Boyce Ditto Public Library - Browse


[A Bird's Eye-view of Mountains in the Distance]

Description: Illustrated here is a view of Mineral Wells from the southeast, looking northwest. On the left, the large building in front of the hill is the Chautauqua, built by public subscription in 1905. It was demolished sometime about 1912. The large white building near the edge at the left middle of the picture was the First Baptist Church, which served the congregation from 1900 to 1920. The dim building under the hill at the upper right of the picture is the East Ward School (Mineral Wells' first High School), built in 1906 and closed in 1926. Please note the windmills in the backyards.
Date: unknown

[Blind Nellie]

Description: Blind Nellie was brought to Mineral Wells by a cowboy, who sold her at auction for a dollar and a half. She eventually came into the possession of Colonel W.R. Austin, who used her to turn the wheel of the pump at the Austin Well. In that capacity, the horse became a tourist attraction. When she was retired, she continued to walk in circles in her pasture. She was given a ceremonial burial when she died in 1912, a burial attended by a large crowd of admirers. The story may be found on page 54 of "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells..." by A.F. Weaver. Written on the back of this photograph is "Blind Nellie at Austin Well located in the 900 block of N.E. 2nd Ave." This is clearly a photograph of a newspaper clipping.
Date: unknown

[Blind Nellie at the Austin Well]

Description: Colonel W. R. Austin came from Kentucky to Palo Pinto County about 1880, and settled on Staggs Prairie. When an infection in his eye responded to mineral water treatment, he established the Austin Well, later operated by his son-in-law, Tom Sims. Blind Nellie was a fixture of the Austin Well for years. She had an interesting history: A cowboy rode her into town one day, and auctioned her off to the highest bidder, J.H. Coleman, who bid a dollar and a half for her. Then Bob Kyle took Coleman's bargain off his hands, but Colonel Austin was the one who profited most from her when he devised a method that used her to "pump" water from his well. This unique method of bringing water to the surface was an added attraction at the Austin. Instead of drawing it up by hand or using a power pump, Blind Nellie was trained to walk around in circles, pulling the water up from below. She would pause long enough for the water to empty and, as if on a hidden cue, would go around again as the receptacle was lowered back into the well, repeating her performance accurately each time. In later years, when she became confused in her ritual, she was allowed to retire. In retirement, however, Blind Nellie selected a place in her pasture, and during the working hours of the day she repeated the ritual of walking her circle in a size corresponding to the one she had walked for so many years at the Austin Well. She died in 1912.
Date: 1900?

[The Brick Factory]

Description: The abundant clay in and around Palo Pinto County was recognized around the turn of the 20th century as a source of raw material for brick manufacturing. Rejected fine coal from the area's coal mines furnished heat to fire the clay and bake it into brick. This brick factory in far western Parker County, near the Rock Creek coal mine, was a major industry in Mineral Wells. The factory was first opened on January 21 of 1921. The factory is in full operation in this photograph, with train cars on the tracks and bricks stacked along the rail area awaiting shipment. Area-made bricks were used to build the seawall at Galveston after the disastrous hurricane of 1900, to pave both the highway from Mineral Wells to Ft. Worth as well as many of the streets in in that city, and to pave Congress Avenue in Austin.
Date: unknown

[The Bridge at the Old Elmhurst Park]

Description: This picture illustrates the swinging bridge crossing Pollard Creek in Elmhurst Park. Note the Mineral Wells Electric Railway street car (trolley) in the background. Elmhurst Park was located about where SW 25th Street and SW 25th Avenue are located today. Both Elmhurst Park and the streetcar operated from about 1907 to 1913. The dam over Pollard Creek was broached, and the lake was drained after the park closed. A housing development was built on the old Elmhurst Park grounds during World War II. Writing on the photograph dates it to 1907, shortly after the Park opened, and identifies the two visitors on the bridge as Allen and Charles-- apparently father and son.
Date: unknown

[The Budweiser Clydesdale Team]

Description: A scene in the 400 block of North Oak, looking towards the south on Oak Avenue, taken in the 1930's. (Shadows indicate the picture was taken in the early morning.) The Budweiser Clydesdale team was introduced to the public in 1933, and is shown along the 200 block west. The "CRAZY" sign that spanned Hubbard Ave. (now US Highway 180) a block behind the Clydesdale team was erected in 1933 also, probably later in the same year the picture was taken. A two-story garage/office building, the former Seaman's Pontiac Agency (still standing in 2010) is visible alongside the Anheuser-Busch beer wagon. Other businesses noted are: Dr. M. S. Green, Chiropractor; King's Cafe. The prominent building behind the Clydesdale team is still standing at the corner of Hubbard Street and Oak Avenue. Advertising signs noted: Texaco, Mobilgas, and a sign on the seaman's building for Crazy Water Crystals.
Date: unknown

[The Burning of the Crazy Flats]

Description: The "Crazy Flats" drinking pavilion, with rooms for rent, replaced a two-story Crazy Water drinking pavilion in 1909. The first Crazy Hotel was built in 1912, and an annex was added to it in 1914. A fire in the Drug Store of the "Crazy Flats" (SE corner of the Crazy Flats building) on March 15, 1925, destroyed the entire Crazy block. The "New", completely rebuilt, Crazy Hotel was enlarged to cover the entire block. It opened in 1927, and replaced all of the burned buildings. The new building was promoted as fireproof, since it was built with solid cement walls and ceilings. The former "new Crazy Hotel" had a colorful past that included a daily radio show originating in its Lobby and broadcast nationally over TQN (the Texas Quality Network). It had survived the Great Depression of the 'thirties, World War I, the Korean "Police Action", and the Viet Nam War.
Date: March 15, 1925

