A Brief History of Coppell

1836 – The Texas Revolution creates the Republic of Texas, with Sam Houston its president.

1841 – The Republic of Texas passes its Immigration Act, and the Peters Colony, a land-grant company empowered to give out homestead grants in the north Texas area, is established.

1841 – John Neeley Bryan builds a cabin near the three forks of the Trinity River, and the settlement eventually becomes the city of Dallas.

1843 – (July) Sam Houston travels from Crockett, Texas, along the Trinity River and arrives at Grapevine Springs in an attempt to sign the Republic’s first Indian treaty.

1843 – (Approximately September 29) The Indian Treaty is finally signed, but at Bird’s Fort, near present-day Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington.

1844 – There is a store called Hallford’s Store operating northeast of Grapevine and southwest of Lewisville, probably initially supplied by the Peters Colony.

1845 – Texas becomes a state.

1846 – The state of Texas legalizes Dallas County, naming it after Vice-President George Mifflin Dallas, who, along with President Polk, favored the annexation of Texas.

1846 – A raiding party of Indians, causing havoc to the settlers in the north Texas area, is pursued and killed.

1847 – Lancaster is established as a town, the only official one outside Dallas proper; all others are considered neighborhoods, post offices, or just prospective towns.

1848 – James Parrish marries Eliza Record and is issued a land grant for 640 acres in the future Coppell/Bethel area, and apparently settles there.

1848 – Texas land grants cease.

1850 – Keenan’s Ferry is built west of Farmers Branch on the Elm Fork of the Trinity River by Thomas Keenan, a settler in Farmers Branch, and it gives access to “the Grapevine community” from  the east.

1850 – Trinity Mills Crossing is in existence, giving access to the “Parrish community” from the east.

1853 – James Parrish establishes Bethel Cemetery (originally called Sands Cemetery and eventually renamed Historic Bethel Cemetery).

1854 – Leading citizens meet to lay out the town of Grapevine.

1856 – The city of Dallas is incorporated.

1856 – The first school is built in Carrollton.

1857 - George Coppell departs from Liverpool and arrives in New Orleans (may have been 1859.)

1858 – Probably, Bethel School exists, according to deed records.

1866 – Flood waters cover the area east of Gibbs, between Gibbs and Carrollton.

1866 –  Kentucky native, Washington Bullock, purchases 280 acres near what became Old Town Coppell and builds the first brick house in Dallas County.

1869 – (September 3) John Record and possibly five others, all residents of the future Coppell area,  are mysteriously hanged at Hackberry Creek, possibly by vigilantes or members of the KKK.

1869 –  Washington & Caroline Bullock establish the Bullock Cemetery to bury their youngest daughter, Julia.

1873 – The town is named Gibbs in honor of Barnett Gibbs, who had served as Lieutenant Governor of Texas.

1874 – W. O. Harrison’s general store is established in Gibbs.

1879 – Grapevine Springs Methodist Chapel is organized, and before its building is constructed, they meet in a small log cabin one mile east of old downtown Gibbs.  When the building is built within that year, it is used as the only church and school in the immediate area.

1885 – The Freewill Baptist Church is established at Bethel, a small settlement located on the southwest corner of present intersection of Bethel School and Moore Roads.

1887 – W. O. Harrison establishes a post office for Gibbs in his general store.

1888 – The St. Louis, Arkansas & Texas Railroad opens its line from Commerce to Ft. Worth, through present Coppell.  This becomes, by merger, the St. Louis Southwestern Railway Company  in 1891.

1890 – The railroad builds a new depot in Gibbs and names it Coppell, apparently to honor a former investor, George Coppell.

1892 – The town of Gibbs officially changes its name to Coppell by changing the name of its post office.

1893 – Coppell has four stores, a lumber yard, a blacksmith shop, a cotton gin, and a school house.

1896 – (August 24) The First Baptist Church of Coppell is organized. The building is completed sometime before 1901.

1897 – A new Methodist Church building is built in Coppell on land donated by John Stringfellow.

1905 – Dr. Jess Bennett builds a drug store in Coppell.

1907 – The City of Grapevine is incorporated.

1908 – A second school building is built beside the original two-room building, just west of old downtown Coppell.

