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Welcome Sign And Lookout Tower: 1929

Description: The WELCOME sign was donated to the city of Mineral Wells in 1922 by George Holmgren, President of the Texas Rotary Club, in appreciation for the hospitality extended the Rotary Club at its State Convention in Mineral Wells that year. The caption on the photograph reads: "Reputed to be the largest Non-commercial electric sign in U.S." East Mountain was a popular place for viewing the city, especially for photographers. The lookout tower atop West Mountain (above the WELCOME sign) was destroyed by a tornado in 1930. The Welcome Sign was built by Holmgren in his San Antonio Iron Works in 1922. He gave the sign to the people of Mineral Wells with the understanding that they would maintain the sign and the many light bulbs required to light it. The Mineral Wells Jaycees later replaced the light bulbs with lower-maintenance red neon lights. A Warrant Officer Club Company from Fort Wolters moved the sign from East Mountain in 1972 to the east side of Bald Mountain, where it remains today [2008], lighted with flood lights at its base. It is reported that this sign inspired D.W. Griffith, to promote possibly the most recognizable landmark in the United States, the HOLLYWOOD sign in California, following his visit to Mineral Wells in 1928. Griffith, Producer/Director of the early movie classic, "Birth of a Nation," also produced the "Keystone Kops" comedies. The house in the foreground (an example of Queen Anne architecture, spindle-work sub-type) was the home of druggist Dr. C.F. Yeager. Also in the picture, about half-way up the mountain, is a water tower, with, presumably, its windmill. It was supposed to supply mineral water to the then new Baker Hotel, but no verification of this fact has turned up. The object in the upper-left-hand corner of the picture invites speculation.
Date: 1929

"Welcome to Crazy Park"

Description: The Gibson Well Company purchased the Sangura-Sprudel property in 1908 for the sum of $30,000. It was to be operated as the Gibson Well property thereafter. An unnamed company shipped twenty-five carloads of water to an equally anonymous firm in Chicago in March of that year. The Gibson Well, Pavilion, and Park property covered the entire block, bordered by NW 2nd and 3rd Avenues and NW 6th and 7th Streets. The Gibson Well buildings were on the north side of the block, and the Crazy Water Well Company Bottling Plant was across NW 2nd Avenue--to the east. The Crazy Well Company maintained ambitions to build a large plant to the north of the Gibson Block, at 300 NW 7th Street, in 1921. Two buildings remained of the Gibson Well property in the 1920's, but the land was still used as a park. 1927 saw the operation of the Crazy Hotel (It was reputed to be the "Center of Everything in Mineral Wells") with its park at 300 NW 6th Street. Hence, the name of the park in the title. The property now [2008] belongs to, and is occupied by, the First Christian Church.
Date: 1938

West Side School -- Second Grade 1907

Description: The second grade class at West Side School in 1907 sit on the steps outside the old rock building built in 1886. The teacher is Miss Amie Hensley. Some of the names of the children are listed on the back.
Date: 1907

[The West Texas Chamber of Commerce Parade, 1925]

Description: The West Texas Chamber of Commerce Parade, moving west on NE 2nd Street in Mineral Wells is shown here. The parade was staged to welcome the 1925 Convention. Businesses include R. O. Norman and Company, Dry Cleaners; the Whatley-Maddox Motor Co (Ford and Lincoln); the Mineral Wells Sanitarium; and the United States Post Office.
Date: unknown

[The West Ward School, East (Front) View ]

Description: The West Ward School, Mineral Wells' second public School, was built in 1902. It was located north of the old Rock School at 205 NW 5th Avenue. It served as both a High School and Elementary school until the East Ward School was built in 1906, and High School classes were moved there. The West Ward School was renamed the Houston Elementary School when the Mineral Wells High School was built in 1915. The building was torn down after a new Houston Elementary School was built in 1930.
Date: unknown

West Ward School Mineral Wells, Texas

Description: This photograph illustrates a view from the east of the West Ward School at the time of its completion in 1902. It was located just north of Mineral Well's first public school, the "Little Rock School", at 205 NW 5th Avenue. West Ward housed first through twelfth grades. Mineral Well's first high school graduating class (four students) graduated from here in 1905. High School classes were moved from here to the East Ward School when it was completed in 1906. Only elementary school classes were taught here at the time West Ward school was torn down, about 1930. The Lilian Peek Cottage, Texas' first free-standing Home Economics building, was built by the W.P.A. in 1937 just to the north of where the West Ward School had been located.
Date: 1902

