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[The Arch] "Welcome Ye Editors"
This picture of the arch, erected to welcome the members of the Texas Press Association (who held a meeting in the nearby Chautauqua auditorium--visible in the background), was taken from East Hubbard Street, looking North on Mesquite Street. The year is 1908. The Texas Press Association held its meeting on May 26. Notice the Ben Hur tracks (1905-1909) in the foreground. The Chautauqua hall was demolished in 1912. A note with the photograph states "The group of people were attending the Odd Fellows Convention and/or Press Convention". The note also states that "Bill Cameron [presumably the boy seated on the arch at the extreme left, and holding a sheet of paper, (not an apron) with the word "WELCOME" barely legible at its head] has an Odd Fellows Apron [sic] on." Please note: Bill Cameron was a long-time editor of the Mineral Wells "Index." texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20468/
Archive Search Report Findings: Camp Wolters
Report describing munitions found during cleanup operations at Camp Wolters. This report also includes descriptions and maps of the area. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth477568/
[The Arlington Hotel]
The Arlington Hotel--the largest hotel in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas--with its famous thermal baths, is shown here. It is under the regulation of the United States Government. There is a beautiful "Cascade" swimming pool for guests. This picture is taken from a POST CARD titled "Plastichrome [Registered] by COLOURPICTURES, INC. Boston, 10, Massachusetts U.S.A." This hotel was said to be the model for the Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39167/
[Art Weaver 's Studio]
This picture shows the 400 block of North Oak Avenue as it was in 1975. Art Weaver Photography (412 North Oak Avenue) is shown, adjacent to and right of the Grand theater (formerly the Crazy Theater). (This picture collection is part of the lifetime collection of pictures of Art Weaver.) The Baker Hotel is in the background on the skyline at the far right of the picture. NOTE: The camera angle and its lens make this picture appear to be a street corner. However, North Oak Avenue is actually a straight street, running North-South. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20436/
[Arthur Howard]
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.) He was City Secretary and Tax Assessor and Collector for the City of Mineral Wells in 1907. He was re-elected to office in April of that year by a majority vote. He is said to have organized his department thoroughly and he was much respected for doing it. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29829/
[Ashburn Ice Cream Company]
No Description texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth60943/
Atmosphere and Temperature
This booklet gives an overview of atmosphere and temperature as they relate to aviation. According to the scope notes on the title page, it includes information about "Pressure scale measurement, isobars, forces that affect winds, high and low pressure systems and associate weather[-]formation prevailing wind belts." The text also has self-evaluation questions printed throughout, with the answers printed on the last page. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth46577/
[The Auction of the First Edition of TIME WAS In Mineral Wells]
This photograph shows the purchaser who bought the first copy of "Time Was in Mineral Wells", and his wife. Left to right are: Rev. Bobby Moore, auctioneer; Jack Dickens, purchaser; A.F. Weaver, author; Mrs. Jean Dickens. Copy Number One sold for $153.57. (H. Arthur Zappe D.D.S., bought copy Number Two for $45, and Bill Bennett bought copy Number Three for an undisclosed price.) texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20410/
[The Auction of the First Edition of TIME WAS In Mineral Wells]
This photograph shows the auction of the first ten copies of "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells", First Edition, 1975. Identified (facing the crowd in front row) are Mrs. Richard Warren (with arms folded); Mrs. A.F. (Patsy) Weaver; A.F. (Art) Weaver, Author; Rev. Bobby Moore, Auctioneer. The auction took place inside the restored "Little Rock School", Mineral Wells' first public school. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20409/
[The Auction of TIME WAS In Mineral Wells, First Edition]
Shown here are the successful bidders for the first ten copies of "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells," first edition, 1975. Identified in the picture are Reverend Mister Bobby Moore (front row left) who was the auctioneer; Mr. Jack Dickens (next to Rev. Mr. Moore); and Mrs. Jack Dickens (behind her husband), who bought book number one; Frost Bowman (barely visible behind Mrs. Jack Dickens) bought the fourth book; Bill Bennett (back row fourth from right) bought book number three; A.F. Weaver (back row second from right) is the author of the book. (H. Arthur Zappe, DDS, former mayor of Mineral Wells, [not shown], bought copy No. 2 texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20408/
[The Austin Well]
