Boyce Ditto Public Library - Browse


Carlisle House, Mineral Wells, Texas

Description: The Carlisle House was owned and managed by Mrs. A[lexander] E[mmett] Carlisle, after the death of her husband in 1911. It was one of the largest hotels of its day, boasting sixty rooms. It was destroyed in a fire on July 4, 1914. The Abilene "Reporter" of July 5, 1914 reports that fire began its course at the Tourist Hotel (located, at the time, at 315 NW 4th street). It spread to the New Hazel Hotel (at 305 NW 4th Street), took in the Harrel House, (at 301 NW 4th street), the Lake Charles, Louisiana (511 NW 2nd Street), and the Burk House, 601 NW 3rd Avenue, as well as seven houses that were not hotels. The fire was so thorough that in 1921, the area was still devoid of buildings. It was on this site that Mordecai Ham (he who converted Billy Graham) put up a tent for a revival on March 23, 1927. He accepted the position of pastor at the First Baptist Church in Oklahoma City on June 19, 1927. He remained in that position until June 16, 1929, when he returned to the revival circuit. The Carlisle House was located in the same block as the the Mineral Wells Clinic, which was known to be in existence in 1928. It later became the Nazareth Hospital (q.v.).
Date: 1913?

Carlsbad Well, Mineral Wells, Texas

Description: The Texas Carlsbad Well, located at 415 NW 1st Avenue (west of the Crazy Water Well and Drinking Pavilion), is shown here. A more modern brick building was added to this wooden pavilion in 1909; both structures are visible in pictures taken during a Woodmen of the World convention in 1911. (Note: The newer Carlsbad building was taken over by the Crazy Hotel for its Laundry and Dry Cleaning when the second Carlsbad Pavilion shut down operations during World War II.)
Date: 1910?

[Children With Bicycle and Hoop,]

Description: Dated "Jan 10, 1919", this picture was contained in an envelope postmarked "Aug. 4 '75", and addressed to A. F. Weaver Photography from Charles W. [Windell] Simonds. Handwriting on the envelope indicates it was from a short-wave "Ham' radio operator correspondent and friend of Mr. Weaver. Notes on the envelope indicate the picture was probably taken by the correspondent's father, Clarence Winfield Simonds. The sign on the tree at the left edge of the picture indicates this was the Vance Villa (Rooming House) in a residential part of town. (Vance Villa is listed in the 1914 City Director of Mineral Wells at 811 N. College, which is now NW 5th Avenue.) Note the hoop held by the child on the left, while the boy on the right appears to be holding a unicycle--or, perhaps, an early bicycle whose rear wheel is not visible..
Date: January 10, 1919

Company 1, 4th Texas Infantry

Description: Typed under this picture is the legend: "FIFTY YEARS AGO -- Co. 1, 4th Texas Infantry, was patrolling the Mexican Border. The company's home base was in Mineral Wells. Later it was called into federal service and designated as Co. 144th Infantry, 36th Division, with combat duty in France on the Meuse-Argonne Campaign and the Argonne Forest. In the picture is the company pet donkey, about to consume a copy of the Daily Index, on the left is Bill Cameron and right is Spencer Heath. The picture was made in Marathon, Texas in 1916." Bill Cameron was employed in various capacities by the "Mineral Wells Index" newspaper for many years. At the time of his death, 1976, he was its business manager. The image of the donkey chewing on the copy of the "Index" is a favorite picture shown in the "Index" to this day [2013]. It remains the subject of raucous humor in Mineral Wells.
Date: 1916

[The Construction of the Post Office]

Description: Written on front of picture is the partial holograph legend: ".ade from the North east ...ner looking Southwest made May the 3rd 1912" It shows the construction of what would eventually be the third Post Office at 201 N.E. 2nd Street. A shear-legs is shown on the extreme left. The workers have clearly stopped work for the taking of the photograph, which is featured in "Time Once Was in Mineral Wells" on page 150. The building now [2014] houses the Women's Club.
Date: May 3, 1912

The Crazy Theatre

Description: The Crazy Theater was located at 400 North Oak Avenue, on the east side of the street opposite the Crazy Hotel. The sign reads: "Week Commencing Monday June 22." The street does not appear to be paved, which dates the picture prior to 1914. Bennett's Office Supply now [2013] occupies the site of the former theater. The theater features in A. F. Weaver's "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells..." on page 17.
Date: 1914?

[The Crazy Theatre--With a Car]

Description: This photograph may be found in A. F. Weaver's Book, "Time Was...", 2nd edition, on page 17. It is captioned "Crazy Theater, 400 North Oak Avenue, photo around 1918."
Date: 1918?

