Grapevine Springs Park

The Grapevine Springs, which flow into the Elm Fork of the Trinity River, have attracted visitors for more than 2,000 years.  In 1843, Republic of Texas President Sam Houston camped here during treaty negotiations with Native Americans.  The treaty was later signed at Bird’s Fort.  In 1936, Dallas County accepted the donation of Houston’s campsite as park land and the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) built rock walls, picnic facilities, foot bridges and other features.  During World War II, ownership reverted to prior owners.  The Baptist Foundation of Texas later obtained the land and donated it to the county in 1991.  Today, the City of Coppell maintains it, and efforts to restore WPA features are ongoing.

Location:  Inside the north entrance of Grapevine Springs Park off Park Road

Historical Markers Throughout Coppell

Grapevine Springs Park

   In 1843, Sam Houston, President of the Republic of Texas President,  camped here at Grapevine Springs Park while waiting to sign the first major Indian treaty at Bird’s Fort, near present Day Arlington.

   In 1937, the Works Progress Administration constructed natural stone walkways, bridges and other improvements and dedicated the location as a public park.  

   It was restored and re-dedicated in 1993 as an historic open space park by Dallas County and the City of Coppell

Location:  Inside the north entrance of Grapevine Springs Park off Park Road

Historic Bullock Cemetery

   Kentucky native Washington Curtis Bullock (1821-1889) married Caroline Hunsaker in 1844.  The Bullocks lived in Missouri and in 1855 they came to Texas with their four children.  In 1866 the bullocks purchased 280 acres here from former Peters colonist Seborn J. Baggett.  The last of the Bullock’s nine children, Julia Caroline, died at the age of three.  This cemetery began with her burial at this site in 1869.

   The Bullock family built a two-story brick home and operated a farm.  W.C. Bullock established a rural school for his children and those of his neighbors and also served as Justice of the Peace.  He died in 1889 and was buried here.  Caroline Bullock was buried here in 1899.  The bullocks’ heirs sold the reminder of the original acreage to J.R. Powers in 1902 and set aside the cemetery in the transaction.

   The cemetery contains the burials of about 40 members of the Bullocks’ extended  family and their descendants.   Among those buried here are confederate civil war veteran Burnell B. Howell and World War II Veterans William T. Cozby, first mayor of Coppell, and William H. Kirkland.  Members of the Bullock family formally organized the Historic Bullock Cemetery association in 1992.


Location:  Outside the entrance  to the Bullock Cemetery off  Washington Court.

Note:  R.M. Johnson was actual first mayor of Coppell.

Bethel Cemetery

   James Parrish came to Texas from Ohio prior to 1844 as a member of the Peters Colony. He and his wife Eliza Jane (Record) moved to Dallas County about 1848. They established a home in this area on the Elm Fork of the Trinity River which became known as the Parrish neighborhood. Sometime before James Parrish's death in October 1853, he and his wife set aside land on their farm for a community cemetery.

    Joshua Hill was buried here in 1859, the apparent victim of smallpox. More interments occurred in the following decades, including those of James Pinson Howell (1865), John L. Howell (1866), and Malinda Pemberton Howell (ca. 1871). Also believed to be buried here are five men and a boy who were victims of a lynching in 1869; several Confederate veterans of the Civil War; and two former slaves.

    Although descendants estimate there were at least two hundred graves here, all but two have been lost to vandalism and development of the surrounding area. The two remaining tombstones mark the graves of one-day-old Oda Kirby (1909) and three-year-old Ervin Wickersham (1910 - 1913). The Historic Bethel Cemetery Association, formed in 1987, cares for the graveyard

Location:  Inside the entrance  to the Bethel Cemetery at 601 Christi Lane.  Bonus

Coppell Heritage Park

   This Park commemorates the rich history of the town of Coppell, which began here in the late 1870s along present Bethel and Coppell Roads.  This was downtown Coppell, the location of general stores, a post office, a bank, a drug store, blacksmiths, schools, churches, and homes.  Today if is a part of the city’s revitalization plan of Old Coppell.

   This corner, at various times in history, as the site of several houses, a service station, and a temporary movie theater.  Its status as a historical park began in 2003 when an antique windmill as donated by the Thweatt family and preserved here.  Later, the historic 1904 Kirkland House was moved to this site and the Minyard Store as added.  The designation of this land as a historical park was made possible by the Wheelice Wilson family, which lived here starting in 1947.

   Coppell Heritage Park is dedicated to the memory of pioneers who made Coppell their home.

The Coppell Historical Society

April 13, 2013

Location:  Heritage Park at the southwest corner of Bethel Road and South Coppell Road.

