March 25 will mark the 142nd birthday for the city of Copperas Cove, and although no formal festivities are planned, Mayor Bradi Diaz issued a proclamation regarding the birthday during the workshop before the Copperas Cove City Council meeting Tuesday.
The city of Copperas Cove was founded March 25, 1879, as a small ranching community and farming community, with the establishment of the first post office located in an area known today as Ogletree Gap.
Originally, residents filed an application for the post office to be called “Cove”, but it was rejected because a Texas post office already bore that name.
In the mid-1800s, the community was just a small settlement scattered over the ridges and valleys of the area known to Central Texas pioneers as the Five Hills.
During the 1870s, a cattle feeder route to the Chisolm Trail was cut through the region and the community became a logical resting stop for travelers.
The large spring of water serving the area had a distinctive “copperas” taste, which led to the naming of the settlement as Copperas Cove.
Originally, the name was spelled “Coperas”, until it was officially changed to “Copperas” in 1901, according to the Texas State Historical Association.
The population of Copperas Cove grew steadily from the mid-1880s to 1929, when a pre-Great Depression population of 650 had been recorded, according to the Texas State Historical Association.
The population reduced by nearly half in the wake of the Great Depression.
New life came to Copperas Cove when Camp Hood was established nearby during World War II. Since that time, the population has continued to steadily increase.
That continued increase in residents also meant the city’s physical size expanded. Fort Hood has changed the character of what once had been a small town. With soldiers and their families coming from across the U.S. to live in Copperas Cove — and often remaining after they are discharged from the service — most businesses in the city are now geared to serve those residents.
Currently, the estimated population of Copperas Cove is 36,615.
The last big event to celebrate the city’s birthday was in 2019 when the city turned 140 years old.
City officials made the decision to hold an event on every fifth year anniversary. Barring any changes, the next commemorative event will take place in 2024 when the city turns 145.