[The Burning of the First Crazy Hotel]

Description: The first Crazy Hotel burned in 1925. This photograph shows the fire as it is burning out, and only a few pieces of the structure still stand. The sign seen in the left part of the photo says "Crazy Drug Co." which was the pharmacy inside the hotel. The hotel was rebuilt and claims to be fire-proof.
Date: 1925

Cafe Royal

Description: The caption on the photograph identifies it as the Cafe Royal. This building that houses it, on the NW corner of NW 1st Avenue and 3rd Streets, was known as the W.E. Mayes Building. Upstairs rooms were rented under the name of the "Carlsbad Hotel" in recognition of the nearby Carlsbad Drinking Pavilion at the opposite (or NE) corner of the block: 700 NW 2nd Avenue. (The first edition of "Time Was in Mineral Wells", page 105, identifies it as the Wells Hotel.)
Date: 1900?

[The Calvary Baptist Parsonage 1975]

Description: This home was the parsonage for the Calvary Baptist Church in 1975. The home has a rock facade and appears to have a porch on the side of the structure. This is one of a series of pictures of the church and parsonage showing structural damage, prior to their demolition and replacement with more modern structures. The original church faced south on SE 5th Street, and its replacement occupies the same city block but faces west on SE 6th Avenue.
Date: unknown

Camp Wolters - Texas

Description: Illustrated here is a panoramic view of Camp Wolters, Texas. Labels on photograph identify (left to right) Area No. 4, Sports Arena, Service Club, Area No. 5, Area No. 3, Area No. 2, and Area No.1. Platoons of soldiers are marching on the left side of the photograph.
Date: 1945
Creator: Camp Wolters Studio

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?

The Carlisle House, Mineral Wells Texas

Description: The Carlisle House was once located at 316 NW 3rd Avenue, and NW 4th Street. It filled a quarter of the block, and, with sixty rooms, was one of the largest hotels in Mineral Wells. It owned and managed by Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Emmett Carlisle. Mr. Carlisle died in 1911, but his widow continued to manage the hotel. The hotel met its doom in a fire that consumed six hotels and seven dwellings during its rampage. The conflagration was so thorough that the location was still empty in 1921. The Nazareth Hospital as eventually built in this location. The architecture is possibly best described as an eclectic mix of Queen Anne and Prairie styles, the latter perhaps reflecting additions to the original building. [For further details, please see the picture labeled "Carlisle House, Mineral Wells, Texas."]
Date: unknown

Carlsbad Well

Description: This picture, dated September 19, 1907, shows the Carlsbad Well at 415 NW 1st Avenue, and west of the Crazy Well drinking pavilion. It was one of the first drinking pavilions in Mineral Wells, and boasted that the water "Makes a man love HIS [sic] wife, makes a wife love HER [sic] husband/ Robs the divorce court of its business/ Takes the temper out of red-headed people/ Puts ginger into ginks/ and pepper into plodders."
Date: September 19, 1907

[The Carlsbad Well: First Building]

Description: The first Carlsbad Well drinking pavilion was built about 1895. The Carlsbad (also known as the Texas Carlsbad Well), one of the early drinking pavilions in Mineral Wells, was located at 415 NW 1st Avenue, directly across the street and west of the first Crazy Well pavilion. The Carlsbad slogan was: "Makes a man love HIS [sic] wife/ Makes a wife love HER [sic] husband/ Robs the divorce court of its business/ Takes the temper out of red-headed people/ Puts ginger into ginks/ And pepper into plodders." The pavilion was prominent in several pictures around the turn of the century; this picture--labeled "Sept. 19/07" in ink--was from an advertisement by the Yeager Drug Company. This early pavilion had been demolished by 1911, and replaced by a larger brick structure.
Date: September 19, 1907

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?

[The Carlsbad Well: Second Building]

Description: The original Carlsbad water pavilion, a two-story wooden building at 415 NW 1st Avenue (directly across the street and west of the Crazy pavilion) was built in the mid-1890's. This second pavilion, a red-brick building, replaced the original one at the same location. The Mineral Wells Scenic Railway ran its gasoline-powered "Dinky Cars" from 1905 to 1909 each quarter-hour on tracks that led north on N.W. 1st Avenue, and turned west on NW 6th Street. The Ben Hur was the last and largest of the "Dinky Cars". This picture was taken before the stained glass windows were installed in the pavilion, and before the Dinky Car tracks were removed. The pavilion was taken over by the Crazy Hotel for its laundry and dry cleaning in the 1930's after the Carlsbad closed.
Date: 1908?


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


Description: A Casino at Elmhurst Park was located in southwest Mineral Wells, Texas, at the turn of the twentieth century. The structure was a large stucco building facing Elmhurst Lake (created by a dam on Pollard Creek) in the foreground. The lake was sometimes referred to as "Pollard Lake." Elmhurst Park was served by the Mineral Wells Electric Railroad (Street Car), with whom it seemed to have had a symbiotic relationship; both came into existence about 1903, and both went out of business about 1913.
Date: 1907/1913?

[The Casino at Elmhurst Park]

Description: This is a picture of the Casino, which was once located at Elmhurst Park, and illustrated on page 187 of A. F. Weaver's book "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells", Second Edition, 1988. Note: this is an early photograph, taken during or shortly after its construction. In later pictures, watch towers have been added to the pylons framing the front entrance.
Date: unknown

[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