1909 – The First State Bank of Coppell opens.  In the early 1920s, it is renamed Citizen’s Bank of Coppell.

1909 – Tom Moore purchases the lumber yard in Coppell.

1909 – The Great Methodist Revival in Coppell lasts two weeks under a tabernacle, with two daily services.

1909 – The Coppell Informer, a tabloid newspaper, is started.

1911 – A public well and watering trough are built in downtown Coppell.  Half of the cost is borne  by the community and half by the county.

1912 – A concrete dam is built by Carrollton, which halts most of the flooding in the east part of Coppell, along the present Sandy Lake Road.

1913 – The city of Carrollton is incorporated.

1915 – Three doctors live in Coppell.

1915 – A taxi runs from Coppell to the state fair in Dallas, at a cost of $1.00 per round trip.

1917 – Addison school is opened.

1920s – Tom Harrison’s vacant general store in Coppell serves as a basketball court.

1924 – Coppell’s bank closes.

1928 – Bethel, Gentry and Coppell Schools consolidate into one Coppell School, and a brick building is constructed on what is now Southwestern Blvd., at the present site of Pinkerton Elementary School.

1928 – State Highway 114 is built from Dallas into Tarrant County.

1930s – Census shows Coppell to have a population of 419.

1931 – Mention is made of a tabernacle in Coppell that is used by both the Baptists and Methodists.  A long-time resident remembers the tabernacle existing as early as 1925.

1932 – The section of Highway 121 that goes from Lewisville to Grapevine is probably first paved.

1934 – Bonnie and Clyde kill two state troopers in Grapevine.

1936 – J. D. Thweatt conveys Grapevine Springs Park land to the State of Texas.

1937 – The WPA spends $25,000 to build a public park at Grapevine Springs.

1937 – The railroad section house, on the south side of the railroad, across from the depot,
  is torn down.

1941 – State Highway 77 from Dallas through Carrollton to Denton, is moved west of the original path, probably changing Denton Road through Coppell so that it no longer follows the present path of Sandy Lake Road.  Denton Road (the present Sandy Lake Road) through Coppell eventually attached to Belt Line Road by a spur that came to be known as Denton Tap because it “tapped” Denton Road.

1942 – The last mud road in Coppell is eliminated, probably not by paving, but by putting gravel  over the mud.

1948 – The second building for the First Baptist Church of Coppell is built, which still stands on West Bethel Road at Coppell Road.

1949 – Coppell School building is destroyed by fire.

1950 – Coppell School, containing eight grades, is rebuilt.  According to a Dallas News article, it contained 8,000 square feet, would hold 154 students, and cost $21,000.  It was on the site  of present-day Pinkerton Elementary School.

1950s – Train service in Coppell ceases.

1951 – Grapevine Springs Park land has reverted from the state of Texas to its original owners and  is sold to A. Webb Roberts.

1955 – Coppell Water Board is created, upon voting $50,000 in bonds.

1955 – The town of Coppell is incorporated with two square miles of land and the first mayor of Coppell is elected, R. M. Johnson.

1956 – The third brick house is built in Coppell by Weldon Plumlee on what is now Southwestern Blvd. The second was built earlier by Bud Maynard on Kaye Street.  The first brick house in Coppell was the Bullock house, built in 1865 with home-made bricks, on the corner of what is now Denton Tap and Bethel School Roads.

1958 – Coppell’s volunteer fire department is organized.  Its first chief is Earl Tinsley; its second is Travis Maynard.

1959 – North Lake and the Dallas Power and Light Company power plant are built.

1959 – Coppell Independent School District is established.

1970 – Census shows Coppell to have a population of 1,728 and eight businesses.

1974 – (January) DFW International Airport opens.

Coppell Historical Society ◊ P.O. Box 1871, Coppell, TX 75019 ◊ info@coppellhistoricalsociety.org

Note:  The items on this list come from printed sources or, in the case of some items from the 1900s, from persons who should have accurate personal memory of the event. However, there is always a chance for error. Please report errors to the Coppell Historical Society, P. O. Box 1871, Coppell, TX  75019 or email errors@coppellhistoricalsociety.org.