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  Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[The Mineral Wells High School Marching Band]
The Mineral Wells High School marching band is shown here performing on a football field in the late 1930's. The band director at that time was Mr. Dave Brunswick. See also "Mineral Wells High School Concert Band."
"Baker Hotel" Menu
This photograph illustrates an October 1929 menu from the Stephen F. Austin Hotel, a "Baker Hotel" (located in Austin, Texas), similar to the one that opened in Mineral Wells in 1929 is shown here. The Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells was apparently one of a chain of hotels. This menu serves as a reminder of that fact.
[Two Men and a Woman]
This picture shows two unidentified men and a woman. The photograph is believed to have been taken during construction of the road up Wynn Mountain east of Palo Pinto (prior to construction of the Bankhead Highway, which was built following passage of "Good Roads Act" in 1916.)
A Program for the Coronation of the Queen at MWHS, 1934
The program for the Eighth Annual Mineral Wells High School Coronation of the Queen, held on January 18, 1934.
The Fiftieth Reunion of the Graduating Class of 1934
This picture reproduces a newspaper clipping that reports the fiftieth reunion of the 1934 class from Mineral Wells High School. It was published in the Mineral Wells Index on June 28, 1984.
Looking south on Mesquite Street
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 as 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.
Site of the New Frost Building
Construction of Frost Building in Mineral Wells, Texas. A legend on the bottom reads: "Photograph by McClure."
[The Delaware Hotel on fire]
The destruction of the Delaware Hotel in Mineral Wells, Texas is illustrated here. The hotel was located at the corner of N. Oak Avenue and NE 3rd St. The fire was fought by horse-drawn fire wagons and a pumper. Trolley rails visible in middle of unpaved street date the picture as being between 1907, when the street car began operations, and 1914 when the street was paved. A partly obliterated legend on the photograph declares that it was taken by "Ellis."
Crazy Hotel, Mineral Wells, Texas - America's Great Health Resort
This picture shows a pamphlet that was presumably published for the purpose of enticing prospective guests to the Crazy Hotel. The text touts the hotel as being "Fire-proof" (Its predecessor was not), and it extends "Special considerations shown at many hotels only to a favored few." The text is surrounded with pictures of the accommodations, and the various activities available at the hotel. At the very bottom, there is an advertisement for Crazy Crystals. The text ends with a notice of where to inquire about rates. If the dress of the ladies pictured is any guide, the pamphlet dates to the era of the 1920's.
Come to Mineral Wells
Shown here is a pamphlet from the Chamber of Commerce, describing the healthful benefits of a visit to Mineral Wells, Texas.
[A Vacant lot in downtown Mineral Wells]
A vacant lot in downtown Mineral Wells, Texas, next to the Central Christian Church, located on NW 1st Street is shown here. Advertisements of products, and coming movie attractions, are displayed on a large bill board, and on an adjoining house. The lot is messy, and a note indicates that it is to be part of a beautification project. The clean-up referred to in the accompanying note was probably more than a general "Spring Cleaning" campaign for the city of Mineral Wells. It was probably part of the "Wylie Park" beautification project. Smoke rising from stove pipes belonging to nearby businesses indicate cool weather.
[Ladies with parasols]
"Sllew La Renim" (a social club) was "Mineral Wells" spelled backwards. Its members pose in front of the Old Post Office in 1913. Identified in the photograph are: Anna Mae Guinn, Ernestine Pollard, May Belle Smith, Ann Locke Galbraith, Ruby Andrews, Mattie Withers. Note the Mineral Wells Sanitarium in the left background. This photograph may be found on page 118 of "TIME WAS...", First Edition by A.F. Weaver.
The Oxford Hotel
The Hubbard Street Trolley car is shown at Oak and Hubbard Streets on its way west to Pinto Lake, next to the Oxford Hotel. The First State Bank and Trust was located in the northwest (near) corner of the hotel.
Oak Street, Looking North
An early view of Oak Street (now Oak Avenue), looking North is shown here. The first intersecting road is Hubbard Street. Part of the Oxford Hotel is visible on the southeast corner of Hubbard and Oak. Please note the utter lack of street lights. Street car tracks and an overhead cable run on Oak. Mineral Wells Electric System (Street Car) ceased operation in 1913. The downtown streets were paved in 1914. A hardware store, possibly Davidson's, is on the southwest corner of Hubbard and Oak.
