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[The Hexagon Hotel], Southside

Description: This photograph is a cleaned-up version, by A.F. Weaver, of the Hexagon Hotel, at approximately the time of its completion. (The site has been cleaned, and the trash removed.) Construction of the Hexagon Hotel started in 1895, and it opened for business in 1897, to ameliorate Mineral Wells' torrid summertime heat years before air-conditioning became available, its design was such that it could catch every vagrant breeze, and cool the hotel. A DC generating plant (seen behind and to the left of the hotel) furnished power to an electric light in each room. It was the first electrically-lighted hotel in Mineral Wells. The builder/owner, Mr. David G. Galbraith was the inventor of a paper clip; and, with five other men, he held the patent for acetate. The original photograph, included in the A.F. Weaver collection, shows evidence of construction-related activity and debris along NW Holland Street (now [2007]: NE 6th Street).
Date: 1897/1959
Item Type: Photograph

Texas Trade Review

Description: An early street scene showing buildings and a horse-drawn wagon. Written in lower left corner is "Texas Trade Review." The sign over the sidewalk reads "D.M. Howard." There were several D.M. Howard stores (see page 122 in "Time Was...", second edition). This scene was probably on Mesquite Street in the 100 block. It is undated, but the unpaved road, and the horse-drawn wagon, suggest the latter part of the nineteenth century.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

[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
Item Type: Photograph

[A North Oak Streetcar at Elmhurst Park]

Description: A trolley car, and, presuably, passengers, are shown here at the front of entrance to Elmhurst Park. Elmhurst Park was active in the early years of the twentieth century,its career being ended by about 1940. People leaning against trolley car wear what is now [2008] considered "Vintage" clothing. One set of tracks seems to be overgrown by grass; tufts of grass also appear on the other set of tracks. No explanation has been put forward to clarify this situation.
Date: November 27, 2006
Item Type: Photograph

[A Streetcar at Elmhurst Park]

Description: Information taken from the back of the photograph reads: "Entrance to Elmhurst Park with trolley car. Picture taken around 1910. Entrance to the park with a swinging bridge over Pollard Creek later taken over and made into the Mineral Wells dump grounds. About 2 miles southwest of Mineral Wells."
Date: 1910?
Item Type: Photograph

Elmhurst Park

Description: This illustration appears to be a picture postcard of the entrance to Elmhurst Park, an amusement park on Pollard Creek, about five miles southwest of Mineral Wells. The park operated from 1907 to 1913, and was a major attraction in "the nation's most popular health spa" at that time.
Date: 1907/1913
Item Type: Postcard

Three Railroads to Mineral Wells

Description: A pamphlet, containing a brief history of the Weatherford, Mineral Wells and Northwestern Railway, the Gulf and Brazos Valley Railway, and the Gulf, Texas and Western Railway is shown here. It has a map of rail routes, photographs, and copies of schedules with ticket prices.
Date: 1976
Creator: Payne, H. L.
Item Type: Pamphlet

The Right Ticket

Description: An old advertisement for Mineral Wells, touting the "pleasures" to be had in the city. The lady's crown displays the legend "Health & Pleasure." The "Pleasures" obtainable in the city need not be discussed, as they are plainly describedd in the picture, which may be found on page 91 of the second edition of A. F. Weaver's book, "Time Was..."
Date: unknown
Item Type: Artwork

[A Railroad Engine]

Description: This picture illustrates engine Number 5 of the Weatherford, Mineral Wells and Northwestern Railroad in action. Please observe the unusually small cowcatcher and the lack of a visible whistle atop the steam dome. Further information about it may be found in Weaver's "Time Was in Mineral Wells", second edition, on page 91.
Date: unknown
Item Type: Photograph

[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 1907, 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