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ABOUT BROWSE FEED

Exchange Hotel

Description: [The] Exchange Hotel (also known as [The]Plateau in 1909, and later as the Hospital) was built on the site of the Cliff House, which was destroyed by fire. The house to the right was built in 1896 by Dr. A. W. Thompson as a wedding present for his second wife. The Mineral Wells Post Office was built on the vacant lot at the left of the hotel in 1912. The Hotel presents something of a conundrum. An annotation without date states that the Exchange Hotel was destroyed by fire and the Plateau Hotel was built in its place. A notation of 1902 states that the Plateau Hotel was the only brick hotel. A 1907 map shows the Hotel as being at 207 East Coke (Now NE 2nd Avenue) Street. In 1909, a St. Paul Sanitarium was listed at 118 NE 7th Street. .A map of 1912 shows the Plateau Hotel as still being in existence. The city directory of 1920 shows no building in the 200 block--except for the Post Office. A Mineral Wells City Directory of 1924 listed the former Exchange/Plateau building as the Mineral Wells Sanatorium. Dr. A.W. Thompson was still living in the house to the right at the time. In 1924, the Mineral Wells Sanitarium was listed as being at 211 NE 2nd Street, and a Hotel Wilson (with no room for a third building) at 211 NE 2nd Street. In 1928, the Mineral Wells Sanitarium was listed at 211 NE 2nd Street. By 1937, there was no listing in the City Directory. It is presumed that the Hotel/Hospital was finally demolished.
Date: 1900?
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

Fairfield Inn

Description: The Fairfield Inn, built by Col. Walter H. Boykin around the turn of the twentieth century, was a very popular rooming and boarding house in the early days of Mineral Wells. It was located at 814 North Oak Street, across Oak Street and one block north of the contemporary Hexagon Hotel. Part of the retaining wall shown in the picture still exists. Mr. Boykin built his home at 1501 SE 4th Avenue. The home was later sold to William Whipple Johnson, who operated the Rock Creek coal mines in eastern Parker County around 1910. Mr. Johnson, with his brother Harvey, had previously opened the coal mines at Thurber on the Palo Pinto/Erath county line in 1908.
Date: 1900?
Item Type: Photograph

[The First Boy Scouts in Mineral Wells, 1902]

Description: A note on back of this photograph states, "1902, 1st Boy Scouts in Mineral Wells, organized by Frank Creighton (L) met in old Sangcura Sprudel Well Pavilion." The picture was taken in front of Green's Transfer Building. This photograph possibly shows the youth division of a local lodge, probably Shriners. Please note that the boys shown in the picture are shouldering real rifles. The uniforms depicted look more like Zouaves than Boy Scouts, while the adult frowning on the extreme left has a sword in his hand. This historic photograph captures a precursor to the Boy Scout movement, that started six years later in England. It spread to America in 1910 to generate an interest in outdoor and educational activities among teen-age boys.
Date: 1902
Item Type: Photograph

Gibson Well, Mineral Wells, Texas

Description: The Gibson Well, in the 700 block of NW 2nd Avenue, was one of the first wells in Mineral Wells to establish a drinking pavilion for the convenience of its customers. In time it became one of the largest pavilions and parks in the city. The gasoline-powered "Dinky cars" of the Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway passed the Gibson Well (from 1905 to 1909) every quarter hour on their journey to Lake Pinto. The "Dinky car" tracks are barely visible in this photograph, but the well's extensive gardens had not yet been developed at this time. Drinking and bathing in the mineral water was believed to alleviate a variety of ailments and restore the body to health.
Date: 1905?
Item Type: Photograph

Gibson Well, Mineral Wells, Texas

Description: Shown here is an early picture of the Gibson Well drinking pavilion, located in the 700 block of NW 2nd Avenue. Note the horse and buggy. Note also the condition of the (unpaved) street. Finally, please note the "Dinky Car" track in the lower right corner of the picture. The gasoline-powered motor cars traveled at fifteen-minute intervals between the city and Lake Pinto from 1905 to 1909. The tracks remained in place some years after. The Gibson Well pavilion was expanded and a park was added on its west. The Christian Church (built of limestone rocks from the historic cattle pens on Dillingham Prairie) now occupies the entire city block on which the Gibson Well was formerly located.
Date: 1908?
Item Type: Photograph