Coppell School

   In 1928, three county schools - Gentry, Bethel, and Coppell - consolidated, and a new brick building was constructed on this site. Known for almost four decades as Coppell Grade School, it housed grades one through eight in seven rooms. The building burned from unknown causes in 1949, and students had to attend classes in Carrollton until reconstruction could be completed. The second building looked almost exactly the same, since it was rebuilt using the original concrete foundation and brick walls.

    Shortly after 1959, when the Coppell Independent School District was created, an additional building was added to the east side, and one grade was added per year until Coppell had its first complete high school m 1965. Two years later, the upper grades moved to a new campus, now Coppell Middle School West.

    This building then became known as Coppell Elementary School. When a second elementary school was constructed, this building was renamed Pinkerton Elementary, in honor of the school district's first superintendent, W. W. Pinkerton.

The Coppell Historical Society


Location:  Attached to the current Pinkerton Elementary School on Southwestern Blvd.

Houston Campsite Oak

In 1843, Sam Houston, President of the Republic of Texas, and fellow travelers camped under this and other oak trees at these springs and met with local Indian tribes, attempting to negotiate a peace treaty.  The treaty, signed several months later, promoted settlement and trade throughout the area.

Location:  Attached to a bolder at the foot of the large oak tree.

Coppell’s First Government Buildings

   This building was Coppell's first fire station, built by J. T, Maynard in 1958. A siren beside it would sound when someone called the department's phone number. Anyone around at the time would hurry to answer the phone while the town's volunteer fire department members assembled.

   The building's one bay was later expanded to two, then to three.

The building next door, built in late 1959 also by Maynard, was Coppell's first city hall. It was originally one big meeting room. When the town hired its first city secretary, Ernest Gentry,

the City Council started meeting in the school cafeteria, and Gentry and R. M. Johnson, Coppell's first mayor, shared offices in the building. It was later expanded by volunteers to include two jail cells and became the home of the Coppell Police Department.

   In 1972, a third building was added behind the other two that served as the city permit office and as the office of George Campbell, Coppell's first city manager.

   In 2012, the property was purchased and renovated to house the offices of Amcat Adjusting Services.

The Coppell Historical Society


Location:  Attached to the Amcat Adjusting Services  building at 616 S. Coppell Road.

Harwell House and Barbershop

  The building on the right was a small house - formerly used as a telephone operator's office - when Floyd and Clayta Harwell bought it in 1932. They expanded it and added a large room on the west side which served as Floyd's Barbershop.  In 1956, Floyd purchased the comer lot on the left, where a service station had been located, and he moved in the small building to serve as his barbershop.

   Floyd Harwell was Coppell's barber for over four decades and also acted as a volunteer umpire for Coppell's baseball team in the 1940s.  Clayta Harwell, station manager for Coppell's railroad depot, also served as cafeteria supervisor at Coppell School in the 1940s and 1950s.

The Coppell Historical Society


Location:  456 W. Bethel Road

Grapevine Springs Park

The land for this park was donated to Dallas County by the A. Webb Roberts trust on October 31, 1991, to be set aside and used for Grapevine Springs Park.  A. Webb Roberts came to Texas from Ballground, Georgia in 1919.  His vision led him to purchase hundreds of acres of land in key locations, including some in the area where the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is now situated.  Mr. Roberts used his resources to benefit charitable causes in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.  He made a significant contribution to the Baylor Health Care System of its A. Webb Roberts Hospital.  His love for North Texas is visible through his many acts of generosity, and it was his desire that this beautiful park be a place of quiet reflection.

Location:  Inside the Grapevine Springs Park off Park Road.

The Kirkland House

Built in 1904, the family home of

John M. And Edna Jeanette Kirkland

and their children:

Hubert, Lois, Sallie, Jewel (Jack),

Stringfellow, Louise and Carroll.

Moved from its original location

474 feet due west and restored in 2011 by:  

The Jean and Price Daniel Foundation

The Coppell Historical Society

The City of Coppell

Location:  Attached to the front of the Kirkland House in Heritage Park.

The Minyard Store

A small grocery store remodeled

to resemble the first Minyard store

in East Dallas and moved

to Minyard Corporate Offices

in Coppell in 1980.

Donated to the City of Coppell by

The Minyard family and moved

from its original site, 1720 feet due west,

and restored in 2011 by:

The City of Coppell

The Coppell Historical Society

Location:  Attached to the front of the Minyard Store in Heritage Park.

The Windmill

Windmill from the Thweatt Farm

on S. Denton Tap Road.

Presented to City by J.C. Thweatt


Read the proclamation here.

Location:  Attached to a rock at the base the windmill in Heritage Park.

The Parrish Family Cemetery

   James and Eliza (Record) Parrish received a 640­ acre Peters Colony land grant and settled here in 1853. When

James died later that year, Eliza set aside one­ half acre

of land for a family burial ground. Since then, more than

35 members of the Parrish family have been buried here, 

including Eliza (d. 1918), her second husband Henry

Parrish (James' brother, d. 1866), and 6 of their 7 children

and their descendants. Eliza's father, Josiah Record, and

two of her brothers, John and Silas, are also buried here.  The cemetery records this extended family's long­time presence in Coppell. 

Location:  746 Cardinal Lane.

Bethel School and Bethel Church

  Two identical wood frame buildings were located on this corner: Bethel Freewill Baptist Church on the right and Bethel School on the left, both buildings facing east. The one-room buildings were built in the 1890s.  

   Bethel School served farming families in the area. Some local residents who taught in the school were Sallie Kirkland Brooks, W.L. Gregory, J. Clyde Drury, and Pleas Corbin. The building was abandoned in 1928 when three local schools — Bethel, Gentry, and Coppell — consolidated into one school, now Pinkerton Elementary School.

  Bethel Baptist Church remained in use until it burned in 1915. Its presence probably influenced the naming of the

Bethel area.

The Coppell Historical Society


Location:  On the west side of Moore Rd. and approximately 100 feet south of Bethel Rd.

Stone Columns at West Entrance to Grapevine Springs Park

   Grapevine Springs was a popular camping ground for Native Americans even before Sam Houston camped there in 1843. It was a community gathering spot after settlement began in the 1860s. In 1937, the WPA constructed walking trails, picnic areas, and bridges in the park and marked its two entrances with stone columns, one set at the north entrance at the end of Park Road and one set at the west entrance along this street, S. Coppell Road, approximately 620 feet south of this marker.

   The west entrance was closed during World War Il, and the columns were eventually removed to make way for

development. In 2014, the City of Coppell built these replicas using some of the original stones.

The Coppell Historical Society


Location:  Attached to the south column at the corner of S. Coppell Road and Houston St. in Old Town Coppell.

Bird’s Fort

(One Mile East)

    In an effort to attract settlers to the region and to provide protection from Indian raids, Gen. Edward H. Tarrant of the Republic of Texas authorized Jonathan Bird to establish a settlement and military post in the area. Bird's Fort, built near a crescent-shaped lake one mile east in 1841, was the first attempt at Anglo-American colonization in present Tarrant County.  The settlers, from the Red River area, suffered from hunger and Indian problems and soon returned home or joined other settlements. In August 1843, troops of the Jacob Snively expedition disbanded at the abandoned fort, which consisted of a few log structures. Organized to capture Mexican gold wagons on the Santa Fe Trail in retaliation for raids of San Antonio, the outfit had been disarmed by United States forces.

     About the same time, negotiations began at the fort between Republic of Texas officials Gen. Tarrant and Gen. George W. Terrell and the leaders of nine Indian tribes. The meetings ended on September 29, 1843, with the signing of the Bird's Fort Treaty. Terms of the agreement called for an end to existing conflicts and the establishment of a line separating Indian lands from territory open for colonization.                                (1980)

Location: West of FM 157, inside Arlington's River Legacy Park.

Markers of interest located outside of Coppell

The Third Building



Coppell’s First Water Supply

  The City of Coppell constructed this water tank in the late 1960s to accommodate a rapidly expanding  population.  Automatic pumps supplied water to those residents who chose to pay for the city water, but the controls often malfunctioned and had operated maunally day and night until repairs could be made.  The city logo was painted by the Exchange Club when Coppell was preparing to celebrate its centennial.

   The original water well beneath this tank was tapped about 1911 to supply an overhead wooden tank and a public watering trough for horses, funded by Dallas County and local residents.  In the decade of the 1940s, a washeteria, located just behind this marker, allowed residents to wash clothes in wringer washing machines and the waste water ran out into the creek behind.   

The Coppell Historical Society


Location: Bethel Road, near the actual water tank.

Coppell Historical Society ◊ P.O. Box 1871, Coppell, TX 75019 ◊

The Coppell Railroad Depot

  The St. Louis Southwestern Railway opened its new line through Gibbs, Texas, in 1888.  A large depot was built approximately 150 feed south of this marker and a sign on it identified it as Coppell, in honor of George Coppell, a wealthy New York banker who evidently was instrumental in the opening of this railroad.  In 1892, the town officially changed its name from Gibbs to Coppell, thus making it the only Texas town to assume the name of its railroad depot.

  Trains stopped regularly and carried passengers and freight: east and west, including Coppell cotton.  Clayta Plumlee Harwell, a life-long resident of Coppell, and Oscar Cooper were railroad agents for many years.

  By World War II, the large deport had been replaced with a smaller depot, and train service diminished rapidly.  In 1957, the small depot was sold and moved west of town onto what is now airport property.

The Coppell Historical Society

The City of Coppell


Location: S Coppell Rd in front of Life Safety Park replicate of the train depot.