[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

"Where the Famous Crystals Are Made"

Description: This is a photograph of a building with a sign that says, "Famous Mineral Wells Crystal Plant." There is a hill, covered in trees, behind the building. Writing at the bottom of the image reads: "Where Famous Crystals Are Made." Ed Dismuke, a druggist from Waco, came to Mineral Wells for his health after his family physician told him he only had a "short time" to live. After miraculously regaining his health, which he credited to the mineral waters of his new hometown, he sold water by the drink at the Damron Hotel, later opening his own company, The Famous Water Company. He also opened The Famous Mineral Crystal Plant on the east side of Lake Pinto in partnership with local banker Cicero Smith. The two also organized The Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway with its two gasoline-powered "dinky cars" named "Esther" and "Susie" after Smith's daughters. This is a picture of the plant where Famous Crystals, labeled "Pronto Lax" were made. Dismuke had outlived the doctors who had told him he only had a short time to live when he died at the age of ninety-four.
Date: 1905?

[A Window in the "Texas Carlsbad Water"]

Description: This photograph illustrates one of the painted-glass windows that was installed around 1915 at the Texas Carlsbad Water. It shows a bottle of "#3", extolling its efficacy against "Stomach and Liver Disorders. The Texas Carlsbad Water no longer [in 2012] exists. The picture occurs in A.F. Weaver's "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells...." on page 63.
Date: unknown

--Winter Scene--Shipping Star Well Water-- From Min. Wells Texas--

Description: A legend on the photograph reads: "--Winter Scene-- --Shipping Star Well Water-- --From Min. Wells Texas--" The Star Well was located in the 200 block of NE 1st Avenue, across the street and north of where the Baker Hotel now [2008] stands. It was managed by Frank Richards, who purchased a block of land in the north part of Millsap Valley on which two wells were dug that proved to have an abundant supply of the very strongest mineral water. Mineral water was expensive to ship, so furnaces were built at the new location, pumps installed, and a modern evaporating plant built to produce hundreds of pounds of crystals annually. (The new well became known as the Pike Well.) Signs on the building claim that the water "Cures stomach trouble" as well as constipation, nervousnes [sic], insomnia, rheumatism, and female diseases." This picture can be found in "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells", First edition, on page 57.
Date: unknown

[The Womanless Theater]

Description: This is apparently the picture of a picture of a fund-raiser performed by the Lion's Club. It consisted of a play in which men all played the roles of women. Identified (in print) are the three "ladies" in front: J. B Courtney (Miss Fortune), Charles Williams, and Noble Glenn (Miss Applied). Also identified (in holograph) is Cecil Young, third from the right, presumably among the standing "ladies."
Date: 1930?/1935

[Women in a Decorated Car]

Description: Five females ("Aunt Matie, Edith Preston, Lena, and two of Edith's friends", a legend states on the back)) in a decorated car outside the Western Union Telegraph office. Signs on and by the building read "Crazy Well Flats and Modern Rooms", "Cigars", and "Western Union Telegraph and Cable Office."
Date: 1910?

[A Women's Basketball Game at Elmhurst Park, Mineral Wells]

Description: A women's basketball game (at Elmhurst Park, Mineral Wells, taken about 1910) is shown in progress here. A "Dancing Pavilion" is visible in the background. Please note the players' uniforms. This scene shows a battle for the rebound after a shot at the basket.
Date: unknown

[The Women's Corps, Palo Pinto County Civil Defense]

Description: The Women's Corp, Palo Pinto County Civil Defense. The photograph pictures 13 (unnamed) women, a young girl, and A. F. Weaver during a flag presentation. Mr. Weaver, a Ham Radio operator, set up the Palo Pinto County Civil Defense on October 1, 1972 and was the director for 26 years. Mr. Weaver was also the author of "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells", a photographic history, first published in 1975. The book was revised and published again in three subsequent editions.
Date: unknown

[The Woodmen of the World -- 1905]

Description: Mineral Wells was a popular convention city in its heyday. This photograph is part of the group attending a convention of the Woodmen of the World in Mineral Wells. The picture was taken around 1905 at the Texas Carlsbad Well, once located at 415 NW 1st Avenue.
Date: October 30, 2006

[The Woodmen of the World - 1911]

Description: The picture was taken in 1911 during the Woodmen of the World convention. It shows the backside of the Crazy Flats, before the first Crazy Hotel sections were constructed. The buildings in the background are the four wings of the Crazy Well Water Company, "The Crazy Flats," where rooms for rent were also available. The first Crazy Hotel was built the following year, 1912, on the location where this convention gathering is pictured.
Date: October 30, 2006

