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  Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
 Decade: 1900-1909
The Fair Grounds and Race Track, Mineral Wells, Texas

The Fair Grounds and Race Track, Mineral Wells, Texas

Date: 1900?
Creator: unknown
Description: Shown here is a picture of a dirt horse-race track and fair grounds,located southeast of town. It is not known if thoroughbred horses raced, but sulkies are known to have raced here. This course was the first of its kind in Mineral Wells. Another track was constructed at Elmhurst Park, in the southeast part of town, after this one was torn down.
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, (And reported by the Abilene "Daily Reporter" of 1905 to be of Gibstown, Iowa) 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 Beardsley enterprise ended mysteriously with the notice that the workers for his interurban (from Mineral Wells, Peaster, Millsap, and Weatherford) had not been paid. Beasley himself was in New Orleans at the time. 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
[A Trolley Car of the] Mineral Wells Electric System

[A Trolley Car of the] Mineral Wells Electric System

Date: 1907?/1913?
Creator: unknown
Description: A "Major" J. D. Beardsley (1837-1911)--a Canadian who fought for the Union in the Civil war--built an electric trolley line that ran from North Oak, south to the train depot, west to Pecan Street (NW 4th Avenue), south on Pecan Street, to the ridge in the Lowe Place Addition, west to Pollard Creek, where Mr. Beardsley laid out Elmhurst Park (q.v.). A cross-line on Hubbard street ran east to Elmwood Cemetery. By the end of 1906, Beardsley owned sixteen cars, running on approximately ten miles of tracks. It was reported that an interurban line to run to Millsap, Weatherford, and thence to Fort Worth was planned. In fact, speculation had been made that an interurban trolley system had been Major Beardsley's ambition right from the start. The route for this interurban was laid out by "Major" Beardsley. A man named Gid R.Turner proposed a rival line. Confused reports by 1907 had been made that the two enterprises were being merged, but Major Beardsley denied the report. (In August 19067, Turner was required by Weatherford to tell his intentions. He made no answer. Neither line was ever built, perhaps due to the Panic of 1907, because by December of 1907, the ...
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
Elmhurst Park

Elmhurst Park

Date: 1907/1913
Creator: unknown
Description: This illustration appears to be a picture postcard of the entrance to Elmhurst Park, an amusement park on Pollard Creek, about five miles southwest of Mineral Wells. The park operated from 1907 to 1913, and was a major attraction in "the nation's most popular health spa" at that time.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[The Casino at Elmhurst Park - 2 of 3]

[The Casino at Elmhurst Park - 2 of 3]

Date: 1907/1913?
Creator: unknown
Description: The Casino, facing the lake at Elmhurst Park is shown here. For more details about it, please see the other pictures.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
Souvenir...Mineral Wells Volunteer Fire Department

Souvenir...Mineral Wells Volunteer Fire Department

Date: 1906
Creator: Robinette, Alan M.
Description: Shown here is the cover of a souvenir booklet about the Mineral Wells, Texas, Volunteer Fire Department,published in 1906.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[The First Boy Scouts in Mineral Wells, 1902]

[The First Boy Scouts in Mineral Wells, 1902]

Date: 1902
Creator: unknown
Description: A note on back of this photograph states, "1902, 1st Boy Scouts in Mineral Wells, organized by Frank Creighton (L) met in old Sangcura Sprudel Well Pavilion." The picture was taken in front of Green's Transfer Building. This photograph possibly shows the youth division of a local lodge, probably Shriners. Please note that the boys shown in the picture are shouldering real rifles. The uniforms depicted look more like Zouaves than Boy Scouts, while the adult frowning on the extreme left has a sword in his hand. This historic photograph captures a precursor to the Boy Scout movement, that started six years later in England. It spread to America in 1910 to generate an interest in outdoor and educational activities among teen-age boys.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[A Souvenir Photograph of a Donkey Ride up East Mountain]

[A Souvenir Photograph of a Donkey Ride up East Mountain]

Date: 1900?
Creator: unknown
Description: Entertainment for the many visitors to Mineral Wells around the turn of the twentieth century was provided, in part, by donkey rides up a trail to the top of East Mountain. The donkey trail crossed a 1,000-step staircase, built in 1905, to the top of the mountain about half-way up. Photographers, first J.C. McClure and then J.L. Young, took souvenir photographs of the visitors at this crossing. This photograph of the Belcher family was a taken by J. D. McClure. Mr. John M. Belcher stands on the right and his son, John E. Belcher sits on a donkey at the left of the picture, with his mother standing beside him. The clothing suggests that the picture was taken in the early 1900's. The legend "19EE" in the lower left-hand part of the picture invites speculation concerning its significance.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[Mineral Wells' First Public School Erected in 1884]

[Mineral Wells' First Public School Erected in 1884]

Date: 1902?
Creator: unknown
Description: This rock structure is now [2008] a museum dedicated to the preservation of the history of the city. There was some construction around the school at the time of this photograph, probably due to the building of Mineral Wells' first high school, the West Ward School, on the same lot, next door to and north of the little Rock School in 1902.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[A Post Card of a Football Team]

[A Post Card of a Football Team]

Date: 1909?
Creator: unknown
Description: This postcard, taken around 1909, features the Mineral Wells High School football team. Please note the guards, hanging around their necks, that were used to protect the noses of the players. Those guards were held in place by means of a strap that went around the head, and were further kept in place by clenching the teeth on a rubber bit on the inside of the guard. The back of the card lists the players' names from top left: 1) Jessie Turner, 2) Tulane Smith, 3) J.C. Hayes, 4) Faburt Holmes , 5) George Oliver, 6) Blake Turner, 7) Bertram Hedrich, 8) Lamar McNew, and 9) Mr. Dinsmore. Front row 10) Carodine Hootin 11) Gordon Whatley, 12) Vernon Durham, 13) Fred McClurhin, 14) Achie Holdrige, 15) Chester Baughn, and 16) Hugh Brewster. Jess Turner(1) was later a member of Mineral Wells' only undefeated team in 1912. C.N. Turner, father of teammates Jess(1) and Blake Turner(6), purchased one of the early telephone companies in Palo Pinto County. He operated it with his sons as a family business. Jess Turner became a pioneer in the telephone business, and purchased the other family interests in 1924 to become sole owner of the family ...
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library