A view from West Mountain looking ESE, contains the following landmarks: The Hexagon Hotel (1895-1959) in the upper middle of the picture, and the Chautauqua (1905-1912) in the upper right. One block right (south) and one block this side (west) of the Chautauqua is Crazy Flats Drinking Pavilion (burned in 1925). The Sangura- Sprudel Well and Drinking Pavilion is below and left (one block north and one block west) of The Hexagon. The Fairfield Inn is one block plus north and east (left) of the Hexagon and about half way up East Mountain. The Vichy Well (Later known as The Beach and still later as the Standard Well) is on the right, and across the street from the Hexagon. It was later the location of the USO building in World War II, and is now  the North Oak Community Center.
This picture of the arch, erected to welcome the members of the Texas Press Association (who held a meeting in the nearby Chautauqua auditorium--visible in the background), was taken from East Hubbard Street, looking North on Mesquite Street. The Texas Press Association held its meeting on May 21-23, 1908. A note with the photograph states "The group of people were attending the Odd Fellows Convention and/or Press Convention." The note also states that "Bill Cameron (Who was an editor of the Mineral Wells Newspaper. He was about 21 at this time) has an Odd Fellows Apron [sic] on." Aprons, however, are not in evidence in the picture. The men are shown assembled under the standard of a lodge (on the right-hand side, whose legend is barely legible), and they are wearing variously-decorated tippets (except, of course, for the man in the center, who is wearing a sash, and the men at the ends, three of whom wear sashes; and the others, who are wearing uniforms, bandoleers and plumed fore-and-aft hats). The organization has been tentatively identified as the Eagles, whose lodge was said to be organized in Mineral Wells in 1906.
The Bimini Mineral Baths, at 112 NW 4th Street, was built by Goodrum, Murphy and Croft, contractors in the early 1900's. The Bimini later became the Wagley Bathhouse. Dr. Wagley was an early pharmacist in Mineral Wells. The El Paso Morning Times in 1909 states that the re-building of the Bimini (the building here illustrated) will cost "...over $35,000." What the equivalent amount could be in modern-das dollars remains unknown. Please note the utter lack of automobiles, and the horse-drawn vehicle in front of the bath house. The meaning of the white-ink number "1861" remains to be determined.
Two contiguous negatives, taken from East Mountain, looking Southwest are shown here. Please note that some landmarks have been numbered in ink on the photographs. On the first [upper] photograph (No. 3), the pavilion with the steeple on the roof,is the Hawthorne well, located at 314 NW 1st Ave. (No. 4), the large two-story structure, is the Crazy Drinking Pavilion. The Lithia Pavilion is the structure between the Hawthorne and Crazy pavilions. Note also the Hawthorn House (No. 5?), located on North Oak. The large livery stable in the left foreground has not been identified by name. Please note the Poston Building on the second [lower] photograph, on North Oak (not numbered, but the three-part building in the middle left of the photograph). Also, please note the two steeples of the first Catholic Church on NW 3rd Street, in the 600 block, on the side of West Mountain. The large two-story frame hotel (No. 2) in the left foreground has not been identified.
An early panoramic view of Mineral Wells is shown here. The picture is a composite of two views taken from East Mountain. Attached to the composite is a date "1901." The large building in the front middle of the picture is the Holloway & Haley livery stable. Some of the buildings are numbered on the photograph. Recognizable are: (2) The Hawthorn Well, with steeple (Right middle of the picture), (4) The original Crazy water drinking pavilion (two-story with smaller upper third floor, right middle of picture), The Lythia Well (between the Crazy Well and the Hawthorn Well), and The Hexagon House at the far right edge of picture.
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.
A copy of this picture is found in A. F. Weaver's, "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells", Second Edition", on page 188. The caption states "Cumberland Presbyterian Church at 901 North Oak Avenue." Note the surrey with the fringe on top. The person in the buggy has been identified as Mrs. Flora Howard, daughter of William Winfield Hayworth "Howard", the minister of the church. Howard owned a hardware store, going under the name "W.W. Howard." He is also listed as a member of the I.O.O.F. The Cumberland Presbyterian Church takes its name from Cumberland Street, Pennsylvania, where the sub-denomination (more Arminian than the main denomination) was founded. The Cumberland Presbyterian Church is currently  in Newberry, Texas. The building was sold to the Church of Christ, torn down and rebuilt. The North Oak Church of Christ still stands [in 2011] at this location, 901 N. Oak Ave. The picture is reliably dated to have been taken in 1912.