[The Dancing Pavilion at Elmhurst Park]

Description: Spectators are shown here, at a spring play-day frolic at Elmhurst Park around 1910. The popular park once boasted a Casino, a Dancing Pavilion, Exhibit Halls, and Outdoor Sports Fields. It hosted the County Fair and sports events until 1913. On the closure of Elmhurst Park, the City of Mineral Wells became the owner of the property. It was used for a housing development during World War II to accommodate families of soldiers and civilian workers at Camp Wolters. The City of Mineral Wells built city's water treatment facilities on the site of the former park after World War II.
Date: 1910?

[A Donkey on 6th Street Mineral Wells, 1916]

Description: Donkeys were still prevalent in 1916, and so were the grass-grown steel tracks of the "Dinky Cars" (Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway which had ceased operations in 1909) on NW 6th Street. The house to the left is an example of the architecture of this time. The source of the photograph is A. F. Weaver's, "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells..." first edition, 1975, on page 82.
Date: 1916

Famous Well

Description: This picture is taken from a series of 17 (4X4) negatives that were enclosed in an envelope from Charles W. Simonds (Route 5, Box 43, Norman, Oklahoma: 73069), postmarked Aug. 4, 1975, and addressed to A.F. Weaver Photography. The photographs were taken January 11, 1919. Also written on the envelope were some telephone numbers and the following: "Father - C.W. Simonds (Clarence Winfield)." The rock building housing the original well was located on Lake Pinto, across West Mountain from the City of Mineral Wells. Mineral water was piped to the Famous drinking pavilion. The Famous Water Company is still [2007] in operation at 215 NW 6th Street, vending "crazy" mineral water, deep-well water, and drinking water filtered by reverse-osmosis.
Date: January 11, 1919

[The First Crazy Hotel]

Description: This picture shows the front of the first Crazy Hotel, which was destroyed by fire March 15, 1925. Built in two stages and joined together, the first (back) section was built in 1912, and the second (front) section was completed in 1914. A handwritten note on back of photograph states, "Crazy Hotel 1913. Front of Hotel Facing South Mineral Wells, Tx." This picture is included on page 15 of A.F. Weaver's book "TIME WAS...", and was probably taken before the second section of the hotel opened for business. The back of Crazy Flats (the second Crazy Water Drinking Pavilion) can be seen to the right, north of and behind the hotel in this picture.
Date: 1913

[The Foster Hotel]

Description: This picture depicts a hotel--done in Queen Anne style (Spindle-work sub-type). Please note the unusual two-story wraparound porch, also with spindle-work. It appears to have been excerpted from a fragment of advertising copy that gives the name of the building as "The Foster", and extols the owner (Mr. T.J. Foster) as " old hotel hand of large acquaintance and wide experience, who has studied the wants and needs of his guests[,] and loses no opportunity of making them comfortable." Polk's Directory for 1910 lists the proprietor of the hotel as F. J. Kowalski. A hand-written note on the edge of the negative (not visible in the picture) states: "NW 1st Ave 6th Street." This address is only approximate. A more accurate address is given in the photograph "The Foster Hotel", also to be found in this collection. Although it is not certain, the clothes of the people shown standing around the hotel strongly suggest that the picture was taken early in the twentieth century. A barely-legible colophon, appearing to read "FONE" appears in the lower left-hand corner.
Date: 1910?

Gibson Well

Description: The discovery of mineral water, and its reported healing powers, sparked an influx of health-seeking visitors in 1881-82. A flurry of drilling activity resulted in incorporation of the city of Mineral Wells in 1882, as water was sought to satisfy the booming market; so much so that no one remembers the order in which the wells were drilled. The Gibson well, however, was one of the early ones. Located at 705 NW 2nd Avenue, it grew into one of the largest parks and drinking pavilions in town. The gasoline-powered "Dinky cars" of the Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway passed by it every quarter-hour, from 1905 to 1909, on their journeys to and from Lake Pinto. The Gibson property was acquired by the Crazy. It was known as the Crazy Park in 1938, and it was made into a beautiful botanical garden. It is currently the site of the First Christian Church.
Date: 1910?

[The Gibson Well- - Souvenir Photograph]

Description: This picture appears to be a souvenir photograph of the Gibson Well drinking pavilion and park, one of the earliest mineral water supply spots in Mineral Wells. It grew into one of the larger parks and pavilions in town. The gasoline-powered "Dinky Cars" of the Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway passed here every quarter-hour (from 1905 to 1909) on their journey to and from Lake Pinto. The Crazy Industries had acquired the property by 1938, and it became known as Crazy Park, a beautiful botanical park. The mineral water industry became a victim of the FDA and the wartime activities during World War II. As a result, the mineral water pavilions, along with other parts of the local health industry, died a slow death. The First Christian Church now occupies the site of the Gibson pavilion.
Date: 1910?

