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 Collection: A. F. Weaver Collection
[The Hexagon Hotel]

[The Hexagon Hotel]

Date: 1897/1959
Creator: unknown
Description: The Hexagon Hotel at 701 N. Oak Avenue, opened in December 1897. The brick building to the right was the Convention Hall, built in 1925 on the foundation of the Hotel's electric plant for the West Texas Chamber of Commerce Convention. The Hexagon Hotel was demolished in 1959, the Convention Center in 1977.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[The Hexagon Hotel], Southside

[The Hexagon Hotel], Southside

Date: 1897/1959
Creator: unknown
Description: This photograph is a cleaned-up version, by A.F. Weaver, of the Hexagon Hotel, at approximately the time of its completion. (The site has been cleaned, and the trash removed.) Construction of the Hexagon Hotel started in 1895, and it opened for business in 1897, to ameliorate Mineral Wells' torrid summertime heat more than sixty years before air-conditioning became available. A DC generating plant (seen behind and to the left of the hotel) furnished power to an electric light in each room. It was the first electrically-lighted hotel in Mineral Wells. The builder/owner, Mr. David G. Galbraith was the inventor of a paper clip; and, with five other men, he held the patent for acetate. The original photograph, included in the A.F. Weaver collection, shows evidence of construction-related activity and debris along NW Holland Street (now [2007]: NE 6th Street).
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[Arthur Howard]

[Arthur Howard]

Date: 1898
Creator: unknown
Description: A photograph of Arthur Howard, it was taken about 1898. The cap he is wearing identifies him as "ASST CHIEF." (He is believed to have been assistant fire chief of Mineral Wells at that time.) No more information about the man has been discovered as of 2011.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[The Hexagon Hotel]

[The Hexagon Hotel]

Date: 1897-1924
Creator: unknown
Description: The Hexagon Hotel was built in 1895 by David G. Galbraith, the inventor of the paper clip, and co-developer of acetate synthetic fiber. According to Ellen Puerzer ("The Octagon House Inventory", Eight-saquare Publishing, copyright 2011), the building was twelve-sided, clad with clapboard, built on a stone foundation. Two English stonemasons did all stonework, presumably also the work on the DC generating plant next to the hotel. The rooms within were hexagon-shaped, with a bath being shared between every two rooms. The well-ventilated "honeycomb" structure (a master-stroke in the days before air-conditioning)opened in December 1897. The stone building behind and left of the Hotel is the plant for generating electricity used for a light in every room in the hotel.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
Star Well  (Winter Scene)

Star Well (Winter Scene)

Date: 1899?
Creator: unknown
Description: "Winter Scene--Shipping Star Well Water--From Min Wells Texas" The Star Well was located at the northeast corner of the intersection of NE 1st Street and NE 1st Avenue, across the street and north of the Baker Hotel. The telephone building is currently [2008] located there. A "date", handwritten on the bottom right corner of image, reads--possibly--"1899", which would explain the unpaved street and the lack of automobiles.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[Barber Lake]

[Barber Lake]

Date: 1900?
Creator: unknown
Description: Many property owners in early Mineral Wells had their own water wells, but the city pumped water to a small standpipe on East Mountain for distribution to the city. When the wells became insufficient to supply the city's needs, Barber Lake was built in the Barber Addition - in the northeast part of town - as Mineral Wells' first city water supply lake. Around 1905, Cicero Smith and Ed Dismuke built a dam across Pollard Creek west of the city to form Lake Pinto, the city's next water supply. Barber Lake, the City's first municipal water supply, can still be found southeast of Cullen Grimes School (built in 1920 at 1800 NE 1st. Avenue as Barber School: the name was changed to Cullen Grimes in honor of a long-time principal when it was enlarged in 1942.)
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
The Bimini

The Bimini

Date: 1900?
Creator: unknown
Description: The Bimini Mineral Baths, at 112 NW 4th Street, was built by Goodrum, Murphy and Croft, contractors in the early 1900's. The Bimini later became the Wagley Bathhouse. Dr. Wagley was an early pharmacist in Mineral Wells. Please note the utter lack of automobiles, and the horse-drawn vehicle in front of the bath house. The meaning of the white-ink number "1861" remains to be determined.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[Blind Nellie at the Austin Well]

[Blind Nellie at the Austin Well]

Date: 1900?
Creator: unknown
Description: Colonel W. R. Austin came from Kentucky to Palo Pinto County about 1880, and settled on Staggs Prairie. When an infection in his eye responded to mineral water treatment, he established the Austin Well, later operated by his son-in-law, Tom Sims. Blind Nellie was a fixture of the Austin Well for years. She had an interesting history: A cowboy rode her into town one day, and auctioned her off to the highest bidder, J.H. Coleman, who bid a dollar and a half for her. Then Bob Kyle took Coleman's bargain off his hands, but Colonel Austin was the one who profited most from her when he devised a method that used her to "pump" water from his well. This unique method of bringing water to the surface was an added attraction at the Austin. Instead of drawing it up by hand or using a power pump, Blind Nellie was trained to walk around in circles, pulling the water up from below. She would pause long enough for the water to empty and, as if on a hidden cue, would go around again as the receptacle was lowered back into the well, repeating her performance accurately each time. In later years, ...
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[A Buggy in front of Presbyterian Church]

[A Buggy in front of Presbyterian Church]

Date: 1900?
Creator: unknown
Description: A copy of this picture is found in A. F. Weaver's, "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells", Second Edition", on page 188. The caption states "Cumberland Presbyterian Church at 901 North Oak Avenue." Note the surrey with the fringe on top. The person in the buggy has been identified as Mrs. Flora Howard, daughter of William Winfield Hayworth "Howard", the minister of the church. Howard owned a hardware store, going under the name "W.W. Howard." He is also listed as a member of the I.O.O.F. The Cumberland Presbyterian Church takes its name from Cumberland Street, Pennsylvania, where the sub-denomination was founded. The Cumberland Presbyterian Church is currently [2014] in Newberry, Texas. The building was sold to the Church of Christ, torn down and rebuilt. The North Oak Church of Christ still stands [in 2011] at this location, 901 N. Oak Ave. The picture is reliably dated to have been taken in 1912.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
Cafe Royal

Cafe Royal

Date: 1900?
Creator: unknown
Description: The caption on the photograph identifies it as the Cafe Royal. This building that houses it, on the NW corner of NW 1st Avenue and 3rd Streets, was known as the W.E. Mayes Building. Upstairs rooms were rented as the Carlsbad Hotel in recognition of the nearby Carlsbad Drinking Pavilion at the opposite (or NE) corner of the block: 700 NW 2nd Avenue. (The first edition of "Time Was in Mineral Wells", page 105, identifies it as the Wells Hotel.)
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library