Only a caption on the photograph identifies it as the Cafe Royal. This building that houses it, on the N.W. 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.)
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."
The caption of this 1909 photograph that occurs on page 63 of "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells" by A. F. Weaver, notes "...the stained glass windows had not been installed as yet and the "Ben Hur" street car tracks were still running in front of the building." (The Mineral Wells Scenic Railway--the Ben Hur Line to Lake Pinto--ceased operation in 1909, but rails were removed later, probably in conjunction with paving City Streets in 1914.) One of the earlier drinking pavilions, The Carlsbad was located at 415 NW 1st Avenue, directly across the street and west of the Crazy Water drinking pavilion. The Crazy Flats Rooming house--which replaced the Crazy Drinking Pavilion--along with the First Crazy Hotel complex--burned in 1925, and were replaced by the current Crazy Hotel, covering the entire block. The hotel opened in 1927. The Carlsbad building was taken over by the Crazy Hotel in the 1930's, and it was used as a laundry.
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. It was openled in 1901 by Lycurgus Smith, one of the people who claimed improvement of his health by drinking the mineral water. . 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.
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.
A (gambling) 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.
The Cliff Home, an early Mineral Wells hotel, stood on Northeast 2nd Street (formerly Coke Street) just east of the head of NE 1st Avenue (formerly Mesquite Street), and the site of the 1912 "Old Post Office" (now the Women's Club.) The hotel burned down in 1899, and the Plateau Hotel was built in its place. That hotel, in time, became The Exchange Hotel, which lasted until 1900, at which time it was demolished, and the Plateau Hotel was built in its place. It was touted as the only brick hotel in Mineral Wells in 1902. The Sanborn Map of 1907 gives the address as "207 E Coke", but the city Directory of 1909 lists the hotel as being at "211 E Coke." No building was listed in the City Directory in that block for the year 1920, save the Post Office. A street was added to the east of the Post Office between it and the Hotel Wilson(of which no further information at this time  is available)/Mineral Wells Sanitarium (the building must have housed a hospital/clinic, as well), which was operated by a Doctor Buie. In 1924, the hotel was listed as being at 209 NE 2nd Street, and the sanitarium at 211 NE 2nd street. No listing for the sanitarium is given in the 1937 City Directory. The significance of the small "E" between "CLIFF" and "HOME" on the sign painted on the roof is not as yet  known. The back of the photograph bears the name "Henry Sikes" (a banker in Graford, and probably the donor of the picture) written in ink, and a business stamp, "S.B. Hall, General Photographer." This picture is found on page 100 of A.F. Weaver's book "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells".
The Commercial Hotel, one of the early hotels in Mineral Wells, was located on South Oak Avenue, where the Mineral Wells Fire Department is now  located. The Cutter Guide of 1893 states that the hotel was recently completed. It is listed as being "[T]wo blocks from the depot [and] 1 block [away] from the post-office [sic]." This picture may be found on page 101 of A.F. Weaver's book "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells."
The first Crazy drinking pavilion was a small wooden building (in the center foreground of the picture) built over the well that supplied the water. The large two-story wooden structure in the picture was opened on April 14, 1900. This picture, however, was taken in 1908. The wooden pavilion was torn down around 1909, and replaced by a brick structure, commonly called "Crazy Flats", with rooms to rent. The building on the right of the picture (which would be across the street to the west of the Crazy Well) was the Carlsbad drinking pavilion. The tracks in the foreground of the picture were for the Mineral Wells Electric Railway trolley (1907-1913) that ran north-south on Oak Avenue. A second rail system, the Lakewood Park Scenic Railway ("Dinky Cars"), ran parallel to the trolley in this neighborhood but one block west, between the Crazy and Carlsbad pavilions. This picture is from A. F. Weaver, "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells", First Edition, page 10.
