Coupland Civic Organization (CCO) Will Host Annual National Night Out

Some other places have moved their National Night Out event to other dates, but Coupland continues to hold its National Night Out on the first Tuesday in August. Residents gather in the shade of the Depot, and there is usually a nice breeze. The CCO provides a hot dog supper with all the trimmings, plus homemade cookies.

The Coupland Volunteer Fire Department brings vehicles to show attendees, and children are able to climb on the fire engines. The firefighters discuss the Coupland Department plus fire safety tips. Firefighters from other department attend also. Crime trends in our area and crime prevention strategies are presented by Coupland resident and Deputy Sheriff Matt Kreidel.

Depot/Caboose Coordinator Barbara Piper says, “Bring your lawn chair for a festive evening and visit with old friends, new neighbors, and those one has not seen in a while. Events will begin on Aug. 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the Depot.”

Other upcoming CCO events include the annual Choo Choo Fest on Oct. 14, and Trunk or Treat for Halloween.

Coupland School

Coupland ISD has joined with Williamson County Crime Stoppers in the Safe School Program. Crime Stoppers, along with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, has donated two television monitors to the school. The monitors will be mounted in common areas and will show students school notices, upcoming events, and reminders that the Safe School Program is available for them to report criminal activity or school violations. This program is available to all county high schools and middle schools.

During the summer, the school library and the entire upstairs of the main building have been completely renovated.

Back to School Night will be Monday, Aug. 13, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Teacher Kathy Hill says, “Come by to meet your child’s teachers and join us for dinner that the PTA so generously provides. We have several new teachers this year.”

Meredith Middaugh will teach first grade, Jennifer Plant will be the middle school math teacher, and Kyle Rinderknecht will be the new coach.

“Social Studies teacher Rebecca DeFosset was married over the summer and is now Mrs. Vernier,” Hill said.

The first day of school will be Wednesday, Aug. 15. Hill reports, “The Scholastic Book Fair will be held in our newly renovated library on Sept. 25 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 26, during school hours, and Thursday, Sept. 27 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.”

St. Peter’s Church

On July 22, Charlotte Albert reports that St. Peter’s held its semi-annual Congregational Meeting followed by a covered dish dinner. Then, she notes that the congregation prepared the Fellowship Hall for floor refinishing.

“We brought moving dollies and moving blankets, and moved the furniture out of the Fellowship Hall,” she said. “Refinishing started on July 24.”

Pastor Martin Garrison reports that St. Peter’s Annual Picnic will be on Sept. 23.

“We'll move worship outside under the pavilion. After the service the men will cook up hamburgers, served with chips and salads and plenty of desserts,” he said. “A polka band will entertain. Donate whatever you feel like for a plate of food.”

Mark your calendars for St. Peter’s annual Kirchenfest, which will be celebrated on Oct. 28. Kirchenfest is German for Church Feast, and it is the reunion to welcome back confirmands from years past.

The St. Peter’s Diners meet every third Thursday. LIFT and Men’s Brotherhood will not meet in August.

LIFT’s next meeting will be Sept. 11 at 6 p.m. There was a seniors luncheon on July 17, and the next one will be Sept. 18.

New Sweden Church

Marilyn Samuelson reports that New Sweden’s annual God and Country celebration was held on Sunday, June 24. Hot dogs and hamburgers were served, and there was a silent auction and a cakewalk.

Samuelson says, “In the sanctuary after the colors were presented, all said the Pledge of Allegiance and sang the National Anthem. The Elgin Community Choir sang the service song of each branch of the military, and the branch flag was brought forward as the veterans of each branch came forward.”

The offering received during this service goes to the veterans and families at Fisher House, Randolph Air Base Hospital in San Antonio.

Two of the New Sweden youth and a sponsor attended the ELCA Youth Gathering in Houston the last week in June where there were 31,000 youth in attendance.

“In mid-July one of our members served on a volunteer team with Kairos Prison Ministry at the Ferguson prison unit,” Samuelson said. “He took with him 100 dozen homemade chocolate chip cookies made by New Sweden members for the prisoners.”

The New Sweden Heritage Center now has electricity and hand rails on the front steps.

Samuelson says, “The Heritage Center is financed only by donations, and we sincerely thank all who have contributed. The fifth Sunday of each month the committee is planning to have open house from noon to 2 p.m. and everyone is welcome to come by and view our displays.”

The next open house will be Sunday, Sept. 30. The Heritage Center is located at 12809 New Sweden Church Road.

Type Cemetery/Yegua Church

The first Day of Remembrance at the Type Cemetery took place on May 20. Charlene Hanson Jordan reports, “A heavy rain came down, but approximately 40 people met in the sanctuary of the Yegua Creek Church, 1200 County Road 466.”

Jordan’s granddaughters Minnie and Ella Jordan, students at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, played the violin prior to the talk and sang "Auld Lang Syne" afterward. Pastor Paul Hansen, a Norwegian-American, opened and closed the program.

Jordan’s talk focused on the history of the area and of the people buried in the cemetery, linking the stories to historical events. There was a thriving community at the 11-acre post oak grove by 1848, when the railroad towns of Coupland, Taylor and Elgin did not yet exist.

Research by Jordan shows that Adolphus Sterne wrote a diary entry about his stop at Post Oak Island. It was dated Dec. 6, 1840, and he described seeing buffalo. The name of Type stuck because the community had a post office named Type around 1902. Type Cemetery started as the burial place of Scandinavians, and 10 veterans are buried in the cemetery.

Jordan says, “A second Day of Remembrance is planned for May 19, 2019. The emphasis will be on the occupations and military service of the people buried in the cemetery.”

Coupland Volunteer Fire Department (CVFD)

John Roulston-Bates, CVFD secretary/treasurer and firefighter reports, “Around the country volunteer fire departments are struggling to attract new members, while seeing their long term members age out of the service. A sad and worrying situation when you consider that around 70 percent of U.S. firefighters are volunteers (around 80 percent in Texas).”

He notes that Coupland is bucking that trend.

“In the past three years we’ve doubled our membership, from a low of around 7 to a current active membership of around 14 firefighters,” Roulston-Bates said. “This is a number we still need to increase, but the improvement we’ve seen is encouraging.”

Since mid-July, Coupland’s fire station has been trialing electronic data screens that display computer-aided dispatch information from the Williamson County Emergency Communications Center.

According to Roulston-Bates, “This system allows us to see calls coming in even before we get toned for them, along with more call detail than we usually get and several other benefits. This is being done in cooperation with our ESD#10 colleagues in Thrall VFD.”

The Coupland firefighters have done the setup and wiring themselves and have reused old computer screens, coming in with a budget of around $200.

An additional five members of the CVFD are being trained and credentialed as “Community First Responders” with Williamson County EMS, and two more will do this in the future.

Roulston-Bates explains, “A CFR is trained to render first aid with a particular focus on high quality CPR. Coupland VFD now has five EMTs, and seven current or upcoming CFRs.”

The CVFD will be 40 years old next year, and the Department plans to celebrate this anniversary.

Roulston-Bates says, “We’re extremely keen to hear from anyone who was in the department in its first few years, or from anyone who may remember a family member being in the department at that time.”

If you know of a CVFD firefighter from 1979 to the mid-1980s, please call 512-856-0237 or email 1979@couplandfire.org.

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