[Photograph of Mineral Wells, Texas 1881]

Description

Photograph of Mineral Wells, Texas, taken in 1881. (Please observe that the picture carries a copyright by A. F. Weaver.)

Creation Information

Bevan, James 1991.

Context

This photograph is part of the collection entitled: A. F. Weaver Collection and was provided by Boyce Ditto Public Library to The Portal to Texas History, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 5148 times , with 43 in the last month . More information about this photograph can be viewed below.

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  • Unknown

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Boyce Ditto Public Library

The Boyce Ditto Public Library materials include local history from the A. F. Weaver Collection featuring resort souvenir guides and photos of Mineral Wells from its founding to the present. There is extensive coverage of the Hexagon House, the Baker Hotel, Camp/Fort Wolters and the many mineral wells that made the city a major resort in the first half of the 20th Century.

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Description

Photograph of Mineral Wells, Texas, taken in 1881. (Please observe that the picture carries a copyright by A. F. Weaver.)

Notes

It is the earliest picture of Mineral Wells available. It was mailed to A.F. Weaver by a woman in Colorado, who found it in her great-grandfather's (James Bevan) belongings, in 2004. The late relative was a world traveler, and spent only a short time in Mineral Wells. The photograph was obtained too late to be included in the last edition (the mini edition) of TIME WAS... James Alvis Lynch and his family arrived in Millsap Valley December 24, 1877. He dug a well to 41 feet in 1878, but it was dry. He contracted to have another well drilled in 1880, and it encountered mineral water. The water acquired renown for its medicinal quality. It fetched health-seekers to what would later be Mineral Wells by the thousands. Lynch laid out the city of Mineral Wells on his 80-acre farm in 1881. The unidentified lines of white objects in the upper background are a mystery, but are probably tents. H.M. Berry, an early resident, and Mineral Wells' first school teacher, wrote in 1921, " . . .by the first of October (1881) it looked like a small army was camped here, tents were everywhere." The Lynch cabins, site of the mineral water discovery well, is in the grove of trees at the middle left of the picture. A note on the photographer: James Bevan was born in Lancashire, England, but spent much of his life traveling in the United States (where, presumably, he took this photograph), Australia and Africa. He was acquainted with Cecil Rhodes, whom he reputedly disliked. He cured a Zulu chief of severe constipation, and was made blood brother to him in gratitude. Mr. Bevan would have been put to death (along with the attending witch doctor) upon the event of failure to cure. He spent little time in America.

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This photograph is part of the following collection of related materials.

A. F. Weaver Collection

This colorful panorama covers the founding of Mineral Wells through its mercurial growth as a resort center and army town up to the present. A. F. Weaver was a photographer and local historian, and the collection includes photographs that he took as well as photographs he copied from local families and established research sources.

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Creation Date

  • 1991

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Added to The Portal to Texas History

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 8:41 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • April 21, 2016, 10:50 a.m.

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Yesterday: 1
Past 30 days: 43
Total Uses: 5,148

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Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Bevan, James. [Photograph of Mineral Wells, Texas 1881], photograph, 1991; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20337/: accessed September 30, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Boyce Ditto Public Library.