Shown here is the Crazy Well drinking pavilion, as it appeared around 1908, looking at the North and East (back) sides, after remodeling and the removal of a residence. The house was removed still stands at 715 NW 1st Avenue. The photograph was taken across Oak Avenue. Note the top of the first Texas Carlsbad Well in the background.
Shown here is a picture of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. On the back of picture is written "901 N.Oak [.] Sold to Church of Christ [.] Demolished and rebuilt." The streetcar tracks, which ran from 1907 to 1913 are visible on N. Oak in front of the church. The denomination takes its name from Cumberland Street, Philadelphia. A sub-sect of Presbyterianism--based on an Arminian interpretation of Calvinism--was begun at the church there. A Cumberland Presbyterian church is advertised as being in Newberry at the present  time. The picture was taken before North Oak Avenue was paved in 1914. The Church of Christ still  occupies this location on N. Oak Avenue.
The Curtis House was an early hotel at 315 E. Hubbard Street, where the Baker Hotel swimming pool is now  located. This picture was handed down through the Curtis family to Robert Curtis, who donated it to A.F. Weaver June 25, 1996. A later view of the hotel is found on page 101 of A.F. Weaver's book "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells."
Shown here is the front page of the Mineral Wells "Index", featuring a picture of Judge Alvin Lynch, astride a mule and holding a large bottle of the Mineral Wells water. The picture is not sufficiently in focus to read a reliable date to the newspaper, except perhaps to discern that the issue comes from "Volume VIII". We are accustomed to having a newspaper printed with the help of electricity. However, the "Index" of 1940 states that such was not always the case. "Employees of the Index", is said, "Can remember back in the old days when the electric service was rather questionable, especially at night--and it was the custom to put the press boy up on the feeder of the newspaper press, tie an electric cord around his neck,and let him go to sleep. When the power came on the bulb would get hot and wake him up--then he would round up the printers and they would get back to work." All this was in keeping with electricity that consisted of "[A] single drop cord in each room and on the end of it a 32 candle power light globe."
Shown is a group of seven women (riding "sidesaddle" as was the fashion for women at the time), two men and a boy, all riding donkeys. A handwritten note on the photograph's mat identifies it as: "Daniel Photo 1907." The identities of the people are unknown, but the caption suggests this could have been a Daniel family outing. Riding donkeys over the "mountains" of Mineral Wells was a popular pastime of the day. The picture appears to have been taken atop East Mountain in Mineral Wells, which was a popular destination. Souvenir photographs of of the donkey trails survive from the early days. [There was a Daniel's Studio located in the 200 block of N. Oak Avenue in the early days of Mineral Wells, and this photograph is likely to have come from that collection. In which case, the group shown here could have been unrelated.]
A trail ride, going up East Mountain on burros, is pictured here. The participants listed on back of picture are: "Jessie Padgett - Dallas, Mr. Oscar Levin, Miss [unidentified], Mr. Coy Wimberly - Tyler, Miss [unidentified], Miss Burriss - Terrel, Mr. Jacobs - Atlanta, Lilian Webster - Dallas, Raymond Caruth - Dallas, Johnetta Armstrong - Dallas, Mr. Cousins - Tyler, Maggie Street - Dallas, Katie Elliott - Dallas, Miss Hyman - Min. Wells, Mr. Nance - Dallas, Mr. Brown - Tyler, Mary Roberts - Terrel, Will Caruty - Dallas. Mineral Wells, June 11, 1901." Burro rides on the Donkey Trail up East Mountain were a popular pastime around the turn of the twentieth century.
This illustration is numbered "30". It 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 by the Electric Company,, and was a major attraction in "The nation's most popular health spa" at that time. A lawsuit was entered by he City of Mineral Wells in 1912 against the Electric Company by reason of the Company's refusal to pave its right-of-way for trolleys in the city streets, and to pave its right-of-way to Elmhurst Park. The company tried to remove all trolley tracks in reprisal, but continued to supply electric lights to the park--and to City Hall--by way of compromise.
[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.
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.
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.
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 (down to the fezzes that the boys are shown wearing) 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.
