The other 5 caches in this series with letters and numbers inside are: GC6YMYB, GC6YMYG, GC6YMYQ, GC6YMYX, GC6YMZ0.
Our town was officially named Gibbs in December of 1887 in honor of Barnett Gibbs (1851-1904). Gibbs served three terms (1876-82) as city attorney of Dallas. He was elected to the Texas Senate in 1882 and represented Dallas, Kaufman, and Rockwall counties.
“Although he was the youngest member of the legislature, his debating and oratorical skills quickly brought him to prominence. He championed farmers' interests, and the farm bloc secured him the Democratic party nomination for lieutenant governor in 1884.”
He was elected as lieutenant governor that same year.
While Governor John Ireland attended the New Orleans World’s Fair in the summer of 1885, Gibbs served as acting governor.
Gibbs provided free legal services to railroad laborers during the Great Southwest Strike which was a strike organized by the Knights of Labor in 1886 and was the largest and most important clash between management and organized labor in the nineteenth-century history of the state. The 700,000 member Knights of Labor union took on the powerful railroad interests of wealthy investors.
In March of 1886, a strike was called that rapidly spread to other railroads in the southwest. Violence soon erupted and escalated to the point that the Governor sent both the state militia and Texas Rangers to Buttermilk Switch in Fort Worth. Railroad management steadfastly refused any concession, and public opinion, initially sympathetic to the union, turned against the Knights after the onset of widespread violence.
In 1887, the town was named Gibbs when W.O. Harrison established a post office in his general store.
On January 17, 1887, Barnett Gibbs ended his term as lieutenant governor. That same year, Gibbs worked actively to defeat a proposed prohibition amendment to the state Constitution. That then leads to the question, why was Gibbs chosen for the name of the city?
- He championed farmers’ interest;
- He had served as city of Dallas attorney and as the lieutenant governor;
- Public opinion had turned against his support for the Knights of Labor union;
- He was a staunch anti-Prohibitionist.
Factiod: St. Paul Street in downtown Dallas, where the Dallas Museum of Art is now located, was named by Barnett Gibbs. A staunch anti-Prohibition- ist, Gibbs built the street in front of his house, naming it in honor of Saint Paul who said, “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake…. "
In 1888, the St. Louis, Arkansas & Texas Railroad opened its line through Gibbs.
In 1890, the railroad built a depot and named it after George Coppell who was a bond holder in the railroad venture and wealthy banker from New York.
On the 1891 railroad post route map, Gibbs is shown as a station. Above is the entrance monument sign for the Gibbs Station subdivision in Coppell. Because the town of Gibbs was on the new railroad line, it may have been referred to by some as Gibbs Station.
In 1892, the town of Gibbs officially changed its name to Coppell when it changed the name of its post office.
It first appeared as Coppell on the Railroad and County Map of Texas dated December, 1893.
Domino games were frequent in old town, often in front of the old post office building.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Their website can be found at www.coppellhistoricalsociety.org.
About the cache: small Altoids tin, camouflaged
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