This photograph shows the Austin Well as it was in 1974. A legend on the back of photograph reads: "Looking south shows remains of Austin Well in the foreground with the remains of what used to be the crystal plant. Across the street may be seen the St Regis box plant." The former Crazy Water Crystal plant, at the left edge of the picture, is now the St. Regis box factory This well is associated with a unique and romantic history: A cowboy rode a blind mare into Mineral Wells and auctioned her off for a dollar and a half. Mr. Austin acquired the horse, and put her to work drawing water from the well by turning a wheel to which was attached a rope, which with each revolution of the wheel, pulled a bucket of water from the well to ground level. Nellie was trained to pause at a point in her circular route long enough for the bucket to be emptied, then continue on to pull up the next bucket when it was filled. Blind Nellie was retired in her old age, but continued to walk a similar circular route in the pasture to which she was retired, pausing in each revolution, as before, until her death. Texas Packaging Company, Incorporated, has occupied the box plant since 1980. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29822/
The Avalon
The Avalon Hotel was located at NW 3rd Street and NW 3rd Avenue. Assembled here in front of the hotel is a group of people, possibly hotel guests. A reversed-image of this picture appears on page 100 of A.F. Weaver's book "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells", First Edition 1975. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20306/
AWO_2624P.jpg [Men Around A Buffet Table] jd
Five men and one woman stand around a buffet table. Several of the men wear foil-covered paper derby-style hats, which indicates a festivity of some sort. In the background, a man plays an alto saxophone; another one, a guitar; a third, a bass viol. The envelope containing this picture identifies the second man from left as "Orval Shore", and the third man from left as "Paul Schneider." texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39165/
[A Back View of Businesses on the West Side of 100 Block and S. Oak]
Businesses are shown here at the southwest corner of West Hubbard Street and South Oak Avenue: The location of the original Colonial Hotel. (It was originally built in 1906 by J.T. Holt for his second wife who would not live in the country, and it was renamed the Damron Hotel about 1917 when Agnew and Bessie Damron traded a ranch for it. The hotel burned in 1975.) The small white building in the left middle foreground is a back view of Cole's House of Flowers (where Davidson's Hardware also burned in the Damron Hotel fire), next to it is Hill's Style Shoppe and Mineral Wells Office Supply. The vacant lot in the foreground is the location of the former Damron hotel. At the far left edge of the picture, to the east and across Oak Avenue, is Lynch Plaza which was built on the site of the former Oxford Hotel, that burned in 1983, along with the First National Bank. Lynch Plaza is named for J.A. Lynch, Mineral Wells' founder. who had a well drilled at this location in 1880, and discovered the source of mineral water that made Mineral Wells the most popular health spa in the nation at the turn of the twentieth century. A Texas Historical Commission Marker commemorating the discovery-well is embedded in a brick wall surrounding the parking lot of Lynch Plaza. Obscurely in middle distance, at the right edge of the picture, south and across SW 1st Street, are the offices of the Palo Pinto County Abstract Company and those of the City of Mineral Wells. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29856/
[The Baker Hotel: A Picture Taken From the South Window of the Hexagon Hotel]
A note with this photograph states: "Photo taken out of top floor south window of Hexagon Hotel. Photo re-printed in 1977. Photo probably taken 1954 due to penciled in date on back." (Also, the building in the lower left corner of the picture still bears the "USO" sign of World War II.) See also "Hexagon Hotel" [with history]. In front of the Baker Hotel stands the "Old Post Office, now the Ladies Garden Club Building. The Crazy Hotel can be seen between the right edge of the picture and the spire attached atop one of the gables of the Hexagon Hotel. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20475/
[The Baker Hotel and the First Methodist Church]
This picture, showing Baker Hotel and the First Methodist Church, was taken approximately in 1938. The church, pictured here, shows a later second story to the building on the side of the church proper. It is known to be the second Methodist church on the site. Older photographs of its predecessor are at this time [2014] lacking. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39158/
[The Baker Hotel at Night]
This picture shows the Baker--in its great days--at night. Legend has it that a female guest jumped to her death. Her ghost is supposed to be resident in the building, but substantial evidence for the existence of the ghost remains to this date [2014] lacking. A legend on the front of the photograph states that it was colorized by A. F. Weaver in 1940. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39155/
[The Baker Hotel Entrance]
Shown here is the main entrance to the Baker Hotel, which went directly into the hotel lobby. Note individuals on the veranda that are standing as well as sitting in deck chairs. Cars are parked on East Hubbard St. (US Hwy 180). Some of the most famous (and some of the infamous) people have entered through this arcade. For example, Sam Goldwyn, Jean Harlow, Clark Gable, Sammy Kaye, Helen Keller, Clyde Barrow, Lyndon Johnson, Dr. Charles Mayo, Sam Rayburn, Tom Mix, Sophie Tucker, the Three Stooges, and Roy Rogers were all guests at the hotel at one time or another. This photograph was donated by Mrs. Guy Montgomery. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20223/