A caption, taken from "Time Was..." by A. F. Weaver, on page 116 states: "Pictured in 1908 is Frank Richards, owner of the first motorcycle bought in Mineral Wells. D. C. Harris owned the second motorcycle." Frank Richards was the manager of the Star Well during Mineral Wells' heyday as a popular health spa, and the boy on the motorbike with him has been identified as his son, Robert Frank Richards. D. C. Harris was the postmaster, and served as Mayor of the city at one time.
A note on the back of this picture identifies it as the Foster House. The 1907 Polk's directory lists it at (202 West Moore" (202 NW 6th Street ), two blocks north of the Crazy Well) and facing 6th Street. The proprietress is given as "Mrs. Sallie Cock." It was one block west of the Hexagon House, and within two blocks of other wells. The style of the building appears to be Queen Anne, spindle-work sub-type, with paired gables. The number "2231" is written on the photograph. A railroad ran a main trunk line on the west side of the hotel's block. The Foster House (as it was called) was built just before 1902. Mrs. Sallie Cock was born in 1861 in Fayette, Texas. She married Robert H. Lett in 1886. She married Dr. Lewis Cock in 1898. She had three children by him. She died in Blanco, Texas in 1950.
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.
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  occupies the entire city block on which the Gibson Well was located.
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.
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.
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)
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 (WMWNW) rolled into town. With connections through Dallas, the "Katy" sought a portion of that railway passenger traffic.
This photograph,labeled "A July Crowd", shows a ladies' gathering about 1920. The photograph shows what is possibly a tea party or a ladies' club meeting. Some of the ladies shown were members of prominent Mineral Wells families. Identified in a typed note - and graph - accompanying the photograph are: (starting at back left) the 4th lady is Mrs. D. G. Galbraith [wife of the owner of the Hexagon House], the 8th is Mrs. E. F. Yeager [wife of Dr. E.F. Yeager, Pharmacist/ Owner of the Lion Drug Store), 16th is Mrs. J.H. McCracken [wife Dr. J.H. McCracken, president of the Texas Medical Association], 17th may be Mrs. Raines (Mrs. McCracken's mother); (middle row, starting in front of Mrs. Yeager) the second from left is Mrs. Dr. Beeler; (first row from left) the 3rd lady may be Mrs. Coon, the 6th lady is Mrs. Paul Bock, the 8th is Mrs. Reba Williams. The children in front are Langdon Bock on the left and Elizabeth Galbraith on the right. There were forty people in total.
Many property owners in early Mineral Wells had their own water wells, but the city pumped water to a small standpipe on East Mountain for distribution to the city. When the wells became insufficient to supply the city's needs, Barber Lake 9it was later named "Lake Pinto) was built in the Barber Addition--in the northeast part of town--as Mineral Wells' first city water supply lake. Around 1905, Cicero Smith and Ed Dismuke built a dam across Pollard Creek west of the city to form Lake Pinto, the city's next water supply. Barber Lake, the City's first municipal water supply, can still be found southeast of Cullen Grimes School (built in 1920 at 1800 Northeast 1st. Avenue as Barber School, the name was changed to Cullen Grimes School in honor of a long-time principal when it was enlarged in 1942.)
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.
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  a retirement home) replaced the burned hostelry in 1927. See also the following picture.
The Lithia Wells and Drinking Pavilion was located on the southwest corner of the "Crazy Block." (400 NW 1st Avenue, the current 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.
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.
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  occupies this entire block.
A copy of this photograph may be found in A. F. Weaver's, "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells", First Edition, on page 151. The caption reads, "Mary Berta Perry, granddaughter of Mayor Laverty, 1908." Jim Laverty was the first City Marshall of Mineral Wells. He was elected mayor when the City was first incorporated in 1882. The first incorporation was defeated by vote in 1894, and Mineral Wells was reincorporated with G.C. Green as the first elected mayor. This picture was the style of souvenir photograph which local photographer J. C. McClure, first owner of the donkeys, took on an East Mountain path frequented by visitors. Mr. McClure was killed while riding a wild stallion on Oak Avenue. J. L. Young and his wife later owned the photography studio and the donkeys. They later built a log cabin as a scenic backdrop at a photograph stop where the donkey trail crossed a footpath up West Mountain.
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."
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.
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 beneficial minerals said to be 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.
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 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.
Photograph of a group of men posing for a photograph on a firetruck. 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."
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