compiled by Columbian staff in 1989

Although hit by a crippling attack of polio in childhood, Austin McCoy came back to build a career as a Vancouver business and civic leader.

McCoy was born at Napavine in 1894, but moved with his family to Vancouver and was graduated from high school here. He later was graduated from the University of Oregon law school and passed Oregon and Washington bar examinations but never practiced law.

McCoy worked for a while as a reporter for The Columbian.

During World War I, he bought an interest in the Interstate Vulcanizing Works and became sole owner about the time the war ended. He changed the name to McCoy Auto Co.

By the mid-'20s McCoy expanded the business and constructed two buildings at Third and Washington. The company remained there for about a quarter of a century until freeway plans forced a move to Ninth and C streets. McCoy also was president of Vancouver Oil Co.

During World War II McCoy also was involved in several construction projects.

He was one of Vancouver's businessmen providing funds for the Evergreen Hotel in the late 1920s, and was among the founders of the Royal Oaks Country Club and Chamber of Commerce. The Vancouver man also served a term in the Legislature in the early '40s, and was active in Republican politics. His father, George McCoy, had been a longtime legislator.

The younger McCoy died in August 1969.

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