[Baker Hotel Grounds' View]
Here is a view of Baker Hotel from across its grounds. Note: There are umbrellas around swimming pool, but the swimming pool itself is out of view. Foliage includes Canna flowers and cedar trees. An unidentified woman and child are in foreground. On April 30, 1963, Earl Baker formally closed the hotel. The property went under the hammer that August. The rest is history. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39162/
"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. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth16346/
Baker Hotel-Mineral Wells, Texas
A panorama View of the Baker Hotel with all the surrounding buildings is shown here. Note: The general appearance of the city surrounding the hotel suggests strongly that this picture was heavily edited. Perhaps it was taken from a postcard. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39159/
[The Baker Hotel Roof Garden]
This photograph is identified as "Baker Hotel Roof Garden February 1999." Two chandeliers are still in place on the ceiling, but the missing floor boards, the peeling paint, and the deserted condition of the room is indicative of the sad condition of once a beautiful ballroom. A ballroom on the twelfth floor was titled "The Cloud Room" by virtue of the clouds painted on its ceiling. A picture of it has yet [2014] to be found. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39163/
Baker Hotel Swimming Pool
No Description texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39156/
Bank of Mineral Wells
This picture is an undated photograph that appears to have been published in the Mineral Wells Index. It also appears on page 148 of A.F. Weaver's book "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells." The caption reads, "Palo Pinto County Boys' and Girls' Poultry Clubs and the Junior Rotary Band received pure-bred eggs distributed free by the Bank of Mineral Wells. Note the bank has had an addition to its south side." The caption on an earlier picture of the bank states, "D. M. Howard and R. B. Preston opened the first bank in the City, The Bank of Mineral Wells, located at 102 SE 1st Avenue." In a companion picture on p. 148, "TIME WAS ... ", the caption reads,"The Bank of Mineral Wells went broke in 1924. The building was then used by Ball Drug and Massengale's Appliances. The building was torn down to make room for parking in the downtown area." (The City Directory of 1924 lists the bank's location at 102 SE 1st. Avenue. There is no listing of it in the 1927 City Directory.) texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20440/
[Bank of Mineral Wells]
This picture shows the interior of the Bank of Mineral Wells. Collie Smith, L.E. Hamen, and someone named only "O'Neal" are shown in the cages. The bank went out of business in 1924. The building was then used by Ball Drugs, and then by Massengale's Appliances. The building was eventually torn down, to make room for a parking in the downtown area. It is featured in "Time was in Mineral Wells" on page 148. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39209/
The Bank of Mineral Wells
No Description texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth60922/
[Barber Lake]
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.) texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20387/
[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. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth16258/
[Basketball at Elmhurst Park]
A note on the back of the photograph identifies this venue as Elmhurst Park. The park was located on Pollard Creek, some one-and-one-half miles from the southwest corner of Oak and Hubbard Streets; and was owned by The Mineral Wells Electric System, which operated a trolley that ran from downtown to the park. (The street car company went bankrupt in 1913, and both the park and trolley ceased operations that year.) The picture appears to be a tip-off to begin a period of play in a men's basketball game. Both men's and women's basketball games were held at the park when it was in operation (from 1907 to 1913). texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20328/
[Bathing Beauties]
Three young women lounge at the "old" Mineral Wells City Pool. The woman on the right was Jill Hickey, Mineral Wells High School graduate of 1966, later Jill Hickey Moore of Stafford, Texas. This photograph, judging by the women's hair-do's, appears to have been taken in the 1960's. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth16186/
[Baum-Carlock-Bumgardner Funeral Home Burial Records]
Report containing information pertaining to dead of Mineral Wells, Texas. This includes names, birth dates, dates of death, relations, and location of burial site. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth477569/
[Baum-Carlock-Bumgardner Funeral Home Burial Records]
Report containing information pertaining to dead of Mineral Wells, Texas. This includes names, birth dates, dates of death, relations, and location of burial site. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth477566/
The "Ben Hur"
