The Beginning of Cox Springs School
In about 1885 a school originated for the small group of farmers’ and ranchers’ children residing in the Anderson Bend area along the Colorado River northwest of Austin Texas.
In 1900 the school was moved a few miles north to a new location near Cox Springs, where there was adequate water for drinking. The following is copied from the 1906 Travis County School Annual:
“Cox Springs School — near the Colorado River below Travis Peak. Schoolhouse about as bad as can be – needs a new one to take its place. School grounds belong to a private party which causes friction and discontent. The school should own a tract of land by deed. There is another school house in the district. If both were torn down, the lumber, with several new shingles, would build one good house. The district should levy a local tax to meet these expenses.”
This situation improved in 1908 when 5 acres of land was purchased from the Simpson family and a new building was erected. About then it was moved up on a hill near the Simpson place, but still near the springs. This location was on the east corner of Lohmans Crossings Road and Ledge Acres Road. Today, this location is part of the city of Lago Vista, Texas. But, of course, the term Lago Vista means “Lake View”… and there was no lake on the Colorado River at that time.
At these old Cox Springs School grounds the locals held outdoor plays, barbeques and neighborhood get-togethers. A pit was dug for meat cooking and they built a forty-foot-long picnic table to hold all attendees.
In 1917 the school burned down as a result of a faulty flue in the stove. A new building was constructed but only lasted one year before it, too, burned. The roof caught on fire in this case in 1918 from unknown causes. It was reported the fire could not be extinguished due to the steep roof and having only one bucket available for water. When the third school was rebuilt, they were sure to fasten a permanent ladder to the wall near the stove flue.
While this third schoolhouse was being constructed during 1918, about 40 students were taught temporarily in a log house on the Simpson property. The new school building was completed around 1929 and housed students in grades 1 thru 11. This is the same schoolhouse building that still stands on Old Burnet Road in Jonestown near the mouth of Sandy Creek.