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History of Coppell #5 - Bethel School Traditional Geocache

Hidden : 12/29/2016
1 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

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Geocache Description:

I like geocaching and Hubby likes history, hence.... a series of caches detailing a little history of Coppell.

To find GC6YKK6 - History of Coppell - Bonus Reward Cache!... please make note of the letter and number on back of log sheet in this cache!

The other 5 caches in this series with letters and numbers inside are: GC6YMYB, GC6YMYG, GC6YMYQ, GC6YMYX, GC6YMZ5.

Make note of the YEAR listed at the end of the first paragraph on the historical marker....... it will come in handy later!

Bethel School

Bethel School, which was located here, was built prior to 1858. It would have been a log cabin similar to Torian cabin (pictured above) which was built in 1848 in Dove (now Southlake) and later relocated to the commercial center of Grapevine.

James Parish and his wife Eliza Jane (Record) were issued a land grant here for 640 acres in 1848 where they settled and had a large farm. In 1853, Parrish established Bethel Cemetery (across the street and one block south on Christi Lane) which was originally called Sands Cemetery and eventually renamed Historic Bethel Cemetery. In 1858, Bethel School is listed in the deed records. The exact date of its construction is unknown but may have been built in the early 1850’s.

In 1885, the Bethel Freewill Baptist Church was established. In 1887, the city was named Gibbs in honor of Barnett Gibbs who was just ending his term as Lieutenant Governor of Texas. In the 1890’s, Bethel School and the Freewill Baptist Church stood near each other and were described as identical wood framed single story buildings that faced east. Bethel School served farming families in the area who grew mainly cotton. In 1888, a railroad line was opened that cut through Gibbs.

In 1890, the railroad built a depot on the new railroad line and named it after George Coppell, a bond holder and wealthy banker from New York. Two years later, in 1892, the city officially changed its name from Gibbs to Coppell.

In 1911, Coppell School was built which was a two-story framed building in old town Coppell.

Bethel School was abandoned in 1928 when three local schools, Bethel, Gentry, and Coppell, consolidated into one school, Coppell School, which is now Pinkerton Elementary. Pinkerton is located on Southwestern Blvd west of S. Denton Tap Rd. Bethel Freewill Baptist Church remained in use until it burned in 1915.

In 1928, Coppell School had 175 students in grades one through eight. Upon finishing the eighth grade, students attended Carrollton High School to graduate from the twelfth grade. In the early 1960s, a decision was made to expand Coppell School into a full twelve-grade school, and a grade was added per year until 1965.

In 1967 a second school building was built to house grades seven through twelve; that building is the current location of Coppell Middle School West. Coppell School was renamed as Pinkerton Elementary.

The early 1980’s, after the opening of DFW Airport, Coppell ISD grew rapidly along with the rapidly growing city. Student growth in Coppell ISD averaged over 16% from the mid-1980s. Today, as one of the largest employers in Coppell, with over 1200 employees, Coppell ISD is comprised of sixteen campuses serving nearly 11,900 students in grades PreK-12. The district includes ten elementary schools, three middle schools, two high schools, and an alternative campus.

For more information on the history of Coppell, and it's residents, these books are available on Amazon:

  • 'Coppell, Texas: A History (Brief History)' written by Jean Murph and Lou Duggan
  • 'Legendary Locals of Coppell' by Shaun M. Jex.

The Coppell Historical Society meets regularly at the Kirkland House and can be contacted by email at Their website can be found at

About the cache: small black bison tube

Congrats to arlingtontrains7 for FTF!

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Uvfgbevpny znexre

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)