The "Ben Hur" motor car is shown on Mesquite Street (the 200 block of NE 1st Avenue), Mineral Wells, Texas. This new and larger gasoline-powered car joined two "Dinky Cars" (Esther and Susie--named for the daughters of the railroad's co-owner, banker Cicero Smith) on the Mineral Wells Lakewood Park and Scenic Railway in 1908. The railway ceased operation in 1909, a year after the larger car was added to the fleet. Mineral Wells was probably one of the few cities in the United States which had gasoline-powered street cars. One of the boys shown standing beside it is Mr. Whatley of automobile fame. This photograph is shown on page 74 of "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells", Second Edition. The Scenic Railway, on which the "Dinky Cars" operated, was owned by banker Cicero Smith; and Ed Dismuke, owner of the Famous Water Company. It carried passengers every quarter-hour from Mineral Wells around the south flank of West Mountain to the recreation area of Lake Pinto. A 'round trip fare was fifteen cents. Dismuke's Famous Mineral Water wells were located around Lake Pinto, and water was pumped over the mountain to the Famous Water Company and its drinking pavilion. The building on the left edge of the picture with the arched windows was M.H. Coleman's Clothing and Shoes for gentlemen. It was later occupied by Wallace Distributing Company. The building still stands diagonally northwest across NE 1st. Avenue from the Baker Hotel. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth16317/
The Bethesda Bath House
The Bethesda Bath House was formerly located 406 N. Oak, with the top of the front of Chautauqua to the northeast of the bath house, visible over the top of the bath house roof's gable at the left side of the building. The Bethesda Bath House apparently contained the office of Dr. G. W. Hubbard. Bathing in the mineral waters was considered a health treatment, and was recommended by local doctors. There is a structure seen behind the bath house in the lower right quadrant of the photograph. This may have been the doctor's residence. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20307/
[The Bicentennial Parade in Mineral Wells]
The Rotary Club featured a float during "Time Was" Bicentennial (celebrating the United States Bi-Centennial) parade in downtown Mineral Wells, on April 4, 1976. It is moving south on Oak Avenue at the intersection of Oak and Hubbard Streets. Riders on the float depict "flappers" and a golfer of the "Roaring Twenties", dancing to jazz music. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth16144/
[The Bicentennial Parade in Mineral Wells]
A float that appeared, among others, in the "Time was" Bicentennial parade, held on April 4, 1976. It depicts former mineral-water drinking spots in Mineral Wells. Ladies on the float represent customers at some of Mineral Wells' more popular one-time Spas. The wells depicted are: Lynch's discovery-well, the Crazy (Mineral Wells' third and namesake water well), the Gibson Well, the Carlsbad Well, and the Hawthorn Well. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth16146/
[The Bicentennial Parade in Mineral Wells]
A float, with women dressed in period clothing, appeared in the April 4, 1976 "Time Was" Bicentennial Parade (commemorating the United States Bicentennial). The float commemorates several historical mineral-water drinking pavilions in Mineral Wells, including the Lithia, the Gibson, Lynch's mineral well, the Carlsbad, the Crazy, and the Hawthorne. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth16149/
[The Bicentennial Parade in Mineral Wells]
This photograph shows a celebrity car in the "Time Was" Bicentennial (celebrating the United States Bicentennial) parade, held April 4, 1976. The passengers riding in the back seat of the 1976 Cadillac El Dorado convertible are The Mayor of Mineral Wells, Ellis White, and his wife, Janie. The picture was taken at the intersection of Oak Street (Highway 281) and Hubbard Avenue (Highway 180) in downtown Mineral Wells. The car is moving south on Oak Street, with the Baker Hotel one block east in background. The camera that took the picture is facing east-northeast. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth16143/
[The Bicentennial Parade in Mineral Wells]
A float, depicting the Rock School House in the "Time Was" featured in Bicentennial parade (celebrating the United States Bicentennial). Built in 1884, it was Mineral Wells' first public school. The float is shown at the corner of Hubbard and North Oak Streets. It was sponsored by the Junior History Club. A sign on the building in the background identifies the Proctor Schneider Insurance Agency. This site was formerly occupied by the First National Bank. The Baker Hotel is in left background. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth16142/
[The Bicentennial Parade in Mineral Wells]
The Mineral Wells Heritage Association sponsored a float in the April 4, 1976 "Time Was" Bicentennial Parade (celebrating the United States Bicentennial). The float commemorates both the publishing of A. F. Weaver's photographic history, "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells...", which was published co-incident with the conversion of the "Little Rock Schoolhouse" into a museum, and restoration of the building itself. The ninety-member Mineral Wells Heritage Association was formed to preserve Mineral Wells' first (1884) public school. Mr. Weaver was a director and Charter Member of the Heritage Association, and served as its first President. He was also chairman of the Palo Pinto County Bi-centennial Committee. The parade is pictured going south on Oak Avenue (US Highway 281) at the corner of Hubbard Street (US Highway 180). Jeep's "The Thing" automobile is pulling the float. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth16147/
