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[A Trolley Car of the] Mineral Wells Electric System

Description: A "Major" J. D. Beardsley (1837-1911)--a Canadian who fought for the Union in the Civil war--built an electric trolley line that ran from North Oak, south to the train depot, west to Pecan Street (NW 4th Avenue), south on Pecan Street, to the ridge in the Lowe Place Addition, west to Pollard Creek, where Mr. Beardsley laid out Elmhurst Park (q.v.). A cross-line on Hubbard street ran east to Elmwood Cemetery. By the end of 1906, Beardsley owned sixteen cars, running on approximately ten miles of tracks. It was reported that an interurban line to run to Millsap, Weatherford, and thence to Fort Worth was planned. In fact, speculation had been made that an interurban trolley system had been Major Beardsley's ambition right from the start. The route for this interurban was laid out by "Major" Beardsley. A man named Gid R.Turner proposed a rival line. Confused reports by 1907 had been made that the two enterprises were being merged, but Major Beardsley denied the report. (In August 19067, Turner was required by Weatherford to tell his intentions. He made no answer. Neither line was ever built, perhaps due to the Panic of 1907, because by December of 1907, the Beardsley enterprise was declared "Dead.". Portions of the tracks were removed near the water wells dug by Mr. Ed Dismuke (q.v., in the description field.), by a syndicate of Beardsley's creditors ,including D. T. Bomar, (who bought the railway and assorted properties at auction for $75,000) and Morgan Jones in 1911. His extensive properties went to several of his other creditors. The picture appears to come from the "Daily Mineral Wells Index" , which takes two entire pages to sing the praises of "Major" Beardsley, and to announce the start of the trolley line in June of 1902. [The date ...
Date: 1907?/1913?
Item Type: Photograph

[A Bottle-Shaped Advertisement ]

Description: This photograph shows an advertisement for the Gulf Texas and Western Railroad in the shape of a bottle of mineral water. In 1912, two gasoline-powered motor cars were added to the WMW&NW rolling stock to provide passenger service to Salesville, Oran, and Graford. The Golf Texas & Western Railroad,(GT&W)--sometimes referred to by locals as "Get your Ticket and Walk"--was built from Seymour through Olney and Jacksboro and contracted to operate motor coaches over part of WMW&NW north extension in 1912. The GT&W line joined the WMW&NW Railroad some 12 miles north of Mineral Wells. Although the contract for the use of WMW&NW system was signed February 6, 1912, actual operation over the WMW&NW line did not begin until March 27, 1913. The Gulf Texas and Western operated gasoline powered motor coaches, similar to the ones owned by WMW&NW, through Mineral Wells, Weatherford, Ft. Worth and on to Dallas. A round-trip from Seymour to Dallas was made daily by a 70-passenger gasoline-powered motor car. Completion of Morris Sheppard Dam and the impounding of Possum Kingdom Lake necessitated abandonment of the Salesville to Graford line (and consequently the entire GT&W line) by August 15, 1936. The reverse side of this Mineral Water advertisement indicates that the building of the railroad was underwritten by Beetham and Sons.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Artwork

[A Charter for the Interurban Road and Street Car Line]

Description: The Mineral Wells Electric System operated two electric street cars in the city of Mineral Wells from 1907 to 1913; one on Hubbard Streeet from NE 17th Avenue to SW 6th Avenue (later part of the Bankhead Highway), and one on Oak Avenue from NE 17th Street to SE 11th Street, thence Southwest to Elmhurst Park. However, two gasoline-powered 70 passenger (all-passenger) motor cars were operated by the Weatherford, Mineral Wells and Northwestern Railroad (WMW&NW) between Graford, Mineral Wells, Ft. Worth and Dallas from 1912 to 1935. An electric interurban line was not built. The second part of this notice--the Army-Navy Sanitarium--was never approved by Congress.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Legal Document

[The Ground-breaking for the Peck City Railroad Depot]

Description: This picture illustrates a newspaper article (in the Mineral Wells "Index")about the ground-breaking ceremony for the Gulf and Brazos Valley Railroad depot in Mineral wells, Texas. The G & B V railroad ran from a junction on the Texas & Pacific Railroad main line at Peck City (2 miles west of Millsap) to Mineral Wells. The G&B V depot was on SE Mesquite Street, (now SE 1st Avenue) one block north of the WMW&NW depot. The G&B V contracted to use the WMW&NW tracks from Mineral Wells to the Rock Creek coal mines in far western Parker County, four miles east of Mineral wells. The G&B V ceased operation shortly after the Texas & Pacific Railroad bought the WMW&NW in 1902.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

[A Mineral Wells Electric System Trolley Car]

