The city of Copperas Cove turns 135 years old this year. To celebrate, the city, in conjunction with the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce and H-E-B Plus, will host a free cake and ice-cream party at 2 p.m. Saturday at Ogletree Gap Park in the 1000 block of West U.S. Highway 190.
The city celebrates its birthday every five years, although there was no celebration in 2009, said Betty Price vice-president of Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s hard to believe a year has passed and 2013 was such a busy year,” Price said. “2014 has already started out to be just as busy. In fact, we’re forming a committee now to plan for the city’s big 140th birthday celebration.”
By then the city would have grown even more with the advent of more businesses and residents.
Founded in 1870, the city was originally centered around a small store, according to Texas State Historical Association data. By the mid-1890s, the population rose to more than 200 residents. The great depression saw a decline in businesses and the overall population, but the city received a boost with the expansion of the railroad into the area in the 1880s and when the government selected Coryell County for Camp Hood in 1942.
By the 1990s, the population grew to more than 29,000 residents and the city gained several manufacturing establishments, a wide variety of businesses, a hospital and its own school district and city government.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Copperas Cove is now the largest city in Coryell County with more than 33,300 residents, more than 6,000 of them being veterans. City data reported home ownership at 61.2 percent with an average income of $22,000 per household and 16,624 people per square mile.