[A Portrait Presentation at KORC]
Mrs. Jess (Ruby) Shattles presents a photographic picture of Achilles Corcanges, founder and owner of radio station KORC in Mineral Wells to the same Mr. Corcanges. Mrs. Shattles owned and operated Pavilion Studio at 412 N. Oak Avenue. The picture was taken about 1946, when station KORC opened. The unidentified gentleman, with his back to the photographer,on the left is believed to be Mr. Shattles.
[The Mineral Wells Golf Country Club and Lake]
Please note the men in golf attire standing on bank, one of whom is holding a bag of golf clubs. Knee-length knickers with decorated socks were typical golf wear in the Roaring Twenties. Others are lounging around on the bank between club house and lake on a typical lazy Sunday afternoon.
KORC 1140 On Your Dial
A picture of a KORC-KBS Microphone--"1140 on your dial" is shown here. Mineral Wells' radio history dates back to the 1930's when Mr. Hal Collins, owner of the Crazy Hotel, began sponsoring broadcasts originating in the hotel lobby. The radio station was founded and owned by Mr. Achilles Corcanges, and aired its first broadcast on December 5, 1946. Radio station KMWT-FM began broadcasting from Mineral Wells in 1970. The broadcasts were aired nationwide, at noon daily, over the Texas Quality Network. It advertised Crazy Water Crystals. Both stations' call letters were changed in 1983 to KJAS-AM and KYXS-FM. Many show business luminaries appeared on the shows. For instance, Mary Martin of Weatherford began her singing/acting career here.
[A Tamale Vendor on Oak and Hubbard]
Fred Estrada "The Mineral Wells Hot Tamale Man," sold "The Best Tamales Anywhere", at 75 cents a dozen, at the corner of Hubbard Street and Oak Avenue for many years. Automobiles, dating from the early-to-mid-twentieth century, and a U.S. Mailbox, may also be seen in the picture. The picture occurs on page 182 of "TIME WAS...", second edition.
[A Trolley Car of the] Mineral Wells Electric System
This picture shows the Mineral Wells Electric System Trolley Car Number 23. The Mineral Wells Electric System operated from 1902 (?) to 1913. The picture appears to have been taken in the 1400 block of W. Hubbard Street, where the street car unloaded passengers for a short hike north to Lake Pinto. The street car reversed here, and traveled across town to Elmwood Cemetery--around NE 17th Avenue.
[The Lynch Cabins]
A drawing of the Lynch cabins, done by Jarmon Alvis Lynch, grandson of James Alvis Lynch. The drawing says "Alvis Lynch 77" in the bottom right-hand corner. The picture was apparently done from memory. The original mineral water discovery well is in the right foreground, with a windlass for drawing water. "Judge" Lynch and his family did not arrive in Millsap Valley until Christmas 1879. Note the tents in the right background. H. M. Berry, Mineral Wells' first teacher, noted in an article that when the reputation for the curative powers of the water spread, the area looked like "an army on the move" with health-seekers temporarily camping in tents until housing could be built for them.
[Souvenir Views of Mineral Wells, Texas]
A pamphlet, shaped like a water bottle, with illustrations of the Mineral Wells area. Some pictures include unidentified visitors to the area that are enjoying the outdoor natural beauty. The statement "Patent and Trademark applied for by the Yeager Drug Company" is located on the lower left-hand portion of the photograph.
The American Legion Drum and Bugle Corp at their 1933 Convention in Chicago
This much-decayed picture has obviously been pinned to a cork-board. Enough of the legend at its bottom survives to proclaim that the picture commemorates the attendance of the Drum and Bugle Corps of Mineral Wells' Fearis Anderson Post No. 75, at a national convention of the the American Legion, in Chicago, Illinois, on October 2-5, 1933. The photograph was taken, the legend states, compliments of the Majestic Hotel. Please note: The American Legion provided the following names to accompany the picture: David Burnswick,[sic] Director; Paul Grable, Drum Major; Tommie Burns, Trumpet; James W. Calvert, Trumpet; E.M. Davidson, Trumpet; Lawrence Davis, Trumpet; Sam Goldman, Trumpet; Jack Armstrong, Trumpet; Bob Echols,[sic] Clarinet; (?) Davidson, Clarinet; Lloyd Kendall, Clarinet; Bob Irvine, Clarinet; (?)Brady, Piccolo; Arly (?) Bolfour,[sic] S. Drums, B. Drums; Dan Raeffell,[sic] Bass; W.E. Davis, Bass; Roy Prince, Trombone; Vaughan Davis, Trombone; (?) Trombone; Franz Schubert, Baritone; Alex Pavlovsky, Horn; W. W. Woodward. Horn; George Oliver, Horn; Bill Chancellor, Color Bearer; W.H.H. Smith, Color Bearer; Allan Wallace, Color Guard; George Barber, Color Guard. This band was awarded a state championship three times.