Description: A "Major" Beardsley, a Canadian who fought for Maine in the Civil War, (And reported by the Abilene "Daily Reporter" of 1905 to be of Gibstown, Iowa) was granted a franchise to construct a railway street system in 1906. He was also granted a 99-year franchise for the generation and sale of electricity in Mineral Wells. He also bought about 600 acres of land, and established three additions: Lowe Place addition, Lawn Place, Lawn Terrace, and Elmhurst Park, which came to sport a dance pavilion and a Casino. The Beardsley enterprise ended mysteriously with the notice that the workers for his interurban (from Mineral Wells, Peaster, Millsap, and Weatherford) had not been paid. Beasley himself was in New Orleans at the time. Beardsley's trustee, a Mr. W.B. Smith,and the City of Mineral Wells, sued Beardsley's creditors. A judgment awarded Smith the sum of $15,000, and gave the City of Mineral Wells some sixty acres--which included Elmhurst Park. The legal battle continued beyond 1917, when the decision was reversed and remanded by the Court of Civil appeals for Texas. Number 23 trolley car is illustrated here.
Date: 1907?/1913?
Item Type: Photograph

The Fair Grounds and Race Track, Mineral Wells, Texas

Description: Shown here is a picture of a dirt horse-race track and fair grounds,located southeast of town. It is not known if thoroughbred horses raced, but sulkies are known to have raced here. This course was the first of its kind in Mineral Wells. Another track was constructed at Elmhurst Park, in the southeast part of town, after this one was torn down.
Date: 1900?
Item Type: Photograph

"Crazy" Water Crystals Plant

Description: The "Crazy" Water Crystals Plant was built in 1919. Mineral water was boiled down in the plant, until only the mineral crystals were left. The crystals became an early version of "instant food" when dissolved in water. Radio advertising in the 1930's over the Texas Quality Network, direct from the lobby of the Crazy Hotel, developed a market for the "Crazy Water Crystals" all over the world. This picture of the plant has been computer-enhanced.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Artwork

First Car of Shale

Description: "First car of shale" is the legend printed on the original photograph. The car bears the marking "H.M.X. 20" on the rear. The picture probably commemorates the opening of Mineral Wells' fledgling brick manufacturing industry, as the appearance of a gentleman wearing a tie and wielding a shovel suggests a celebration of sorts. His attire shown is typical of summertime 1930's dress. The photograph bears the legend that it was restored by A.F. Weaver.
Date: 1925?
Item Type: Photograph

[ A Street Scene]

Description: This picture comes from one of 17 (4X4) negatives that were found 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. Also on the envelope, are some telephone numbers and "Father - C.W. Simonds (Clarence Winfield.) The scene is believed to show some of the large homes on the east slope of West Mountain, in the 600 block of NW 6th Street, taken at about the time of their construction. The home in the foreground appears to be the site of the former Episcopal Parsonage (the church adjoins the parsonage to the north (left of the picture).
Date: unknown
Creator: Clarence Winfield Simonds
Item Type: Photograph

[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
Item Type: Photograph

Mineral Wells (1900)

Description: This article and photograph from the Weaver Collection appeared in the Mineral Wells Index in the late 1960's--or possibly the early 1970's. The newspaper attributes the photograph to the "Courtesy of Tom Green," and the research to "Bill Cameron." The article states: "This is the way Mineral Wells looked at the turn of the [twentieth] Century. The Scott Livery Stable, foreground, is occupies the area the Whatley Motor Company does today. Across the street at left was the two-story Holmes Hotel. The barn in the corner, in the center of picture, was the T.J. Green Transfer Company. Mat Birdwell, who purchased horses for the government, had his headquarters in the Green barn. Other spots include the Frost Lumber Yard, next to the Green barn; [the] old Baptist Church steeples, top left; [the] Presbyterian Church, top right, that burned 60 years ago."
Date: 1900?
Item Type: Photograph

[An Aerial View of Downtown Mineral Wells in 1954]

Description: This is a picture of an aerial view of downtown Mineral Wells (taken from the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, January 1954)at about South Oak Avenue, and looking north-northeast. Some of the buildings identifiable in the picture no longer exist. The Damron Hotel, at the middle left of the picture, burned in 1975. The Oxford Hotel/First National Bank building, one block east [right] of the Damron, near the center of the picture, burned in 1983. It has been replaced by Lynch Plaza. The Hexagon Hotel, in the upper left corner of the picture, (north and above the Crazy) was demolished in 1959. The Convention Center behind the Hexagon was demolished in 1976. Landmarks still standing are: The 13-story (including a Roof Garden) Baker Hotel, dominating the upper right of the picture; The Crazy Hotel (now [2003] a retirement home) at the upper left of the picture; and the old Post Office in the upper middle of the picture (between the Baker and Crazy Hotels), which now [2003] houses the Woman's Club. The building across the street and to the south (this side of the Baker) was demolished to make room for the Mineral Wells Savings and Loan, which in turn was replaced by The First State Bank.
Date: 1954
Item Type: Photograph

Mineral Wells Yesterday And Today

Description: The caption to this picture indicates that there are two of them, taken from a common vantage point. This photograph dates from June, 1895, and it was taken from under the original Welcome sign. The view is to the southwest. The Methodist Church (the large white church with steeple) is in the foreground near the lower left corner. Above it, and slightly to its right (near the left edge and middle foreground), is an old two-story stone building which was occupied by the Bank of Mineral Wells. The second photograph, of Mineral Wells in a later time, is unfortunately not provided.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