Woodmen of the World Camp Meeting , June 19, 1947

Description: A white-ink legend on the face of this photograph reads: Woodman [sic] of the World Camp Meeting----6-19-47 Mineral Wells, Texas. phillips [sic] photographic [sic] Service [sic] A typed legend on the back of the photograph reads: WOW MEETING 6-19-47 held in Convention Hall. Recognized Front [sic] row from left: #1 Ezra Wortham. #5 Charlie Sheridan, #6 George Oliver 3rd. Row standing #1 John Birdwell, #5 Louis Fryer, #6 John Miller, #7 Ben Yeager, #12 Bill Teichman. 4th row: #1 Charlie Langley #15 Roy Langley [Unreadable deletions in green ink above appear this caption] This picture appears in Weaver's "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells" on page 165.
Date: June 19, 1976

[The Woodmen of the World Convention, 1911],

Description: This is another picture of the convention of The Woodmen of the World in 1911. Note the men holding symbolic axes. This picture represents half of a photographic panorama view. It was taken at the back of Crazy Flats, the Crazy Water Company's third Drinking Pavilion, that also offered rooms for rent. The first Crazy Hotel was built on this open lot the following year. Clark's Pharmacy and The Lithia Drug Company are also pictured behind and to the left of the "Crazy Flats."
Date: unknown

The Woodruff Cottage

Description: Copy around this picture states that the Woodruff Cottage was built by a Civil War veteran who came to Mineral Wells for his health in 1903. His health improved so much, writes the copy, that he decided to build a fine home here with rooms for visitors. A note on the back of the picture indicates the "Cottage" was opened in 1905. The copy also states that it was located one block north of the Crazy and Carlsbad wells, and became quite popular because of its convenient location.
Date: unknown

[The Yeager Block]

Description: This picture shows a white sandstone building on NE 1st Avenue named "Yeager Block." The original home of (what was often called) the Lion Drugstore, it once sported a metal statue of a lion mounted on the roof, which gave rise to the legend that the business was called "The Lion Drug." (Current living descendants of Dr. Yeager do not ever remember the drugstore being referred to by than name. However, a casual reference to it in 1912 refers to the store as "The Lion Drug.") It housed the Baker Medical Supply at the time of the photograph. A retail store in the left of the photograph is named "The Rural Route." A handwritten date on the back of the photograph gives the year as "1993." The coffee shop "H2J0" is located [in 2007] where "The Rural Route" used to be.
Date: unknown

[The Yeager Building]

Description: Shown here is a stone building named "Yeager Block" on NE 1st Avenue. The building originally housed what was called, (by some) "The Lion Drug Store", and once had a metal statue of a lion on its roof. It housed the Baker Medical Supply Company at the time of the photograph. A retail store in the left (south) of the photograph was named "The Rural Route." A handwritten date on the back is given as 1993. The coffee shop H2JO was located on the north part of the building in 2006. Mike Chamberlain Photography was located on the north end of the block in 2006. It is now [2008] closed.
Date: unknown

[The Yeager Building]

Description: A stone building named "Yeager Block" on the corner of NE 1st Avenue and NE 1st Street is shown here. (NE 1st is the street shown in the picture. Dr. Yeager lived two blocks east--up that street--of the drugstore). Once home of (what was known to some as)"The Lion Drugstore", it had a metal statue of a lion mounted on its roof. The statue of the lion was removed but not the exact date of its removal is not sure. It is not visible in a photo dated 1925 of the West Texas Chamber of Commerce Convention. At the time of this photograph, (a handwritten note on the back of the photograph gives the date as 1993), it was housing the Baker Medical Supply Company at the time. A retail store in the left of the photograph is named "The Rural Route."
Date: 1993

[The Yeager Building - Mineral Wells, Texas]

Description: The Yeager Building, located on the southwest corner of NE 1st Street and NE 1st Avenue is shown here. Concrete lettering in the gable atop the building (barely visible in the photograph)identifies it as "YEAGER BLOCK". The building once had a metal lion mounted atop it, giving rise to the story that the business was named "The Lion Drug." Descendants of Dr. Yeager do not recall the place's ever having that name. A casual reference to the building in 1912 gives it as "The Lion Drug", however. The metal lion met its fate by being donated for scrap in a drive for metal during World War II.
Date: unknown