Dear Portal friends: Do you enjoy having history at your fingertips? We’ve appreciated your support over the years, and need your help to keep history alive. Here’s the deal: we’ve received a Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Now it’s time to keep our word and raise matching funds for the Cathy Nelson Hartman Portal to Texas History Endowment. If even half the people who use the Portal this month give $5, we’d meet our $1.5 million goal immediately! All donations are tax-deductible and support Texas history: yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Not Now

  You limited your search to:

  Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
 Decade: 1900-1909
Vichy Well Natatorium

Vichy Well Natatorium

Date: 1900?
Creator: unknown
Description: An off-season picture of the Vichy Well Natatorium, once located in the 600 block of North Oak Avenue, where North Oak Community Center now [2008] stands is illustrated here. The picture dates to around 1900. The Vichy well featured a swimming pool, which it labelled a "Natatorium." Later improvements, when the name was changed to The Standard Well, included a motion-picture theater and a pavilion for dancing. (Note the Dr. A.W. Thompson residence and the Mineral Wells Sanitarium on the right skyline.) A USO was built on this location In World War II for white servicemen at Camp Wolters. The USO building was turned over to the city at the end of the war, and became known as the North Oak Community Center. Preservation efforts are underway [in 2008] to restore the Community Center.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[The Cumberland Presbyterian Church]

[The Cumberland Presbyterian Church]

Date: 1907/1913?
Creator: unknown
Description: Shown here is a picture of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. On the back of picture is written "901 N.Oak [.] Sold to Church of Christ [.] Demolished and rebuilt." The streetcar tracks, which ran from 1907 to 1913 are visible on N. Oak in front of the church. The denomination takes its name from Cumberland Street, Philadelphia. A sub-sect of Presbyterianism--based on an Arminian interpretation of Calvinism--was begun at the church there. A Cumberland Presbyterian church is advertised as being in Newberry at the present [2014] time. The picture was taken before North Oak Avenue was paved in 1914. The Church of Christ still [2008] occupies this location on N. Oak Avenue.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[The Carlsbad Well:  First Building]

[The Carlsbad Well: First Building]

Date: September 19, 1907
Creator: unknown
Description: The first Carlsbad Well drinking pavilion was built about 1895. The Carlsbad (also known as the Texas Carlsbad Well), one of the early drinking pavilions in Mineral Wells, was located at 415 NW 1st Avenue, directly across the street and west of the first Crazy Well pavilion. The Carlsbad slogan was: "Makes a man love HIS [sic] wife/ Makes a wife love HER [sic] husband/ Robs the divorce court of its business/ Takes the temper out of red-headed people/ Puts ginger into ginks/ And pepper into plodders." The pavilion was prominent in several pictures around the turn of the century; this picture--labeled "Sept. 19/07" in ink--was from an advertisement by the Yeager Drug Company. This early pavilion had been demolished by 1911, and replaced by a larger brick structure.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
Carlsbad Well

Carlsbad Well

Date: September 19, 1907
Creator: unknown
Description: This picture, dated September 19, 1907, shows the Carlsbad Well at 415 NW 1st Avenue, and west of the Crazy Well drinking pavilion. It was one of the first drinking pavilions in Mineral Wells, and boasted that the water "Makes a man love HIS [sic] wife, makes a wife love HER [sic] husband/ Robs the divorce court of its business/ Takes the temper out of red-headed people/ Puts ginger into ginks/ and pepper into plodders."
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
"Where the Famous  Crystals Are Made"

"Where the Famous Crystals Are Made"

Date: 1905?
Creator: unknown
Description: This is a photograph of a building with a sign that says, "Famous Mineral Wells Crystal Plant." There is a hill, covered in trees, behind the building. Writing at the bottom of the image reads: "Where Famous Crystals Are Made." Ed Dismuke, a druggist from Waco, came to Mineral Wells for his health after his family physician told him he only had a "short time" to live. After miraculously regaining his health, which he credited to the mineral waters of his new hometown, he sold water by the drink at the Damron Hotel, later opening his own company, The Famous Water Company. He also opened The Famous Mineral Crystal Plant on the east side of Lake Pinto in partnership with local banker Cicero Smith. The two also organized The Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway with its two gasoline-powered "dinky cars" named "Esther" and "Susie" after Smith's daughters. This is a picture of the plant where Famous Crystals, labeled "Pronto Lax" were made. Dismuke had outlived the doctors who had told him he only had a short time to live when he died at the age of ninety-four.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[The First Motorcycle in Mineral Wells]

[The First Motorcycle in Mineral Wells]

Date: 1908
Creator: unknown
Description: A caption, taken from "Time Was..." by A. F. Weaver, on page 116 states: "Pictured in 1908 is Frank Richards, owner of the first motorcycle bought in Mineral Wells. D. C. Harris owned the second motorcycle." Frank Richards was the manager of the Star Well during Mineral Wells' heyday as a popular health spa, and the boy on the motorbike with him has been identified as his son, Robert Frank Richards. D. C. Harris was the postmaster, and served as Mayor of the city at one time.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
[The Foster Hotel]

[The Foster Hotel]

Date: 1900?
Creator: unknown
Description: A note on the back of this picture identifies it as the Foster House. It was located at 202 NW 6th Street (given in Polk's Directory for 1909 as "202 West Moore", two blocks north of the Crazy Well) and facing 6th Street. It was one block west of the Hexagon House, and within two blocks of other wells. The style of the building appears to be Queen Anne, spindle-work sub-type, with paired gables. The number "2231" is written on the photograph. A railroad ran a main trunk line on the other side of the hotel's block. It was built before 1904 but further history of this early hotel is not known at this time [2008]. Another picture (The Foster Hotel: Second Photograph, which please see) supplies a few more details.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
James Alvis Lynch, Founder of Mineral Wells

James Alvis Lynch, Founder of Mineral Wells

Date: 1907?
Creator: unknown
Description: This is a photograph of James Alvis Lynch, who founded Mineral Wells in 1881, is wearing a suit, sitting on a donkey, and holding a bottle of mineral water on an unknown rocky hill.
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
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 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.
Contributing Partner: Boyce Ditto Public Library
Beta Preview