Minutes of Meeting

Coppell Historical Society

February 14, 2015


Present:  Pete Wilson, Richard Lee, Barbara Lee, Dawn Griffin, Cliff Long, Chris Long, Phil Laberge, Jackie Parrish, Wynona Chance, Lloyd Webb, Joyce Webb, Cecil Dobecka, Pat Lambert, Pat Quinlan, Sue Miller, Patti Carpenter, Jean Murph


In the absence of Don Carter, Vice-President Patti Carpenter called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m.


Before the business part of the meeting, David Goodman made a presentation on the paleontological and geological history of the Coppell area.  He presented information about items that have been found during the Society’s archeological digs, including the resent one at North Lake, and about items found in Coppell’s nature preserve.


The business meeting began at 1:36 p.m.


The minutes of the last meeting were approved unanimously.  Moved by Jean Murph; seconded by Sue Miller.


The treasurer’s report by Jan Lorrain showed the following:

               Grant Fund:  Expenses:

Design work for the display case, $226.88

                                             Balance as of January 31, 2015, $12,040.48

               General Fund:  Income:

                              Membership dues, $10.00

                              Donation on behalf of Don Carter, $50.00

                                             Expenses:

                              Post Office Mail Box Fee, $40.00

                                             Balance as of January 31, 2015, $10,716.40

                              CD Savings Account, approximate balance as of January 31, 2015, $20,326.47


The treasurer’s report was accepted unanimously.  Moved by Jean Murph; seconded by Jackie Parrish.


Committee Reports:


Archives:  Dave Murph reported no new activity.  He is planning to check with the library to ascertain the disposition of our filing cabinets during the upcoming library renovation.


Heritage Park:  Pat Quinlan reported the acceptance of Anna Barfknecht’s rocking chair, donated by her granddaughter after the death of member Juanita Strong.


Historical Markers:  Pete Wilson reported that the two approved historical plaques have been ordered and the expected delivery is about four weeks.  One plaque is for the stone columns along S. Coppell Road, and the other is for the Bethel School/Bethel Church site on Moore Road.  The total cost of the plaques is $2,828.80, and 50% has been paid.


Cliff Long suggested that the Society be diligent to be sure that the city installs the markers in the right places.  Pete assured everyone that he is almost always present when the markers are being installed.  Cliff also mentioned that the Society should be observant when the city eventually marks the entrance to the walking trail from the stone columns to Grapevine Springs Park.


The sign for the front yard of the Kirkland House has been ordered and will be painted next week.  It will have the new logo for Old Town Coppell and say, “Kirkland House, Built in 1904, Heritage Park.”  This wording was finalized from suggestions of members at the last meeting and from input from the city.  The city’s main requests were that “1904” not appear to be an address and that the Old Town logo be used.


Once the sign is finished, the city will install it immediately unless it is deemed better to wait on some of the renovations to Bethel Road.


The initial cost estimate of the sign was a bit more than $1800, and additional design changes may increase the cost slightly.  This is considerably less than the $5,000 that the Society estimated at the beginning.


Historic Preservation:  Pat Lambert reported that the new provisions of the tree ordinance are still being considered by the Park Board.  She did meet with a committee to discuss categories that might be designated for trees, such as Specimen, Protected, and Historic (which would include what the Society has been calling “Witness Trees.”)  The Board will eventually want some kind of presentation to identify these categories.


Education:  Jean Murph encouraged City Council Member Cliff Long to report the activities of the Society to the Council.  Cliff agreed.


The Valentine’s Party for children, held earlier today, was a big success, with twenty-eight children signing up.  Most children came dressed in costumes for the occasion.  Jean expressed thanks to those who helped with the event:  Betsy Wilcox, Barbara Lee, Dave Murph, Shaun Jex, Patti Carpenter, Pete Wilson, and Isabelle (?).


Shaun Jex and Patti Carpenter have agreed to co-chair the Docents Committee.


Dave Murph mentioned that the display case at the Senior Center will need changing again soon.  He suggested that the next theme be archeological finds of the Society.  Everyone agreed.


Jean reminded everyone that Lucent Energy has been very cooperative about letting the Society conduct digs on its property.  Jean moved and Sue Miller seconded that the next archeological dig, at the North Lake site, be held at 9:00 a.m. on March 21.  The motion carried unanimously.


Jean indicated that the presentation before next month’s regular meeting may be on the Society’s work with trees – Witness Trees, Famous Trees of Texas, etc.


New Business:  Sue Miller asked if the Society has done research on the railroad and former depot in Coppell.  Jean Murph assured her that it has been done.  The most anticipated upcoming event is the construction of the new buildings near the old depot site, one of which will have a façade of the original depot.


Phil Leberge mentioned that he is preparing a paper on George Coppell.  Jean Murph referred to the work already done by Pete Wilson.  Phil will take a look at that summary.


Cecil Dobecka displayed a copy of a photograph from the Denton County Museum of the Carrollton Dam.  He is hoping to receive the photo in digital form.


Lloyd Webb mentioned that he is doing work on locating and documenting the old Chisolm Trail.  Although it did not go through Coppell, all counties is Texas were affected by this cattle trail.  Pete Wilson mentioned that Chisolm was one of Sam Houston’s Indian Agents and signed the treaty that Houston tried to negotiate at our Grapevine Springs Park.


The meeting was adjourned at 2:23 p.m.


Wheelice (Pete) Wilson, Jr.

Secretary, Coppell Historical Society

972-741-3894 (cell)




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