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  Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
 Decade: 1900-1909
 Collection: A. F. Weaver Collection
[A LakeWood Park Scenic Railway, Dinky Car "Esther"]

[A LakeWood Park Scenic Railway, Dinky Car "Esther"]

Date: 1905/1909
Creator: unknown
Description: This photograph shows the "Dinkey Car", Esther, that operated on The Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway to Lake Pinto from 1905 to 1907, at which time the lines were removed. The background indicates the picture was taken near Lake Pinto. This "Dinky Car" was one of two named "Esther" and "Susie" after local banker Cicero Smith's daughters. Banker Smith and Ed Dismuke, owner of The Famous Water Company, built the Scenic Railway. These little cars, powered by gasoline engines, ran every 15 minutes from Mineral Wells, around West Mountain, to Lake Pinto. A larger version, called the "Ben Hur", was added in 1907. Round trip cost 15 cents, and the cars ran on their own steel rails from 1905 to 1909. The Scenic Railway operation to Lake Pinto differed significantly from the trolley and tracks of the Mineral Wells Electric System. The trolley company served the City and ran some two miles southwest to Elmhurst Park and Lake between 1906 and 1907.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
Lithia Well

Lithia Well

Date: 1900?
Creator: unknown
Description: The Lithia Well drinking pavilion was located on the southwest corner of the Crazy block at 400 NW 1st Avenue. The roof of the second Crazy Well drinking pavilion can be seen to the left of the Lithia. The Mineral Wells Library maintained its second location in this pavilion. The First Crazy Hotel was built on this location in 1914, but burned in 1925. The rebuilt and expanded Crazy Hotel (Now [2008] a retirement home) replaced the burned hostelry in 1927. See also the following picture.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
Lithia Wells

Lithia Wells

Date: c. 1908
Creator: unknown
Description: The Lithia Wells and Drinking Pavilion was located on the southwest corner of the "Crazy Block." (400 NW 1st Avenue, the current [2008]location of the Crazy Retirement Home). The second Crazy Well Pavilion is the large building the upper left of the photograph. Note the three burros next to the horse. Riding burros up a trail on East Mountain was a popular tourist pastime, in addition to drinking and bathing in the mineral waters. The Mineral Wells Public Library was located in the Lithia Pavilion at one time. See also the preceding picture.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
Looking south on Mesquite Street

Looking south on Mesquite Street

Date: 1902-05?
Creator: unknown
Description: A street scene, identified as Mesquite Street (now NE 1st Avenue)and looking south, taken at the turn of the twentieth century, shows businesses that antedate the coming of the automobile. On the right, in the middle of the picture, the Yeager Building is shown with a stone lion mounted on its roof. Many historians now refer to this building as the Lion Drug Store. However, current Yeager descendants now living in Mineral Wells do not remember the store ever being named anything but The Yeager Drug Store. The third building on the left (with the spire on top) was the Star Well whose manager, Frank Richards was an active participant in Mineral Wells' early business and social activities. At the end of the street is Mineral Wells depot built in 1902. Absence of the "Dinky Car" tracks in the middle of the street indicates that the picture was taken prior to the building of the Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway in 1905.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
Lower End of Mesquite St.

Lower End of Mesquite St.

Date: 1900-05?
Creator: unknown
Description: A view of Mesquite Street (in 2008: NE 1st Avenue), taken in 1910, and looking south-east. The scene shows horse-drawn wagons loaded with cotton bales. Electrical lines are visible. The building at the northeast corner of East Hubbard Street and South Mesquite Street is the D.M. Howard Block. D. M Howard was the first of five Howard brothers to come to Mineral Wells and establish businesses. There was a Dry Goods store on the left end of the building, a millinery shop above it, and a grocery store was in the building to the right. Later the J.M. Belcher Furniture occupied the building; and still later, R&W Furniture. Demolition of the building began March 17 of 1975 to make room for the Savings and Loan Building and a parking lot. The First State Bank now [2007] occupies this entire block.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[A Mayor's Granddaughter on a Donkey]

[A Mayor's Granddaughter on a Donkey]