[A Parade of Automobiles]
A parade of decorated automobiles is shown crossing the intersection at North Oak and NE 2nd Streets,as seen from the west. A sign for Lovera Cigars is visible on the front of the Crazy Drug Company (the gray building at right middle of the picture.) The large white building in the left center back-ground is the Presbyterian Church.
Hotel Guide, Highway Guide and Where to Go in Mineral Wells
The cover page of a guide to the town of Mineral Wells, with information about the different types of water available, recreation activities, sanatoriums, and hotels is shown here. The clothes of the"Dyspeptic" illustrated at the bottom left suggest the late 1920's. Please note the gammadion (swastika) ribbons above and below the doggerel on the left side of the picture. The guide appears to have been printed considerably before the rise of the Nazis in Germany.
[Sam Whatley Presenting Check to Slogan Contest Winner]
Sam Whatley (dressed in a Cadillac uniform), the Service Manager for the Young Motor Company (a local Cadillac dealership), presents a check to Mr. and Mrs. Evans Holland, winners of a slogan contest. The winning slogan was "Cadillac every time for better motor service." The microphone above them is labeled as belonging to station KORC, which opened December 5, 1946. It changed its name to KJSA in 1983, when the station was sold to Jerry Snyder. A colophon on the lower right identifies "SW Photo" as the photographer. (The picture occurs on page 185 of TIME WAS, second edition.)
[Two men dressed as Bonnie and Clyde]
Two men, posing as the notorious gangsters of the 'thirties (Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow), standing beside a (1932 Ford?), are shown in front of Woods Camera Shop. Woods Camera Shop advertises (on a faded sign in front of the store) "Eastman Dealer - Enlarging Framing Finishing - Kodaks Loaned Free" The occasion of this disguise remains, as yet, unknown.
The Mineral Wells Guide
The Mineral Wells Guide, as it itself proclaims, was published for the out-of-town visitor. It contains facts about Mineral Wells, instructions about how to reach Mineral Wells, the water and baths to be found there, the Milling Sanatorium, recreation in the city, and various advertisements.
[People Marching in a Parade]
Shown here is a photograph of people walking south along North Oak Avenue in a street parade, with some individuals playing musical instruments. The prominent building in the middle right of the picture is the former Crazy Theater on the east side of Oak Avenue, across the street from the Crazy Hotel.
[Boyce Ditto's Social Security Card]
An envelope from the Crazy Water Hotel, containing Boyce Ditto's Social Security Card.
[A Baseball Team]
This picture shows a men's baseball team in Mineral Wells, but the identification of both the team and the men are unknown. Ike Zablosky (sometimes spelled Zabronski), a Russian immigrant, arrived in America in 1906. He entered the fur-trading business in Mineral Wells, and is credited with naming the Possum Kingdom area when a customer inquired about some premium pelts. Zablosky replied that he had none at the time, but "When my boys return from the possum kingdom, I'm sure they will have some." Zablosky operated a class C professional league baseball team (the Resorters)in Mineral Wells. He became owner of the first professional baseball team in Dallas, later in life. The Chicago White Sox are known to have held their Spring Training camp in Mineral Wells in 1911, and again during a three-year stretch of 1916, 1917, and 1918. It has not been established whether the players shown in this picture represent the Resorters or White Sox teams. The man in the background, apparently in uniform, is shown holding an instrument (probably a bugle) whose function has not been determined.
[A Parade in Mineral Wells on North Oak Avenue]
The Chamber of Commerce float, with the Parade Princess, greets visitors in the 1936 Centennial Parade in Mineral Wells,Texas. It is shown proceeding along the 200 block of North Oak Avenue. Businesses in photograph include, (bunting-festooned) Perry Brothers 5-10-and 25-cent store, City Bakery, and (to the left) part of Duke & Ayers 5-& 10-cent store. Angle-parked automobiles and spectators line the street.
