Newspaper Article from July, 1989

The following is an article printed in the Austin American Statesman on July 27, 1989. Page 5.


Parmer Lane area is location of former Coxville Zoo

Robin Russell

From the street, Coxville looks like little more than the shell of a filling station, old gas pumps and a rusty turnstile.

More than 40 years ago, the turnstile was the entrance to the Coxville Zoo, part of a 55-acre facility.

In the 1940s, Coxville was about four miles north of Austin on what was called the "Dallas Highway." Before Interstate 35 was constructed, the highway was the main road. Today, the remains of Coxville stand on North Lamar Boulevard, just south of Parmer Lane.

In 1936, the land for Coxville was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. A.W. Cox and Mr. and Mrs. M.J. Cox. An Austin American-Statesman article about Coxville in 1948 said in addition to the zoo, Coxville had seven cabins that could be rented nightly, weekly or monthly.

There was also a rock garden, which included rocks from every state in the United States and some foreign countries, the article said. Coxville had a mile-long, spring-fed private lake that was between 16 and 18 feet deep.

The article said boats were provided for guests and swimming was allowed. For $1 per day, guests could fish for bass and catfish. There was a filling station and general store.

The Coxville Zoo had numerous animals - monkeys, bobcats, a Mexican lion, bears, wolves, foxes, javelinas, alligators, turtles and more. The zoo had a variety of birds such as peacocks, parrots, pheasants, ducks, oriental chickens, a heron and pelican. The American-Statesman article described how A.W. Cox acquired some of his animals, which he called "would-be home breakers." Cox had received some of the animals from soldiers and sailors who were told by their wives to get rid of the animals. According to the article, "Don't feed the animals" signs were not displayed at the Coxville Zoo. Cox's motto was said to be, "Don't feed your hands to the animals."

Donation cans at the zoo entrance brought in about $12 per week to help feed the animals. Cox said that is cost him about $32 each week to keep the animals fed.

Business at Coxville diminished when I-35 came through. A report in the American-Statesman on April 24, 1969, said the zoo was forced to close under pressure from the Austin Humane Society. The same article said an attempt to have the City of Austin take over the zoo failed when the City Council voted against the idea.

The animals were given to other zoos.

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