Date: 1908
Creator: unknown
Description: A copy of this photograph may be found in A. F. Weaver's, "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells", First Edition, on page 151. The caption reads, "Mary Berta Perry, granddaughter of Mayor Laverty, 1908." Jim Laverty was the first City Marshall of Mineral Wells. He was elected mayor when the City was first incorporated in 1882. The first incorporation was defeated by vote in 1894, and Mineral Wells was reincorporated with G.C. Green as the first elected mayor. This picture was the style of souvenir photograph which local photographer J. C. McClure, first owner of the donkeys, took on an East Mountain path frequented by visitors. Mr. McClure was killed while riding a wild stallion on Oak Avenue. J. L. Young and his wife later owned the photography studio and the donkeys. They later built a log cabin as a scenic backdrop at a photograph stop where the donkey trail crossed a footpath up West Mountain.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
Mineral Wells (1900)

Mineral Wells (1900)

Date: 1900?
Creator: unknown
Description: This article and photograph from the Weaver Collection appeared in the Mineral Wells Index in the late 1960's--or possibly the early 1970's. The newspaper attributes the photograph to the "Courtesy of Tom Green," and the research to "Bill Cameron." The article states: "This is the way Mineral Wells looked at the turn of the [twentieth] Century. The Scott Livery Stable, foreground, is occupies the area the Whatley Motor Company does today. Across the street at left was the two-story Holmes Hotel. The barn in the corner, in the center of picture, was the T.J. Green Transfer Company. Mat Birdwell, who purchased horses for the government, had his headquarters in the Green barn. Other spots include the Frost Lumber Yard, next to the Green barn; [the] old Baptist Church steeples, top left; [the] Presbyterian Church, top right, that burned 60 years ago."
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[A Mineral Wells Advertisement]

[A Mineral Wells Advertisement]

Date: 1906
Creator: unknown
Description: A 1906 seasonal advertisement, compliments Central Texas Realty Association, depicts a young lady (An Art Nouveau goddess?) half-kneeling before a frame that suggests stained glass. She is holding a water jug, from which pours a stream of healing elixir that splashes into the lowermost center of the brochure. Decorative scrolls reminiscent of wrought iron sculpture decorate the advertisement. Stars, both in the advertisement and on the lady's tiara, hint that Mineral Wells is the City of Light. What appears to be a coffee stain shows at the upper left. Someone has penciled "1905" in the upper right corner.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[The Mineral Wells Bottling Works]

[The Mineral Wells Bottling Works]

Date: 1900?
Creator: unknown
Description: A number of the early mineral water wells bottled their product and sold it nationwide for its reputed health benefits. The name of this particular well, associated with this turn-of-the-20th-century endeavor, is not identified. It may well have been the inventor of the bottled water industry. This photograph shows what has been tentatively identified as a threshing machine, driven by a steam-powered tractor, parked outside the plant. This bottling plant also produced "Country Red" and "Cream soda" in 1906. J.L. Tipton is shown, fourth from the left. The other men remain unidentified. The photograph dates from 1912. This bottling company also bottled "Country Red" and "Cream soda" in 1912. J.L. Tipton is shown, fourth from the left. The other men remain unidentified. Later development of a crystallizing process eliminated the substantial cost of shipping water, and adversely affected the bottled water industry. The concentrated crystals greatly expanded the distribution of the beneficial minerals inherent in the water, and created an industry of its own. However, it led to legal problems occasioned by the limited supply of crystals, and attempts to satisfy a voracious market. What appears to be a scar across the photograph indicates that the original picture was probably ...
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[A Mineral Wells Electric System Trolley Car]

[A Mineral Wells Electric System Trolley Car]

Date: 1907?/1913?
Creator: unknown
Description: A "Major" Beardsley, a Canadian who fought for Maine in the Civil War, was granted a franchise to construct a railway street system in 1906. He was also granted a 99-year franchise for the generation and sale of electricity in Mineral Wells. He also bought about 600 acres of land, and established three additions: Lowe Place addition, Lawn Place, Lawn Terrace, and Elmhurst Park, which came to sport a dance pavilion and a Casino. The panic of 1907 brought an end to the enterprise. Beardsley's trustee, a Mr. W.B. Smith,and the City of Mineral Wells, sued Beardsley's creditors. A judgment awarded Smith the sum of $15,000, and gave the City of Mineral Wells some sixty acres--which included Elmhurst Park. The legal battle continued beyond 1917, when the decision was reversed and remanded by the Court of Civil appeals for Texas. Number 23 trolley car is illustrated here.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library