llustrated here is a photograph of a 1949 Mercury that was owned by A.F.Weaver, Jr. when he sold Crazy Water Crystals in the Houston and New Orleans areas. Mr. Weaver's father moved to Mineral Wells in the 1930's to manage the Crazy Water Company's operations. Art, Jr. became a salesman for Crazy Water Crystals following World War II.
This picture shows the Baker--in its great days--at night. According to William O. Gross, Jr. ("Mineral wells, Texas: A Sampler, 1997) the hotel is properly named "Hotel Mineral Wells", the name "Baker" refers to the Baker Hotel Corporation of San Antonio, Texas, which operated nine hotels at the time. Legend has it that a female guest jumped to her death. Her ghost is supposed to be resident in the building, but substantial evidence for the existence of the ghost remains to this date  lacking. A legend on the front of the photograph states that it was colorized by A. F. Weaver in 1940.
An automobile--presumably of the late 1930's--is parked by a building in the process of being built. Workmen may be seen at the site. A legend under the original reads: "Buildings seem to literally spring from the earth when the construction of the then Camp Wolters began in November, 1940. The camp was completed in less than four months and became the nation's largest infantry Replacement Training Center. Construction cost was approximately $14,200,000."
The Crazy Water Bottling Plant and Crazy Water Tower are shown here. The plant was built in 1919 at a cost of $85,000, and is located at 300 NW 7th Street. The location was once the original site of the Sangcura-Sprudel Wells Pavilion. The Sangcura-Sprudel Pavilion was moved and converted into a rooming house, which burned in 1973. Notice the home in the background. The date on back of photograph is given as 1940.
A picture of the interior of the Crazy Bottling Plant, ladies are shown bottling Crazy Fiz, a copyrighted beverage created by infusing cooled mineral water with carbon dioxide. The men shown here appear to be checking the process in preparation for the bottling of the Crazy Fiz, while the ladies bottle and crate the finished product for shipment. Note the plant's scrupulous cleanliness, and the fact that all employees are dressed in white.
A radio show, broadcast at noon and advertising Crazy Water Crystals over the Texas Quality Network, became so popular that the radio gang found themselves in great demand for personal appearances. To accommodate their audiences, the band traveled in their own bus, shown here. On the back of the photograph is stamped "A. F. Weaver Photography 412 North Oak Avenue Mineral Wells, Texas 76067." Dated: 1940. Please note: ZIP codes were not in existence in 1940. Its appearance here with the date of 1940 cannot be easily explained.
The east side of the second Crazy Hotel in the 400 block of N. Oak Avenue is illustrated here. Across NE 3rd. street, to the left, is Renfro's Drugs (at 319 north Oak Street). The low building on the right is the Hotel's drinking pavilion, and has a sign on it proclaiming a public auction of homes, business sites and farm land to take place January 20-21-22. This is a rare view (from the North-East) of the north back side of the hotel. Cars, of the late 1930's, are double-parked and visible in the middle of the street along the east side of the Crazy. (Head-in angle parking in Mineral Wells was changed to parallel parking in 1938, shortly before America was drawn into World War II.)
A handwritten note on the back of the picture identifies this as "Crazy Hotel Pavilion 1940 Cigar Stand and Shine Stand." Please notice Leon Cross, the "Shoe-shine boy", who operated the stand for years, in the white shirt to the left of the Shine Stand. This pavilion is off the hotel lobby, behind and west of the elevators of the second Crazy Hotel. A fire started March 15, 1925, in the drugstore next to the bath house of the first Crazy Hotel which adjoined the Crazy Flats (second Crazy Pavilion). The fire destroyed all the businesses in this city block. The second Crazy Hotel opened in 1927, and incorporated all of the previous enterprises into one building covering the entire city block. The drinking bar, from which Boyce Ditto served mineral water for many years, is at the opposite end of the pavilion, left of the shoe-shine and Cigar Stand, with its striped awning. In its heyday during the health-spa era of the "City built on Water," the bar served four different strengths of mineral water. The bar is still in existence today although inactive. The mezzanine around the drinking pavilion was lined with offices, primarily those of doctors.
In the 1930's, the Carlsbad Building (once a spa for taking the mineral waters. See "The Texas Carlsbad" for details)was taken over by the Crazy Hotel for use as a laundry. Note the painted windows that still proclaim the waters, and the original Texas Carlsbad building. The Panel truck in front was driven by L. C. Ely and the other truck was driven by his father R. C. Ely. This picture was taken sometime in 1940.
The Crazy Water Company built a plant in 1919 to extract minerals from its water, box the crystals, and sell them nationwide as Crazy Water Crystals. Part of the crystal enterprise included a box factory. Following an action by the Food and Drug Administration in the late 1930's, crystal operations were reduced and the box operation was diversified. A Mr. Breidling bought the machinery to construct boxes in 1940. He remained with the factory when it was sold to Pollock (A subsidiary of Regis). They added 22000 square feet to the plant, over and above the 56000 square feet already in existence.. They introduced two new machines into the plant, and got rid of the old ones. The plant continues (2016) to produced boxes for Christmas presents. Rumor has it (2016) that the Crazy Water industry plans to re-open the plant to produced Crazy Crystals again. "'Treetop' Erwin, left, was the driver of the Crazy Box Company truck" is written on the back of the photograph. The photograph is dated 1940, and can be found in A. F. Weaver's book, "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells", First Edition, 1974, on page 28. Special note: By magnifying the picture so as to be able to read the license plate of the truck, the date "42" becomes visible.
