream home!!! Few years ago got sold.i went to the house of my Dreams!! Was the king home during army days!,I want it so bad!!! I went with a realtor of cloud realty at that time.well I was recently in the area and was army wife and no plans at the moment to buy a home.But when I find out that Elvis home was here in killeen i start searching and make the appointment to see it inside out!! I was Crazy there😊full of joy and was dreaming to became the owner of my idol ELVIS PRELEY!!! Looking this article make me sad like the day i find out got sold.i feel this home is mines.in soul and mind.Bother me that the current owners don't put the effort that i will if was my home.I will be doing stuff that preserve it.Remember myself thinking that want to add a Elvis bust at front a Elvis sign .anything that will represent Elvis there.I AM THE OWNER OF ELVIS HOME IN MY SOUL. I always said that Was my ELVIS HOME!! Wish was mines them and now!!

Elvis fan

I'm the lady that dream of became the owner of that Elvis home before.was my dream home 3 years ago.i had my own pictures original way.went inside with a realtor at that time from cloud realtor killeen.The feeling inside myself was happiness, excitement,joy all in one.I was inside my idol home!! Elvis the king!! And that was the reason i want this home so bad!! At that time and still always checking for it.was sad the time i found out was sold.at least was expecting that the owner was like me a fan that could took pride and honor this oakhill home.my family and friends know me was the meaning for me this home.I LOVE IT!! Like Elvis did too!!! Bother me that they not realizing the importance of this treasure.WAS MY DREAM HOME!! I CALL IT MY ELVIS HOME!! is in my soul.IM THE OWNER!! MORE THAN THE ACTUALLY OWNER .I believe in DREAMS!!! and NEVER TO LATE. Yes!! I could said that!!

Wildelina logan

Here I am!! The most biggest fan of Elvis in killeen!!! This was my dream home like more than 3 years ago.i went there when was for sale the first time during this years.took pictures inside and out.a realtor at the time was from cloud realty.i was crazy of happiness when was looking Elvis home!! My dream home!! I had a album the original way was.my people friends know me for be the most Elvis fan.i was dreaming,thinking how I will make this house at that time the way that represent Elvis the king.in my mind was imaging living in and playing records that i had of Elvis in my home now.to many ideas i was planning .i was dreaming to became the owner that really appreciate this home.i still passing sometimes.recently I did..took a picture scare that the owner don't will like it.yes I still dreaming of be The owner of Elvis home in oakhill dr.I the owner in heart and soul.wish is mines.

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