As the city celebrates its 134th birthday, Copperas Cove residents can look at the past to see how far the community has come.
In 1935, the “History of Coryell County” had this to say: “The religious spirit of the Copperas Cove people is represented by four church organizations, each with a large membership. The Baptist, the Methodist, the German Methodist and Christian Church.
“The business structures of the town are above the average for small towns. Most of them are constructed of native stone of a good quality, and some have brick fronts. A list of the leading businesses of the town will include the following: Dr. Lee Bivens, physician; Jim Bell, druggist; Jesse Bell, grocer; Norman and Schneider, general merchandise; B.S. Hubby, druggist; Wendland Grain, insurance; and several other smaller firms. The local newspaper, the Crony, is in its 14th year, is owned and published by Mrs. Elizabeth Smylie.
“The public school has an enrollment of about 250 pupils and a faculty of eight teachers. A music studio and teacher are part of the school system. Two buses bring pupils in from outlying districts.”
The “Handbook of Texas,” 1976, said, “Copperas Cove, formerly a farming and ranching center in Coryell County, is a retirement and military community at the edge of Fort Hood. Among its 68 businesses in 1970 were mattress manufacturers, automotive chemicals, concrete, cabinets and molding.”
That same year, “Vignettes of Coryell County,” said, “Copperas Cove, a small city nestled amid the picturesque rolling hills of Central Texas, has been identified by its Chamber of Commerce as Central Texas’ fastest growing city.”
This book also said soon after its founding, Copperas Cove “became known as the greatest livestock shipping center in this section of the country.”
It was called the “City of Five Hills” for the centennial edition of its history, Copperas Cove, City of Five Hills, 1980, and a plaque in the courthouse at Gatesville calls Copperas Cove, “the city built for family living.”
“Copperas Cove, a city with a proud heritage and a bright future is dedicated to improving the quality of life for its people,” according to the 1997 “Fort Hood 50th Anniversary” handbook. “Pleasant neighborhoods are located throughout the city with many options. Rural living is also available: wild turkey, deer, armadillos and roadrunners are a common sight in the rolling hills surrounding Copperas Cove.”
Today, the city has more than 32,000 residents and maintains strong ties to Fort Hood as it continues to expand north, west and south.
The Five Hills shopping center, which opened with an H-E-B Plus and Whataburger this year, will bring more retail stores to the city.
Other business development opportunities also are being created by the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation and Cove Industrial Foundation near the eastern portion of the city.
Two new highway bypass projects, which are expected to be finished this year, will help relieve traffic on U.S. Highway 190, giving the city more room to grow.