Minutes of Meeting

Coppell Historical Society

November 10, 2012

Present:  Jackie Parrish, Barbara Lee, Barbara Webster, Pat Quinlan, Pat Lambert, Kevin Mote, Dave Murph, Jean Murph, Pete Wilson, Don Carter, Sam Thomason (visitor from Coppell Fire Department)

President Don Carter called the meeting to order at 1:05 p.m.

Jean Murph moved and Pat Quinlan seconded that the minutes of the last meeting be approved as submitted to members by email. Approved unanimously.

The treasurer’s report by Dave Murph showed expenses since the last meeting as follows:

                $124.25 box lunches for archeological dig

                $213.86 new copies of historical DVD

                $492.52 new filing cabinet to be placed in the library for Society use

                No income since the last meeting.

Pete Wilson moved and Jean Murph seconded that the treasurer’s report be accepted.  Approved unanimously.

Committee reports:

Kirkland House Committee:  Pat Quinlan asked Jean to present the report.  Jean reported that she had met with Mindi Hurley and others and had determined the following information about the Kirkland renovations:  (1) The house needs to be leveled again; Hitchcock Movers have started that work.  (2) The additional wallpaper has been ordered; Mindi is calling the company to speed up delivery.  (3) By the end of the Thanksgiving week, if satisfactory progress has not been made on completing work in the house, the present contractor will be replaced, and work is expected to be finished by December 15.  (4) Jean has arranged to talk by phone to Mindi on a weekly basis.  (5) The city will paint the house again after Christmas as well as the windmill.  (6) The Christmas lights will be installed on the windmill before Christmas.  (7) The Minyard store is now ready for us to take over and prepare for opening.

There was discussion about making our acquisitions policy apply to all properties owned by or tended by the Society, not just to the Kirkland House.  Pete Wilson moved and Pat Lambert seconded that the policy apply to all our properties.  Approved unanimously.

Senior Center Display Committee:  Dave Murph reported that the background part of our display has been installed.  All that is left now is to add the artifacts, and he is working to accomplish that.

Historical Marker Committee:  Pete Wilson presented the recommendations of the committee as follows:  (1) All marker units (consisting of medallion, plaque, and, sometimes, pole) be made of bronze with dark brown or black backgrounds. (2) That twelve units be ordered initially (half wall-mount, half pole-mount), noting that in the first order, only one plaque will be ordered (the one for Heritage Park).  The other eleven will be custom-made and ordered separately.  (3) The approximate total cost of the twelve units (which will vary somewhat depending on the amount of text on each plaque) will be $16,770 plus shipping.  (4) The initial payment will be only approximately $8,623 plus shipping because only one plaque will be ordered at first.  (5) A list of possible sites for markers easily numbers twelve, so it is practical to order that many initially.  (6) Because of the work already done by Gary Klingmann and because of the work that Kevin Mote will complete on the medallions, the $800 fee usually charged by the foundry will not apply.  (7) Once the order is accepted by Southwell Company, the foundry, the expected completion time is about four weeks; however, any holidays will extend that time.

Kevin Mote presented three slightly different versions of the medallion artwork.  It was agreed that the design with dark background and bronze raised letters and graphics was most acceptable.

Dave Murph moved and Pat Lambert seconded that the committee’s recommendations be accepted and that approval be given to proceed with the order.  Approved unanimously.  

Once Kevin has completed his work on the medallion design, everything will be submitted and the order will be placed.

The second plaque to be made should be for the Amcat building (the former fire station and city hall).  Pete, in conjunction with Amcat, will work to compose preliminary wording.

Pete presented the preliminary wording for the Heritage Park plaque, and after revisions, Jean Murph moved and Pat Quinlan seconded that the wording be accepted.  Approved unanimously.  The wording will be as follows:

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 it is a part of the city’s revitalization plan for Old Coppell.

This corner, at various times in history, was 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 was donated by the Thweatt family and preserved here.  Later, the historic 1904 Kirkland House was moved to this site and the Minyard Store was 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

Acquisitions Committee:  Pat Quinlan reported that the committee is planning another meeting soon, primarily to locate and purchase additional furniture for the Kirkland House, especially a table.

