The Hexagon Hotel at 701 N. Oak Avenue, opened in December 1897. The brick building to the right was the Convention Hall (built in 1925 on the foundation of the Hotel's electric plant) for the West Texas Chamber of Commerce Convention. The Hexagon Hotel was demolished in 1959, the Convention Center in 1977.
The Hexagon Hotel was built in 1895 by David G. Galbraith, the inventor of the paper clip (not the familiar one, but another one very much like it) , and co-developer of acetate synthetic fiber. According to Ellen Puerzer ("The Octagon House Inventory", Eight-Square Publishing, copyright 2011), the building was twelve-sided, clad with clapboard, built on a stone foundation. Two English stonemasons did all stonework, presumably also the work on the DC generating plant next to the hotel. The rooms within were hexagon-shaped, with a bath being shared between every two rooms. The top floor was a reading room--popular at the time. The well-ventilated "honeycomb" structure (a master-stroke in the days before air-conditioning)opened in December 1897. The stone building behind and left of the Hotel is the plant for generating electricity used for light and fans (for a fee) in every room in the hotel. It also contained a steam laundry and an ice house on the first floor. The second floor was given over to a dining room for the hotel guests.
A large group of people, most sitting on donkeys, are shown out front of the Hexagon Hotel. Donkeys were used to transport visitors to the top of East Mountain for an overview of the City of Mineral Wells. It appears the party in this picture is preparing for such a trip. The Caldwell family ran the Hexagon Hotel as a boarding house for a while, hence the sign on the second floor of the building. H. L. Milling and his father also ran the hotel for a while, too. The building visible behind the hotel is the DC generating plant that supplied electricity to illuminate the building.