A Message from Cox’s –
Welcome to Stephenville
We Invite Your Patronage!
That’s what the Cox’s ad in the Sept 14, 1963 JTAC stated! Cox’s was a department store on the west side of the square for many years where many Tarleton folks would have shopped!
R.E. Cox was born about 1879 in Cox’s Bend in Somervell County. He opened the drug store shown above on the square in Stephenville July 4, 1907. In 1914 he opened the very first Cox’s department store in the same building where he had operated the drug store. Cox’s became a chain with stores opening in Waco in 1922, Marlin 1925, and the big Cox’s in Fort Worth in 1933!....and it all began in Stephenville! The Cox’s store here stayed in business into the 1970s. The building shown above currently houses the Northcutt law offices.
One interesting thing about the Cox’s in Stephenville was the way the customers paid for their purchases. The office was upstairs. A central checkout counter was downstairs in the center of the store. A cable connected the office with the counter. A container for the money was attached which could be sent upstairs for processing, making a humming sound as it went! The customer’s receipt and change was then sent back down to the counter. No money was kept downstairs!
In the early 1980s the Fort Worth stores joined with Stripling’s to form Stripling & Cox, making the store last another 25 years! We all remember well the Stripling & Cox building on Camp Bowie! The store closed in 2007 and was demolished January 19, 2009!
Happy July 4th!