[Bill Cameron]
"Bill Cameron at his desk in the [old] Mineral Wells Index." The newspaper office was located at 207 NW 1st Avenue. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39255/
[Bill Cameron in Front of Old "Index" Building]
Bill Cameron stands before the old "Index" Building--on Northwest First Avenue (across from the Crazy Water Building). texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39254/
The Bimini
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. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20234/
The Bimini Bath House
A photograph of an old postal card showing the Bimini Mineral Bath House, later known as "The Wagley Building" is shown here. It was constructed by Goodrum, Murphy, and Croft and located at 114 NW 4th Street. It was later demolished. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth16181/
[The Birch McClendon Food Store]
The only information about this picture comes from a legend on the back of it: Mrs. Vernon Hill father & n gof [sic] Chester Claywell Mr. Lord. grocery [illegible] Specialty Shop [written vertically] DW Griffith It is featured in "Time was in Mineral Wells" on page 128 as "Birch McClendon Food Store, located at 211 Southeast 1st Street." texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39192/
[A Bird's Eye-view of Mineral Wells]
An early panoramic view of Mineral Wells is shown here. The picture is a composite of two views taken from East Mountain. Attached to the composite is a date "1901." The large building in the front middle of the picture is the Holloway & Haley livery stable. Some of the buildings are numbered on the photograph. Recognizable are: (2) The Hawthorn Well, with steeple (Right middle of the picture), (4) The original Crazy water drinking pavilion (two-story with smaller upper third floor, right middle of picture), The Lythia Well (between the Crazy Well and the Hawthorn Well), and The Hexagon House at the far right edge of picture. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20324/
Bird's Eye-view of Mineral Wells
Two contiguous negatives, taken from East Mountain, looking Southwest are shown here. Please note that some landmarks have been numbered in ink on the photographs. On the first [upper] photograph (No. 3), the pavilion with the steeple on the roof,is the Hawthorne well, located at 314 NW 1st Ave. (No. 4), the large two-story structure, is the Crazy Drinking Pavilion. The Lithia Pavilion is the structure between the Hawthorne and Crazy pavilions. Note also the Hawthorn House (No. 5?), located on North Oak. The large livery stable in the left foreground has not been identified by name. Please note the Poston Building on the second [lower] photograph, on North Oak (not numbered, but the three-part building in the middle left of the photograph). Also, please note the two steeples of the first Catholic Church on NW 3rd Street, in the 600 block, on the side of West Mountain. The large two-story frame hotel (No. 2) in the left foreground has not been identified. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth16214/
[A Bird's Eye-view of Mountains in the Distance]
Illustrated here is a view of Mineral Wells from the southeast, looking northwest. On the left, the large building in front of the hill is the Chautauqua, built by public subscription in 1905. It was demolished sometime about 1912. The large white building near the edge at the left middle of the picture was the First Baptist Church, which served the congregation from 1900 to 1920. The dim building under the hill at the upper right of the picture is the East Ward School (Mineral Wells' first High School), built in 1906 and closed in 1926. Please note the windmills in the backyards. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth16218/
[Blind Nellie]
Blind Nellie was brought to Mineral Wells by a cowboy, who sold her at auction for a dollar and a half. She eventually came into the possession of Colonel W.R. Austin, who used her to turn the wheel of the pump at the Austin Well. In that capacity, the horse became a tourist attraction. When she was retired, she continued to walk in circles in her pasture. She was given a ceremonial burial when she died in 1912, a burial attended by a large crowd of admirers. The story may be found on page 54 of "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells..." by A.F. Weaver. Written on the back of this photograph is "Blind Nellie at Austin Well located in the 900 block of N.E. 2nd Ave." This is clearly a photograph of a newspaper clipping. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth25103/
[Blind Nellie at the Austin Well]
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, when she became confused in her ritual, she was allowed to retire. In retirement, however, Blind Nellie selected a place in her pasture, and during the working hours of the day she repeated the ritual of walking her circle in a size corresponding to the one she had walked for so many years at the Austin Well. She died in 1912. texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24964/