Hotel Damron, Mineral Wells, Texas

Description: This picture shows a post-card view of the Damron Hotel in Mineral Wells, Texas. It was built in 1906 as The Colonial Hotel by rancher J.T. Holt for his second wife, because she would not live in the country. The hotel was traded around 1917 to Agnew and Bessie Damron in exchange for a ranch. The hotel burned completely in 1978.
Date: 1918~

[A House in Mineral Wells]

Description: Writing on the side of the negative reads: "Vance Villa, Jan. 10, 1919, Mineral Wells." (The 1914 Mineral Wells City Directory lists Vance Villa at 811 N. College, which is now NW 5th Avenue. Mineral Wells actually did have a school in the 1890's, located at the corner of 5th Avenue and Hubbard Street.) This picture is one of 17 (4"X4") negatives that were found in an envelope from Charles W. Simonds (Route 5, Box 43, Norman, Oklahoma, 73069) and addressed to A.F. Weaver Photography. It is postmarked "Aug. 4, 1975." Some telephone numbers and the remark: "Father - C.W. Simonds (Clarence Winfield)" also appeared on the envelope.
Date: January 10, 1919

[Looking South on Mesquite Street]

Description: A photograph that looks south on Mesquite Street (in 2008: NE 1st Avenue)is shown here. It was taken after 1914, as the pavement indicates. Several automobiles and a horse-drawn buggy share the street. Note the water fountain between cars in right-center foreground. This water fountain was later moved to Mineral Wells' West City Park, and is now in the "Towne Common", located in the 100 block of SW 1st Avenue. The picture may be found on page 79 of A.F. Weaver's "TIME WAS . . . " Mini Edition, 2004.
Date: 1915?

[Mesquite Street, Looking South]

Description: Shown here is a view of Mesquite Street (Now [2008] NE First Avenue) from its upper end at Coke Street (now NE 2nd Street). Horse-drawn vehicles are present. The building at the left middle of the picture with the "DRUGS" sign and the stone lion statue on its roof is the Yeager Building, home of what was popularly called "The Lion Drug Store." The first building on right, 205 NE First Street (with arched windows) was H. M. Coleman's clothing store for men, which even at this early date, appears to be undergoing renovation.
Date: 1912?

Mineral Wells High School

Description: We have here a view from the south of Mineral Wells' High School, built in 1915 at 101 NW 5th Avenue. This side of the building faces W. Hubbard Street. The tower atop the West Ward School can be seen below the skyline, and to the left, above the high school. (The West Ward school was torn down in 1930.)
Date: 1915?/1930?

Oak Street, Looking North

Description: 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.
Date: 1910/1914

Oak Street, Looking South

Description: This picture shows the 100 block of what is now N. Oak Avenue, looking south. The "Palace Saloon" sign is still visible in 2008. The Palo Pinto County Courthouse Annex currently [2010] occupies the building that once housed Poston's Dry Goods (just down the street from the Palace Saloon). Please note the absence of trolley tracks--or the festoon of wires required to keep its power-line in place. The unpaved street dates the photograph prior to 1914, and probably prior to the previous picture.
Date: 1914?

Oak Street , Looking South

Description: We have here a picture of Oak Street, looking South. The Poston Company and the Palace Saloon are easily visible in photograph. The wording "Fishburn Dallas" appears on the photograph. The unpaved street, several horses and wagons in picture date the picture to an era before 1914, when the street was paved.
Date: 1910?

Our City

Description: A photograph, taken from Welcome Mountain looking West down NW 4th Street, of unknown date is illustrated here. The small brick building in 4th Street is the Crazy Well. The first Crazy Water Hotel (left middle of picture) was built on same location as present Crazy Water hotel. The present hotel is much larger and extends to the Crazy Well. Note the Crazy Flats (drinking pavilion with apartments) in foreground. Note the first Catholic Church, on West Mountain. The West Ward School and the High School are in upper left quadrant of picture.
Date: 1912?/1915


Description: An inscription at the bottom of the photograph reads "Pat--Ike." The "Ike" presumably refers to Ike Zablosky, who came from Russia to Philadelphia in 1890. He and his wife, Fanny Jaffee, later moved to Mineral Wells for health reasons where he became involved in the fur-and-hide business. Zablosky once described the northwest part of Palo Pinto County as a "'Possum kingdom"; hence the first flood-control lake on the Brazos River was named Possum Kingdom Lake. (The story is that it was named that by president Franklin Roosevelt himself.) Zabloski sponsored a local baseball team. He bought a Texas League franchise, when it became available, after he moved to Dallas. It was to become Dallas' first professional baseball team. He pioneered the founding of city farm teams, and acted as umpire and coach. The last name of the "Pat" in the photograph is unknown. He was associated with a team known as the White Sox, which held spring training in Mineral Wells in 1911 and again from 1915-1917. This picture is dated 1917.
Date: 1917