[Where the "Doodle Bug" Crossed the "Dinky Car" Tracks]

Description: Illustrated here is the intersection of the "Doodle Bug" and "Dinky Car" tracks at the southwest corner of the Gibson Well property, NW 6th Street and NW 2nd Avenue. There were two "Doodle Bug" gasoline-powered motor coaches. The first one ran from Mineral Wells to Graford on the Weatherford, Mineral Wells and Northwestern Railroad (WMWNW) tracks. It was joined later by a second similar coach that ran from Mineral Wells to Seymour on the Gulf Texas and Western (GT&W) line. Two Dinky Cars, gasoline-powered motor cars on the Lakewood Scenic Railway, made round trips each quarter hour from the Mineral Wells depot to Lake Pinto. The Dinky cars, Esther and Suzie, were named after (banker and co-owner) Cicero Smith's daughters. The cars were joined in 1908 by a larger car--the Ben Hur. In the photograph the narrow-gauge dinky tracks running east-west along 6th Street crossing the wider standard-gauge railroad tracks running north-south (left to right in the picture.) The Gibson Well park and drinking pavilion are also shown in the picture.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

[A LakeWood Park Scenic Railway, Dinky Car "Esther"]

Description: This photograph shows the "Dinkey Car", Esther, that operated on The Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway to Lake Pinto from 1905 to 1907, at which time the lines were removed. The background indicates the picture was taken near Lake Pinto. This "Dinky Car" was one of two named "Esther" and "Susie" after local banker Cicero Smith's daughters. Banker Smith and Ed Dismuke, owner of The Famous Water Company, built the Scenic Railway. These little cars, powered by gasoline engines, ran every 15 minutes from Mineral Wells, around West Mountain, to Lake Pinto. A larger version, called the "Ben Hur", was added in 1907. Round trip cost 15 cents, and the cars ran on their own steel rails from 1905 to 1909. The Scenic Railway operation to Lake Pinto differed significantly from the trolley and tracks of the Mineral Wells Electric System. The trolley company served the City and ran some two miles southwest to Elmhurst Park and Lake between 1906 and 1907.
Date: 1905/1909
Item Type: Photograph

Crazy Well Park

Description: "CRAZY WELL PARK, located just south of the Crazy Hotel at the corner of NW 3rd Street and 1st Avenue" as the picture that appears on page 115 of "Time Was...", Second edition, declares. The building one block west (left) of the first Crazy Hotel (at the northwest corner of NW 2nd Avenue and NW 3rd. Street) is the W.E. Mayes Building in which the Wells Hotel was located. (The far right end of the building also carries a sign reading "Caldwell Hotel." (Early in its life, the site of this building was the Texas Carlsbad well and drinking pavilion.) Also visible is Clark's Pharmacy. The prominent park is now part of the Crazy Hotel parking lot.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

The Dam and Pinto Lake

Description: This picture appears on page 81 of the Second Edition of "Time Was..." The book states that the lake today [2008] is dry, and owned by C. R. Upham, Jr.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

[The Lookout Tower of the Casino at Elmhurst Park]

Description: This photograph appears on page 87 of "Time Was..." by A. F. Weaver. He writes, "The Casino had two lookout towers. Note the five persons in the tower." The people are not identified. The photograph appears to have been retouched for sharpness and contrast.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

Casino

Description: This photograph may be found on page 87 of "Time Was..." by A. F. Weaver. He identifies it as "The Casino and Fiddler's Bandstand at Elmhurst Park." The park was southwest of Mineral Wells. Some of the photograph appears to have been re-touched.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

[People in the Front of the Nazareth Hospital]

Description: A group of people, including a priest, three nuns and Mother Superior, standing in front of the Nazareth Hospital. For details about the Nazareth Hospital, please see: "Nazareth Hospital, 25th Anniversary, 1931-1956."
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

[Looking North on Oak Avenue]

Description: A photograph, looking north on Oak Street between 1914 and 1916. Work has started on paving the street. This picture is to be found on page 16 of the second edition of "Time Was in Mineral Wells..."
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

[Mesquite Street]

Description: A picture of Mesquite Street (in 2008: NE 1st Avenue) looking south is illustrated in this picture. The drug store in the picture is the C. F. Yeager Drugstore on the SE corner of Mesquite Street and NE 1st Street. A bank is also visible at the next corner up from the Yeager Drug which is the SE corner of Mesquite and Hubbard Streets. There are people in the middle of the Street, and several horse drawn vehicles, indicating a parade or demonstration of some sort. Since most of the crowd are ladies in period dress at about the turn of the twentieth century, it could be a demonstration for Womens' Suffrage or the Ladies Temperance League demonstrating in favor of prohibition--no signs or placards are apparent.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph