Minutes of Meeting

Coppell Historical Society

September 11, 2010

Members present:  Pete Wilson, Pat Quinlan, Dave Murph, Jackie Parrish, Barbara Webster, Jean Murph, Delbert Onstatt, Debbie Kittelson, Pat Lambert, Martha-Allison Blewer, Paul Lorrain, Kevin Mote, Barbara Lee

The meeting was called to order by President Barbara Lee at 10:25 a.m.

The minutes of the last meeting were approved.  Moved by Jean Murph, seconded by Martha-Allison Blewer.

The treasurer’s report was accepted.  The only financial activity since the last meeting was $600.36 expense for Cornerstone (Peggy Riddel) and website management (Kevin Mote).

Barbara Lee reported that she and her husband Richard retrieved the antique furniture which was purchased for the Kirkland house and which has been stored in the business that sold it to us.  The furniture is now stored in the Lees’ garage, awaiting placement in the Kirkland house.

Pat Quinlan has received items from the Dick Thomas family.  The items, mostly photographs, relate to the first bank on Belt Line Road, opened in the 1970s.  Mr. Thomas was the bank’s first president.

Reports from Committees:

Kirkland House – Pat Quinlan.  The city has provided a copy of the contract with the contractor for finishing the work at the Kirkland House site.  The contract specifies that the interior work is to be finished within 180 days after the start of work, and the outside work (including the restrooms and storage room) is to be finished within 120 days, with no more than a 30 day extension allowed for unexpected delays.  The interior work is priced at $34,040.  The exterior work is priced at $50,600.  The work is expected to begin next Monday.

Landscaping of the Kirkland House Site – Pat Lambert.  Landscaping is to begin in the fall.  A meeting with city staff is scheduled this Thursday as a follow-up to what has already been discussed.  It is the understanding of the committee that all details about plant types and locations have been settled.  Barbara Lee mentioned that the city has expressed dislike of one of the plants already located under the windmill, probably because of maintenance problems.  Barbara says that the white color does not necessarily look good, anyway.  She has told the city that they can prune or even replace the plant.

Cemeteries – Pat Lambert.  The city has officially acknowledged that it will take over the maintenance of all the cemeteries in Coppell, starting with the next budget year.  A meeting with the city to discuss details is pending.  The society expressed thanks again to Debbie Kittleson and her husband for mowing the Historic Bethel Cemetery for a number of years.  The old, unusable lawn mower at the location has been removed.

Barbara Lee suggested that we give attention to marking the Stringfellow-Moore Cemetery with a sign.  It appears that having a sign is part of the requirements for state designation of cemeteries.  A motion to purchase and install a temporary metal sign at the entrance saying, “Stringfellow-Moore Cemetery” be purchased for up to $500.  Moved by Pete Wilson, seconded by Jean Murph.  Kevin Mote will inquire about such a sign at MSigns, in Coppell.

Pete Wilson reported that all our cemeteries should now be able easily to obtain state cemetery designation, which is something that is now required by the state if an official historical marker is ever sought for any of them.  Especially with the completion of aerial maps by Kevin Mote and the committee, there are only a few details left to receive attention.  The committee will work with Pete to accomplish this through the Dallas County Historical Commission.

Pete Wilson also reported that he has had a request from a Boy Scout who is trying to create a project for his Eagle Scout qualification.  He suggested that we might ask for a detailed plat of all the gravesites in each cemetery, except for the Parrish cemetery, which already has such a plat.  The committee will work with Pete and the Scout if this project is created, and the committee will stress that if any cleaning or restoration to the headstones is undertaken, it be done carefully, following state guidelines.

Display at New Community Center – Dave Murph.  All our work for the historical display is finished.  We are awaiting the completion of the glass display cabinet.  Installing the doors on the cabinet to prevent tampering and theft is prerequisite to our putting in the display.  The city has had constant problems with contractors and sub-contractors, and some work, such as finishing the display cabinet, has not been completed.

Service Station Restoration – Jean Murph.  The first phase of the project is completed – installing the façade and bay doors.  The second phase of the work – installing the portico –  is in progress.  The city has matched our grant money to Michael Lee, the owner, and the work should begin soon.

Our October meeting will be our Archeological Dig, on October 9, probably at the original site of the Kirkland House.  The Educational Committee is in charge, and help is needed.  Jean will obtain a tent for the location, and Pete Wilson will help her decorate, using some kind of theme that is appropriate to the activity.  The dig will be divided into different activities for different age groups.  For the younger participants, a mock dig will be offered.  Refreshments will also be served.

Jean Murph reported on the idea of presenting awards or certificates to students in Coppell who are recognized for their efforts in historical studies or activities.  A letter will be sent to all Coppell history teachers offering our resources, and they will be informed of our intention to recognize their students.

Jean Murph announced that on September 23, at 6:30 p.m., there is a city meeting to discuss proposed development in old town Coppell.  Major changes to previous city plans have been announced, and our society needs to be represented.  Jean Murph and Pete Wilson will work on a list of items to bring to the attention of the city regarding our society’s concerns for the old town development.  A motion was made by Pete Wilson, with second by Martha-Allison Blewer that the society contribute $500 to a fund to hire a consultant to recommend interim and permanent plans for old town and all of Coppell. The Old Town Merchants’ Association is spearheading this project.  The motion carried unanimously.  Jean Murph and Martha-Allison Blewer were appointed to this committee.

It was suggested that the society have a list of goals.  The following items were added to the list:

Official state designation of all our cemeteries

Local historical markers

Texas Historical Markers for our cemeteries

Sites being included in the National Register of Historic Places

Substantial photographs or portraits of: George Coppell, Sam Houston, Jack Kirkland

A reminder:  The next meeting of the Coppell Historical Society will be October 9, and it will be our archeological dig.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:20 p.m.

Wheelice (Pete) Wilson, Jr.

Secretary, Coppell Historical Society

972-741-3894 (cell)

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