Shown here is an interior view of the Crazy Crystals Plant. "Crazy Water" was evaporated, and the dissolved solids precipitated as crystals which were then packaged and shipped all over the United States, Canada, England and Australia. By dissolving the Crazy Water crystals in water, the purchaser was able to reconstitute "mineral water" and secure the benefits of one of the earliest "instant" beverages without the added cost of the supplying company's shipping water.
The first batch of airmail arrived in Mineral Wells, 1947, 6:30 pm. Individuals from left are: John Chamberlain, Manager of the Chamber of Commerce, Fred Parnell, Bill Cameron, of the Index, Fred Brown, Manager of the Baker Hotel, Mayor John Miller, an unidentified pilot, D.C. Harris, Postmaster (holding the mail bag) and R. T. Jones. The airplane in the background, a Cessna 190, was probably the one used to transport the mail. It appeared to be a cold day, as the officials are all wearing coats. (A negative accompanying this picture depicted a "Christmas rush at the old Post Office")
The High School Coronation of 1947 had its picture taken in the Convention Hall. The photograph was taken by Du-Caan Studios, Mineral Wells, Texas. The people involved--with two possible exceptions--are not known. [written on the back in pencil: Barbara Bowman Barbara Weaver]
A picture of a KORC-KBS Microphone--"1140 on your dial" is shown here. Mineral Wells' radio history dates back to the 1930's when Mr. Hal Collins, owner of the Crazy Hotel, began sponsoring broadcasts originating in the hotel lobby. The radio station was founded and owned by Mr. Achilles Corcanges, and aired its first broadcast on December 5, 1946. Radio station KMWT-FM began broadcasting from Mineral Wells in 1970. The broadcasts were aired nationwide, at noon daily, over the Texas Quality Network. It advertised Crazy Water Crystals. Both stations' call letters were changed in 1983 to KJAS-AM and KYXS-FM. Many show business luminaries appeared on the shows. For instance, Mary Martin of Weatherford began her singing/acting career here.
Lake Mineral Wells, Mineral Wells State Park, is shown here in flood stage. Heavy spring rains dumped 7.2 inches of rainfall into the area over a violent week-end in March 1976, resulting in a flood that claimed 24 lives in fire- and water-related incidents. The dam is visible on the far left side of the picture, with water flowing over it. Flood waters cover a large part of the land between the photographer and the dam. The public boat ramp and fueling station are on the peninsula at the far right side of the picture. The picture is part of a group of films labeled "1977", but related news articles give the date as March of the previous year.
This view of Mineral Wells High School, taken from the east in 1940, shows the 1884 "Little Rock School House" (Mineral Wells' first public school) on the north side of the high school. The larger school was built at 101 NW 5th Avenue in 1915. The second high school in Mineral Wells, it still  stands. Three other high schools have been built since the last class graduated from this one in 1955.
Formerly the Vichy Well, it was re-named the Standard Well and Amusement Park. Note the large mineral water bottle sign in the lower right hand corner of the picture. The building was torn down during World War II, and replaced by USO Club. The North Oak Community Center is at this location as of 2008. Information about it was taken from A.F. Weaver "Time Was" page 67.
A locomotive engine pulls the Texas & Pacific "Red Eye" passenger train, named The Sunshine Special. These business-friendly trains were scheduled to arrive in the Dallas/Ft Worth area at about 9 AM from both the east and the west. This picture was taken by A.F. Weaver at Millsap, Texas in 1940. It was published in the Rotogravure section of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The Series 700- (714-) series engine shown was replaced a few years later by larger, more powerful Series 600 engines capable of greater speed.
This picture shows the Woodmen of the World Drill Team, taken on June 19, 1947. A caption on the back of the photograph reads: WOW DRILL TEAM 6-19-47---- Herman Tolbert, Capt.--LEFT TO RIGHT: Front row: Walter Carter, Gene Lee, Jimmy Brandenburg, Charlie Davis, Bill Teichman, Idys Cox, Jr., Boyce Harvey, Billy Brooks. Back Row: Melton Brewton, Walter Moore, Hayden Hughes, Bazil Brewton, Unknown [heavily underlined, with small lacuna, also underlined, following] Roy Alderson, Roy Brewton and Eldred Fryer. A further caption, rotated 90 degrees to the first reads: "Picture taken in Convention Hall." On the front of the photograph is handwritten: "phillips [sic] photog-aphic [sic] Service Abilene, Texas" in white ink. The photograph appears in A.F. Weaver's "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells" on page 165.
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