The "Gibson Well" Mineral Wells, Texas

Description: Shown here is a picture of the first Gibson Well drinking pavilion. Located in the 700 block of what is now NW 2nd Avenue, it was one of the first drinking pavilions in the city. An expanded pavilion replaced the one in this picture, and it became one of the more popular social gathering places in town. The Christian Church now [2008] occupies the entire city block on which the Gibson Well was located.
Date: 1900?
Item Type: Photograph

[A Group of Hikers]

Description: This photograph shows group of two young men and six ladies on an outing in 1905. Note the walking "canes" held by several of the ladies. They appear to be resting at the souvenir photograph stand on the mountain trail about half-way to the top of East Mountain. Hiking to the top of East Mountain was a popular pastime for health seekers in the "City Built on Water" around the turn of the century.
Date: 1905
Item Type: Photograph

[The Gulf and Brazos Valley Railroad Depot]

Description: A caption to the photograph states: "Gulf and Brazos Valley Railroad Depot 1899-1902. Erected back some 80 years ago, and served the Brazos Valley Railroad from Mineral Wells to Peck City near Millsap, now known as Bennett." The area formerly known as Peck City is now the location of an Acme brick plant, and is named "Bennett" for the rail switch that serves the plant. Standing on the right in the photograph is Noble Nuttall, father of Verne Nuttall, the first depot operator and telegraph operator. Please note the guitar near the woman at the window. The depot was once located on the site now occupied by the Hayes Lumber Company, in the 300 block on SE 1st Avenue. The newspaper caption: "Passengers would ride on the Texas and Pacific to Peck City and come by the Brazos Valley train from Peck City to Mineral Wells" is incorrect. The GULF and BRAZOS RIVER RAILWAY was strictly a freight line that hauled coal from the Rock Creek mines (east of Mineral Wells) to the T&P main line at Peck City. The first depot in Mineral Wells for passenger service from Weatherford was built when the W.-M.W.-N.W. that first arrived in Mineral Wells in 1891. It burned down, and it was replaced by the current brick depot in 1902, the year the GBV was sold at a sheriff's auction in Weatherford. (Photo courtesy of Verne Nuttall)
Date: 1900?
Item Type: Photograph

The Hawthorn Well

Description: The Hawthorn Well drinking pavilion, located at 314 NW 1st Avenue, was owned and operated by William O'Brien. The Hawthorn not only had mineral water and a drinking pavilion, but also catered to the pleasure-seeking public with a bowling alley. Dances were also held in the pavilion both afternoon and nights during the "season." The picture shows advertising on the roof for the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railroad. The "Katy" built a north-south railway across Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) at about this time. Its Texas office and shops were located in Dennison. Hotels in Mineral Wells were sending hacks and buggies to Millsap to transport passengers to "The Nation's Greatest Health Resort" in such numbers that by January 1, 1891, the first train of The Weatherford Mineral Wells and Northwestern Railroad rolled into town. With connections through Dallas, the "Katy" sought a portion of that railway passenger traffic.
Date: 1900?
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

Lithia Well

Description: The Lithia Well drinking pavilion was located on the southwest corner of the Crazy block at 400 NW 1st Avenue. The roof of the second Crazy Well drinking pavilion can be seen to the left of the Lithia. The Mineral Wells Library maintained its second location in this pavilion. The First Crazy Hotel was built on this location in 1914, but burned in 1925. The rebuilt and expanded Crazy Hotel (Now [2008] a retirement home) replaced the burned hostelry in 1927. See also the following picture.
Date: 1900?
Item Type: Photograph

Lithia Wells

Description: The Lithia Wells and Drinking Pavilion was located on the southwest corner of the "Crazy Block." (400 NW 1st Avenue, the current [2008]location of the Crazy Retirement Home). The second Crazy Well Pavilion is the large building the upper left of the photograph. Note the three burros next to the horse. Riding burros up a trail on East Mountain was a popular tourist pastime, in addition to drinking and bathing in the mineral waters. The Mineral Wells Public Library was located in the Lithia Pavilion at one time. See also the preceding picture.
Date: 1908?
Item Type: Photograph

Looking south on Mesquite Street

Description: A street scene, identified as Mesquite Street (now NE 1st Avenue)and looking south, taken at the turn of the twentieth century, shows businesses that antedate the coming of the automobile. On the right, in the middle of the picture, the Yeager Building is shown with a stone lion mounted on its roof. Many historians now refer to this building as the Lion Drug Store. However, current Yeager descendants now living in Mineral Wells do not remember the store as ever being named anything but The Yeager Drug Store. The third building on the left (with the spire on top) was the Star Well whose manager, Frank Richards was an active participant in Mineral Wells' early business and social activities. At the end of the street is Mineral Wells depot built in 1902. Absence of the "Dinky Car" tracks in the middle of the street indicates that the picture was taken prior to the building of the Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway in 1905.
Date: 1902-05?
Item Type: Photograph

Lower End of Mesquite St.

