Minutes of Meeting

Coppell Historical Society

January 12, 2013

Present:  Don Carter, Martha-Allison Blewer, Pat Quinlan, Barbara Lee, Juanita Strong, Jean Murph, Dave Murph, Pete Wilson, Kevin Mote, Karen Hunt

President Don Carter called the meeting to order at 1:06 p.m.

The minutes of the last meeting were approved as submitted to members by email.  Barbara Lee moved; Jean Murph seconded.

The treasurer’s report by Dave Murph showed expenses since our last meeting of $4,394.02, all related to our historical markers.  Income included the latest $10,000 grant from the City of Coppell.  The report was accepted.  Jean Murph moved; Pete Wilson seconded.

Report of standing committees:

The Kirkland House Committee.  On behalf of Pat Quinlan, Jean Murph reported that a new contractor is on the job.  Wallpaper has been ordered.  No work has been done in the house within the last month.  Martha-Allison Blewer suggested that we ask again for weekly reports on progress.  Jean Murph will continue to press the city to complete the work.

Dedication Committee.  Pete Wilson reported that the committee is now ready to meet again to start serious planning of the dedication ceremony of Heritage Park on April 13.  Martha-Allison Blewer, who agreed to approach the Coppell Women’s Club about possibly providing some volunteers for the event, stressed that most organizations have scheduled their commitments already, and that we need to provide more details as soon as possible in order to be successful at acquiring assistance.  Jean Murph mentioned that several members visited Liberty, Texas, and took historical tours, primarily with the intention of getting ideas how to set up our tours of the Kirkland House and Minyard Store.  They were impressed with docents who presented historical facts through accounts of daily life in the homes.

After some discussion, the next meeting of the Dedication Committee was set for Wednesday, January 16, at 5:30 p.m., at Dave Murph’s office at 532 S. Coppell Road, in Coppell.  The Dedication Committee is composed of Pete Wilson, Jean Murph, Barbara Lee, Pat Quinlan, and Martha-Allison Blewer.  Any member is welcome to attend the committee meetings.  Pete will provide an agenda for discussion at the meeting.  Jean Murph will be prepared to detail activities of groups which will be cooperating with the Society on April 13.

Senior Citizen Center Display Committee.  Dave Murph reported that Peggy Riddle will be completing the work on the display this week.  All that is left to finish is labeling items and putting artifacts on pedestals.  It was suggested, also, that the display should be identified as being maintained by the Society.

Historical Marker Committee.  Pete Wilson reported that both the historical medallions and the plaque for Heritage Park are currently being made by the foundry, the Southwell Company, and shipment is expected shortly.  The cost of the items has been in line with our estimates.  The only amount not paid yet is for shipping the items to us.  Pete commented that he expects members to be pleased with the look of the medallions, even though a lot of the details of the original artwork have been lost due to casting in metal.

Acquisitions Committee.  Martha-Allison Blewer reported that her committee is currently shopping for additional items to go into the Kirkland House, especially a dining table, although a table that’s about 100 years old is expensive.  Four members are going to Denton to meet with Peggy Riddell and get advice on purchases.  Jean Murph reported that Bennett Ratliff, who  has pledged to donate a piano that was used in the First Baptist Church of Coppell, is going to have it moved shortly.

Archeological Dig Committee.  Jean Murph suggested that the next dig in October might take place at the site of Bethel School.  She and Dave will look into acquiring permission to go on that property.

Education Committee.  Jean Murph and Kevin Mote are planning the production of a children’s version of our historical video.  The video will incorporate children who will narrate the video and will approach the history with dramatizations from interviews with long-time residents.

Cemetery Committee.  Jean Murph reported that we have been assured by City Manager Clay Phillips that the ten-foot easement around the Bullock Cemetery will prevent construction of homes, fences, etc., on ground that might contain graves outside the fence of the cemetery.  Jean will be meeting with Clay again shortly and will present our concerns that homeowners be advised about the easement restrictions.  Kevin Mote and others pointed out that we need to stay diligent to be sure that the rules are being followed.  Pete Wilson commented that the easement agreement represents a compromise for the Bullock Cemetery controversy, since no definitive survey has been undertaken to determine if graves outside the cemetery fence do exist.  Mayor Karen Hunt pointed out that for any property subject to easements and restrictions, deed restrictions will specify those items.

Old Coppell Task Force:  Jean Murph reported on some of the activities planned by other organizations and businesses that will be cooperating with our Dedication Celebration on April 13, including:  coffee and pastries provided by businesses; carriage rides to and from the Farmers’ Market; music; a street dance; items to be sold; possibly lunches to be purchased by visitors; help from the city such as barricades, portable toilets, a sound system, chairs, traffic control, and blocking off part of S. Coppell Road for the celebration.

It was decided that the Society will not request that the city provide a tent for the event, since its location would require the street to be blocked off too long.  However, members of the Society may provide small canopy tents for shade.

The possibility of rain on April 13 was discussed.  It was decided that Jean will ask the city to reserve the Grapevine Springs community center for the dedication ceremony in case of rain.

Old Business:

Kevin Mote reported that the Society’s website is operating well since our change of server.  He is planning to restore our photo collection to the website.  Members pledged to view the website and offer suggestions.

New Business:  It was expected that we would set a date for cleaning and arranging the inside of the Minyard Store, preparing it for public tours, but the city has promised to do the initial major cleaning first.  It was suggested that the city be reminded that the work needs to be accomplished soon so that our work can be finished before details of the upcoming April celebration get too hectic.  Jean will ask Mindi Hurley to proceed with the cleaning as soon as possible.

Pete Wilson requested that we maintain our subscription to Ancestry-dot-com for at least another six months.  Jean Murph moved; Dave Murph seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

Jean and Dave Murph suggested that the next Witness Tree Search take place next month and that it not be advertised for the public but for invited guests who will have specific goals in mind for designating the trees.  It was agreed unanimously that the Tree Search will take place on February 2.  Pete Wilson moved; Jean Murph seconded.  The subcommittee charged with setting up the Tree Search is composed of Jean Murph, Dave Murph, Kevin Mote, and Barbara Lee.

Dave Murph reported that some members of the Society may be involved in historical research in Liberty and Austin during the second weekend of March.  It was unanimously agreed that our March meeting will take place on March 16.  Pete Wilson moved; Barbara Lee seconded.

Juanita Strong reminded the Society that she is willing to donate an antique icebox that was owned by her parents, to be housed in the Kirkland House.  She also has a photo of Carroll Kirkland that could be a part of photos to be displayed in the house, and she has a collection of old newspapers that the Society may want.

Special guest Mayor Karen Hunt expressed her interest in the work of the Society and thanked the Society for all it has accomplished to date.  She mentioned that she admired how volunteers are willing to help, even donating historically significant items, such as the icebox that Juanita Strong is giving for the Kirkland House. Mayor Hunt encouraged members to contact her at any time with questions or concerns.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:12 p.m.

Wheelice (Pete) Wilson, Jr.


Coppell Historical Society

Cell 972-741-3894

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