[The Crazy Water Company - Stock Certificate]
A certificate for 250 shares of Capital Stock in the Crazy Water Company, that once belonged to Boyce Ditto is shown here.
[A Man with a Catfish]
An unknown man is pictured holding a catfish that he has presumably caught. An embossed legend at the base of the picture states that the photograph was taken by Young's Photography, Mineral Wells, Texas. (Palo Pinto County held the Texas record in 2005 for a catfish. A ninety-six-pound monster was caught at the outflow of Morris Sheppard Dam on Possum Kingdom Lake.)
[Inspiration Point]
The label on the photograph reads both "Possum Kingdom Dam" and "Inspiration Point". A. F. and Patsy Weaver are shown enjoying the view from Inspiration Point. A.F. Weaver himself took the photograph, using a tripod and camera timer,in the same vicinity where he had proposed to Patsy Weaver years before this photograph was taken. In the early part of the twentieth century,the internationally known evangelist, Billy Sunday, visited Mineral Wells. He was told about an outstanding view from a vantage point south of town. On seeing the vista for himself,the Rev. Sunday remarked it was truly an inspirational view. Since that time the viewpoint has been known as "Inspiration Point". This vista is seven miles south of Mineral Wells off US Highway 281, and approximately 40 miles below the Morris Sheppard Dam at Possum Kingdom Lake. It has been called one of the most beautiful scenic views in Texas. This picture has possibly been used in the course of the advertising of interesting things to see and do around Mineral Wells, which might explain the label attached to the photograph. Similarly captivating is a view from "Observation Point" the Dam at Possum Kingdom Lake. The two vistas, some 20 to 30 miles apart,overlook entirely different stretches of the Brazos, each with its own unique but spectacular view.
Lovers Retreat
A small group of people sitting on a large rock on the north bank of Eagle Creek are reflected in the water of the swimming hole at Lover's Retreat. The former public recreation park (located four miles west of Palo Pinto north of United States Highway US 180) has been described as one of the most scenic places in Texas. It was for years a favorite recreation spot in Palo Pinto County, with a wide picnic area south of the creek and a field of huge boulders on the north accessible by a swinging suspension-cable foot- bridge. Various legends are cited for the park's colorful name, including haven for a man named Lover during his flight from enemy pursuit; refuge during the tragic flight of an Indian Princess and her Indian suitor from vengeful, feuding inter-tribal pursuers; and (most likely) a tryst for local swains and their inamoratas. (The photograph is poorly reproduced in its printed source.)
[Walters International Factories, Inc.- - Stock Certificate- - Preferred Stock]
This photograph shows a certificate for 12 shares of Preferred Capital Stock in Walters International Factories, Incorporated, formerly belonging to Boyce Ditto.
[Four Golfers at Mineral Wells Country Club - 1930's]
Four unidentified men in golfing knickers (apparently from the early 1930's, to judge by their dress) stand in front of, and across the lake from the original Holiday Hills Country Club house. They are putting on what is now the Number 12 green.
The New Suspension Bridge at Lover's Retreat, Near Mineral Wells, Texas
A suspension bridge for pedestrian traffic across Eagle Creek at Lover's Retreat is shown here, from what must be a picture post-card. Formerly a public park, and now on private property, it was located four miles west of Palo Pinto on the old Bankhead Highway (now U.S. Highway 180).
[Walters International Factories, Inc. - Stock Certificate - Common Stock]
This photograph illustrates a certificate for 12 shares of Common Stock in Walters International Factories, Incorporated, formerly belonging to Boyce Ditto. Further information is lamentably lacking.
[Social Security Award for Boyce Ditto]
An insurance award from the Social Security Administration for Boyce Ditto in 1948.
[1935 An Income Tax Return for Boyce Ditto]
An individual U.S. income tax return for Boyce Ditto for 1935. (Boyce Ditto's Last Will and Testament contained a bequest of money to build the current Mineral Wells Library, which bears his name.)
