Heritage, Volume 8, Number 1, Winter 1990 Page: 13
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his wife then made the long journey from
The waters of Boquillas Hot Springs
bubbled from a six-inch round hole in flat
rock and spilled off a ledge into a bathtub
cut into the rock by Indians. Langford
bathed in the hot springs every day for
many weeks and drank the water. Gradually,
he became stronger. His belief in the
spring's ability to cure him of malaria and
indigestion apparently paid off. But his
money was running out, and he needed to
support his family.
Local persons seeking the medicinal
waters came to Langford's spring. He
charged 10 cents per bath, and $2 for a full
21-day treatment, which, according to
Indian legend, was the time necessary to
complete the healing process. According
to Langford's accounts, several persons were
cured at his baths, including some with
severe cases of eczema.
As more people learned about the spring,
he decided to spend the last of his savings
to have a stone bathhouse built over the
spring. He thus managed to earn a modest
living, which he supplemented by teaching
Langford left Boquillas Springs at the
time of the Mexican revolution and moved
with his family to El Paso. However, he
returned in 1927 and built a store and a
small motel to accommodate visitors to the
spring. He also established a post office. His
businesses prospered for years, and by 1942
he was able to retire comfortably.
Several towns developed around springs
during the late 1800s and prospered. The
city of Lampasas is one example. It dreamed
of becoming an important center of commerce,
and with the arrival of the railroad
in 1882, Lampasas' modest health resort
business, centered around Hanna Springs,
quickly made great strides.
The magnificent 200-room Park Hotel
was built to accommodate tourists interested
in the hot baths and the social life at
the nearby dance hall. Soon the town was
bustling with people and mule-drawn street
cars that carried passengers from the hotel
to the depot and to springs nearby.
At Hancock Springs, the other important
spring in Lampasas, a large pavillion
and a bathhouse were built. In 1885, 6,000
baths reportedly were taken there. Four
hydrants ran perpetually near the pavillion
as day and night people filled water bottles
and jugs and sipped the free water. In 1895,
the year the Park Hotel burned, the drink
Bathers cool down after a hot bath in Marlin, Texas, Falls County, a health mecca in the 1920s and
Marlin's Arlington Hotel served some of the thousands of health seekers as well as the New York giants
who held winter training in the town. Photos courtesy of the Marlin Chamber of Commerce.
ing pavillion was converted into an opera
house. In 1904 the spring was used to run a
power plant. Today the spring is covered by
a simple stone shed located in the middle of
Perhaps the most famous of Texas towns
to prosper from its mineral springs is Mineral
Wells in Palo Pinto County. In the late
1800s, the story goes, James A. Lynch, who
suffered from acute arthritis, and his family
were traveling westward in search of a
warmer climate. Exhausted, they were about
to give up and return to Virginia. They
camped near Palo Pinto and found the
natural beauty so attractive that they decided
to settle there. They dug a well on
property they purchased, and found the
water to be suited for medicinal purposes.
Lynch was very weak at first. Gradually,
after drinking the spring water and bathing
in it, he regained his strength. Apparently
restored to full, robust health, he began
sharing his spring water with neighbors,
who drank it and reported being cured of
fever, eye illnesses, and other ailments, as
well as arthritis.
The sulfurous tasting water's reputation
grew, as did exaggerated claims about its
ability to cure ailments ranging from constipation
to diabetes. As more wells were
dug, proprietors began competing for the
mounting numbers of customers who came
from miles around.
One of the earliest and most famous
drinking springs in Mineral Wells was
nicknamed the Crazy Water because, as
HERITAGE * WINTER 1990 13
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 8, Number 1, Winter 1990, periodical, Winter 1990; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45426/m1/13/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.