Minutes of Meeting

Coppell Historical Society

November 9, 2013


Present:  Betsy Wilcox, Jan Lorrain, Judy Conger, Sue Miller, Don Carter, Pete Wilson, Jean Murph, Dave Murph, Pat Quinlan, Pat Lambert


The meeting was called to order in the Kirkland House at 1:10 p.m. by President Don Carter.


The minutes of the last meeting were approved.  Moved by Jean Murph; seconded by Pat Quinlan.


The treasurer’s report by Dave Murph showed no expenses and no income since the last meeting.

Pete Wilson, secretary, requested that the Society reexamine its policy on documenting the treasurer’s complete report in its minutes.  Don Carter will look into recommended procedures for non-profit organizations.


Committee Reports:


Archives Committee.  Dave Murph, chairperson, reported that the committee will meet shortly to set up procedures for organizing and preserving the many historical documents and photos that are owned by the Society.  Other members of this committee are Barbara Lee and Pat Quinlan.


Heritage Park Committee.  Pat Quinlan, chairperson, reported that the committee has voted to relax the rule about refreshments allowed in the Kirkland House.  Members of the Society may bring in refreshments; care is still encouraged to avoid damage to the house.  No one should add items to the house without authorization from the committee.  The committee will discuss adding flowers or other plants to the house, as suggested by Sue Miller.


Preparations are being completed for next Saturday’s public tours of Heritage Park.  Volunteer docents have been scheduled by Betsy Wilcox.  At least one more person is needed.  Pat Lambert, Jean Murph, and Dave Murph will help if still needed at the time.


The city is still working on repairing a water leak behind the Kirkland House.  Unfortunately, the work has produced a number of holes in the yard that could pose a risk of injury to visitors.  The city will be encouraged to finish the work as soon as possible.


Jan and Paul Lorrain are still inventorying items in the Minyard Store.  Jan Lorrain presented the current inventory for inspection.


Historical Marker Committee.  Pete Wilson, chairperson, presented examples of preliminary texts for new historical markers.  Sites that are scheduled to be marked soon include:  The small barbershop and Harwell house, the House of Style (former grocery store), the Citizen’s Advocate building (former post office), the house across from the Kirkland House on W. Bethel Road, the site of the original railroad depot, Pinkerton Elementary (Coppell School in 1928), the site of Bethel School and Bethel Church, and the site of Coppell’s first schools in Old Coppell.


Pete reported that ordering all the custom plaques at once will probably save money.  He is consulting the city regarding a procedure for placing markers in the city’s right-of-ways.


Preparing the text for each plaque is taking longer than planned.  Most information comes from memories of long-time residents, often recorded in the Society’s oral histories.  The only written information that may be useful could be found in deed records, which can be accessed online but which take a lot of time.  Eventually, the committee will approve the final texts and will present them to the membership.


Preservation Committee.  Pat Lambert, chairperson, reported that the service station façade is now in place, with the replica gasoline pumps.  The Society’s initial $10,000 grant to this project eventually led to a $35,000 investment in it, taking into account the grants from the city.


The Houston Campsite Oak is now officially recognized as a Texas Famous Tree.  Pat Lambert will represent the Society at the next City Council meeting to report on this recognition.  The city hopes to hold a celebration for this designation in the spring.


The new stone columns which will stand at the entrance to walking trails to Grapevine Springs Park will be placed on S. Coppell Road at Houston Street.  The city is building the new columns, and the developer has agreed to locate them near the street so they will clearly identify the entrance.


Education Committee.  Jean Murph, chairperson, reported that the city will permit the Society to conduct an archeological dig at North Lake when the city begins building its dam.  There is a possibility that remains of Caddo mounds could be found there.


Betsy Wilcox moved and Pete Wilson seconded a move that the Society’s next Witness Tree Search be held on the second Saturday in January, starting at 9:00 a.m.  The motion carried unanimously.


The speaker’s bureau will record a future historical presentation by Pete Wilson and Barbara Lee.


Jean reported that the committee is preparing a tour map of the city which will indicate historical sites.  Eventually, when completed, this map can be reproduced and given out to school groups and others who want to visit the sites.


The committee suggests that the Society sponsor a public presentation in February or March that will center on George Coppell and his association with the railroad.  Jean will look into dates and will coordinate with Pete Wilson.  Possible sites for the presentation are the library or the senior center at Grapevine Springs Park.


The Society may join in a Christmas celebration in Old Coppell.  The downtown association will be involved, and it is hoped that the city will want to be involved directly.


Old Business:


Procedures need to be clarified for special tours of Heritage Park (tours that are held at the request of groups at times other than the Society’s scheduled Saturday tours).  Jean Murph and Judy Conger will talk to Martha-Allison about the matter.


The meeting was adjourned at 2:46 p.m.



Wheelice (Pete) Wilson, Jr.

Secretary, Coppell Historical Society

972-741-3894 (cell)





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