[An Aerial View of Mineral Wells (1 of 2)]
A view from West Mountain looking ESE, contains the following landmarks: The Hexagon Hotel (1895-1959) in the upper middle of the picture, and the Chautauqua (1905-1912) in the upper right. One block right (south) and one block this side (west) of the Chautauqua is Crazy Flats Drinking Pavilion (burned in 1925). The Sangura- Sprudel Well and Drinking Pavilion is below and left (one block north and one block west) of The Hexagon. The Fairfield Inn is one block plus north and east (left) of the Hexagon and about half way up East Mountain. The Vichy Well (Later known as The Beach and still later as the Standard Well) is on the right, and across the street from the Hexagon. It was later the location of the USO building in World War II, and is now [2006] the North Oak Community Center.
[An Aerial View of Mineral Wells (2 of 2)]
This aerial photograph is adjacent to, and south of, the previous photograph. It is taken from South Mountain, looking east-south-east. The Chautauqua is on the upper left of the picture. The Crazy Flats Drinking Pavilion (which burned March 15, 1925) is below and to the right of the Chautauqua. The area in foreground is a residential area of west Mineral Wells, Texas.
Mineral Wells, "The Carlsbad of America"
Shown here is a booklet about the history of, the various services available at, and the attractions in and around Mineral Wells, ("The Carlsbad of America")Texas. Published in 1905, it contains many photographic illustrations and a local map. Please note the colophon at the bottom of the pamphlet: "An empire--a nation within a nation."
[The Sunshine Special]
A locomotive engine pulls the Texas & Pacific "Red Eye" passenger train, named The Sunshine Special. These business-friendly trains were scheduled to arrive in the Dallas/Ft Worth area at about 9 AM from both the east and the west. This picture was taken by A.F. Weaver at Millsap, Texas in 1940. It was published in the Rotogravure section of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The Series 700- (714-) series engine shown was replaced a few years later by larger, more powerful Series 600 engines capable of greater speed.
[A Christmas Card from Boyce Ditto]
Christmas card sent to Mrs. Weaver, signed "Boyce Ditto." The front cover has a picture of greenery decorated with red bells and silver balls; at the top it says "To A Special Friend." The inside has a similar illustration in the center with text on either side. The text on the left says, "Friends as fine/ as you are/ Don't often come/ one's way./ And special times/ like Christmas/ Don't happen every day." The text on the right continues: "And so this/ Christmas greeting/ Is coming to extend/ This wish--/ 'A Merry Christmas/ To a very/ special friend!'"
[The Gulf and Brazos Valley Railroad Depot]
A caption to the photograph states: "Gulf and Brazos Valley Railroad Depot 1899-1902. Erected back some 80 years ago, and served the Brazos Valley Railroad from Mineral Wells to Peck City near Millsap, now known as Bennett." The area formerly known as Peck City is now the location of an Acme brick plant, and is named "Bennett" for the rail switch that serves the plant. Standing on the right in the photograph is Noble Nuttall, father of Verne Nuttall, the first depot operator and telegraph operator. Please note the guitar near the woman at the window. The depot was once located on the site now occupied by the Hayes Lumber Company, in the 300 block on SE 1st Avenue. The newspaper caption: "Passengers would ride on the Texas and Pacific to Peck City and come by the Brazos Valley train from Peck City to Mineral Wells" is incorrect. The GULF and BRAZOS RIVER RAILWAY was strictly a freight line that hauled coal from the Rock Creek mines (east of Mineral Wells) to the T&P main line at Peck City. The first depot in Mineral Wells for passenger service from Weatherford was built when the W.-M.W.-N.W. that first arrived in Mineral Wells in 1891. It burned down, and it was replaced by the current brick depot in 1902, the year the GBV was sold at a sheriff's auction in Weatherford. (Photo courtesy of Verne Nuttall)
Inside Information about the Waters
A souvenir booklet, shaped like a bottle from Mineral Wells. It is almost devoid of information, except to note that it was printed by the Harris Service of Ft. Worth, Texas (with its advertising mark of an arrowhead). A copyright was applied for is the last bit of information on the pamphlet's cover.
[A Panorama Taken in 1974 (first)]
Shown here is a panoramic View of Mineral Wells, Texas taken August 8, 1974. The Baker Hotel and the Crazy Water Hotel are visible. The Convention Center is seen in the far left of the photograph. The view is from West Mountain, looking toward East Mountain over north Mineral Wells.
[A Panorama Taken in 1974 (second)]
This picture shows a panoramic view of northwest Mineral Wells from West Mountain, looking toward East Mountain. Included in photograph are the Convention Center, the Box Factory, and the Crazy Water Hotel.