Archeological Dig Committee:  No additional activity to report after the completion of the last dig.

Education Committee:  Jean Murph has contacted the teacher at Coppell Middle School North and the student who is a member of the junior historian group, who have asked to help with projects.  They will be contacted to help in the near future, possibly with the dedication of Heritage Park.  Jean suggested that we need to involve as many persons as possible – both our members and others – in the dedication celebration.

The committee will accomplish mailing copies of our historical DVD to the history teachers in the CISD.

The next Witness Tree project should be in the spring.  Jean suggested that we set a date for the next project at the December meeting.

Pete Wilson presented a letter from the city which asks for a representative from the society to speak to Leadership Coppell on February 7.  Pete and Barbara Lee volunteered to take on the task.

Cemeteries Committee:  Pat Lambert deferred to Don Carter for a report.  Don summarized a letter from City Manager Clay Phillips regarding the Bullock Cemetery issue (the possibility that graves are located outside the fence of the cemetery and that building could take place on the graves).  The letter suggested and Jean confirmed that all parties have admitted that action on the matter has been slow and that now all parties have agreed to move forward.  If there is evidence that graves do exist outside the fence, two possible solutions could be agreed upon:  (1) Provide a ten-foot easement around the fence that would prevent construction over that area; (2) relocate the graves.

Old Coppell Task Force:  Jean Murph, Pat Lambert, Pat Quinlan, and Joy Onstott are representatives of our society on this task force which meets with representatives from the Farmers’ Market, the Old Coppell Merchants Association, and the city.  Jean reported that further construction on the service station façade is waiting on the construction company (which is operating partially on a volunteer basis), and work is expected to begin shortly.  It is hoped that the work, including the installation of the replica gas pumps, will be completed by April, but nothing is certain.

The task force is discussing work to be done to the old water tank.

Jean reported that much progress has been made through the task force in developing plans for the dedication celebration of Heritage Park and the accompanying city celebration.  The Farmers’ Market has been particularly helpful with its suggestions, and the city has agreed to preliminary elements of the event.

Dedication Committee:  Pete Wilson presented a proposal to mail out letters which will seek information and confirmation of information from long-time residents who may be invited to the dedication.  Jean Murph moved and Pat Lambert seconded that the committee be authorized to send out the letter and that the expenditure (mainly for postage) be approved.  Approved unanimously.  Pete presented preliminary ideas for the dedication ceremony as follows:  (1) Long-time residents from the past will be invited and recognized.  (2) The ceremony should be centered on our history and should be conducted by the society.  (3) Dignitaries such as the mayor may be asked to speak briefly. (4) There may be music such as the National Anthem or “America.”  (5) The ceremony should conclude with a ribbon cutting and the unveiling of our first historical marker.

Jean reported that through the task force’s meeting with the city, the date of April 13, 2013, has been approved.  S. Coppell Road, from Houston Street to W. Bethel Road, will be blocked off for the event.  Businesses in the area will participate and welcome visitors with coffee and pastries.  Some vendors will be set up at the west end of the area.  Old-fashioned carriages may be provided to move visitors back and forth between the Farmers’ Market and Heritage Park.  Food will be available for purchase.  There will be music by a professional volunteer.   Souvenirs can be sold, with some proceeds possibly benefiting the society or the profits used to cover incidental expenses.  The Farmers’ Market has suggested that the dedication ceremony begin at 10:00 a.m.

The committee will meet again and present further ideas for inclusion.

Additional discussion:

Jean reported that she and Dave discovered a Cotton Belt railroad boxcar located in a field near Lake Grapevine, thus prompting the idea that such a relic might be appropriately placed in Coppell someday.

Dave and Jean viewed a 1920 railroad map in the lobby of Frost Bank in Grapevine which included the route of a railroad through Coppell with the Coppell depot marked.  Dave will attempt to locate a copy for our society.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:53 p.m.

Wheelice (Pete) Wilson, Jr.


Coppell Historical Society

Cell 972-741-3894

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