Description: A view of Mesquite Street (in 2008: NE 1st Avenue), taken in 1910, and looking south-east. The scene shows horse-drawn wagons loaded with cotton bales. Electrical lines are visible. The building at the northeast corner of East Hubbard Street and South Mesquite Street is the D.M. Howard Block. D. M Howard was the first of five Howard brothers to come to Mineral Wells and establish businesses. There was a Dry Goods store on the left end of the building, a millinery shop above it, and a grocery store was in the building to the right. Later the J.M. Belcher Furniture occupied the building; and still later, R&W Furniture. Demolition of the building began March 17 of 1975 to make room for the Savings and Loan Building and a parking lot. The First State Bank now [2007] occupies this entire block.
Date: 1900-05?
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

[A Mineral Wells Advertisement]

Description: A 1906 seasonal advertisement, compliments Central Texas Realty Association, depicts a young lady (An Art Nouveau goddess?) half-kneeling within a frame that suggests stained glass. She is holding a water jug, from which pours a stream of healing elixir that splashes into the lowermost center of the brochure. Decorative scrolls reminiscent of wrought iron sculpture decorate the advertisement. Stars, both in the advertisement and on the lady's tiara, hint that Mineral Wells is the City of Light. What appears to be a coffee stain shows at the upper left. Someone has penciled "1905" in the upper right corner.
Date: 1906
Item Type: Artwork

[The Mineral Wells Bottling Works]

Description: A number of the early mineral water wells bottled their product and sold it nationwide for its reputed health benefits. The name of this particular well, associated with this turn-of-the-20th-century endeavor, is not identified. It may well have been the inventor of the bottled water industry. This photograph shows what has been tentatively identified as a threshing machine, driven by a steam-powered tractor, parked outside the plant. This bottling plant also produced "Country Red" and "Cream soda" in 1906. J.L. Tipton is shown, fourth from the left. The other men remain unidentified. The photograph dates from 1912. This bottling company also bottled "Country Red" and "Cream soda" in 1912. J.L. Tipton is shown, fourth from the left. The other men remain unidentified. Later development of a crystallizing process eliminated the substantial cost of shipping water, and adversely affected the bottled water industry. The concentrated crystals greatly expanded the distribution of the beneficial minerals inherent in the water, and created an industry of its own. However, it led to legal problems occasioned by the limited supply of crystals, and attempts to satisfy a voracious market. What appears to be a scar across the photograph indicates that the original picture was probably damaged, and was repaired by Mr. Weaver for the making of a duplicate photograph.
Date: 1900?
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

[Mineral Wells Firemen , about 1907]

Description: An undated, hand-written note, in what appears to be Mr. Weaver's writing, and attached to the print says that it is "Sam Smith's Picture." In another person's handwriting, a second note states, "MW [Mineral Wells] firemen at McLendon and Burch Feed Store--where Brookshire Furniture store now is (213 SE 1st Street). Burned out between 1907 and 1915. Front Row: Guy Croft, Henry Russell, J W (Buck) Thomas, Jube Warren, Holland Cogdell, Bill Deck (mask on), Bob Bozzell, Oscar Bish -Chief- , John Moore. Top Row - John Gill, Ben McGowen, D.E. Odell, Henry Briley, Arthur Ford, Arthur Howard, C.H. Alexander, Henry Hester, J.W. Birdwell, Ernest Wallace, Reginald Cogdell (driver). 18 are known to be deceased." Then, in Mr. Weaver's handwriting again, "All but three deceased." There is another note subtracting 1907 from 1973, with 66 as the result. The photograph possibly dates from 1907, and Mr. Weaver's notes to 1973.
Date: 1907?
Item Type: Photograph

[Mineral Wells' First Public School Erected in 1884]

Description: This rock structure is now [2008] a museum dedicated to the preservation of the history of the city. There was some construction around the school at the time of this photograph, probably due to the building of Mineral Wells' first high school, the West Ward School, on the same lot, next door to and north of the little Rock School in 1902.
Date: 1902?
Item Type: Photograph