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ABOUT BROWSE FEED

[The Crazy Theatre--With a Car]

Description: This photograph may be found in A. F. Weaver's Book, "Time Was...", 2nd edition, on page 17. It is captioned "Crazy Theater, 400 North Oak Avenue, photo around 1918."
Date: 1918?

[A Crowd at a Race]

Description: A note on the back of the picture identifies this scene as being at Elmhurst Park. The rails on either side indicate that this is a photograph of a race track. There is a chalk circle in the middle of the track, and a companion picture shows this circle being used for shot-put/discus competition. The spectator in the left foreground is leaning into the track to get a better look at a runner approaching the finish line at the far end of the track.
Date: 1910?

[The Dancing Pavilion at Elmhurst Park]

Description: Spectators are shown here, at a spring play-day frolic at Elmhurst Park around 1910. The popular park once boasted a Casino, a Dancing Pavilion, Exhibit Halls, and Outdoor Sports Fields. It hosted the County Fair and sports events until 1913. On the closure of Elmhurst Park, the City of Mineral Wells became the owner of the property. It was used for a housing development during World War II to accommodate families of soldiers and civilian workers at Camp Wolters. The City of Mineral Wells built city's water treatment facilities on the site of the former park after World War II.
Date: 1910?

[A Donkey on 6th Street Mineral Wells, 1916]

Description: Donkeys were still prevalent in 1916, and so were the grass-grown steel tracks of the "Dinky Cars" (Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway which had ceased operations in 1909) on NW 6th Street. The house to the left is an example of the architecture of this time. The source of the photograph is A. F. Weaver's, "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells..." first edition, 1975, on page 82.
Date: 1916

[The "Doodle Bug" Interior]

Description: This photograph illustrates the interior of a McKeen motor car, known locally as a "Doodle Bug", with its dust-proof round windows. This one, owned by the Weatherford, Mineral Wells and Northwestern Railway, was an 81-passenger, 70-foot-long, 200-horsepower, gasoline-powered, motor coach. It traveled from Graford through Oran and Salesville to Mineral Wells, thence on to Dallas. It made a round trip daily from 1912 to 1929. There was a turntable at Graford to turn the coach around. There were two "Doodle Bugs" on the WMW&NW. The third similar coach, owned by the Gulf, Texas and Western Railroad (GT&W), traveled from Seymour through Guthrie, and Jacksboro to Salesville beginning in 1913. It proceeded thence over the WMW&NW track to Mineral Wells, and on to Dallas.
Date: 1911/1935

[Downtown Mineral Wells, Texas : January 11, 1919]

Description: Downtown Mineral Wells, Texas is shown here, as taken on January 11, 1919. The first Crazy Hotel is the prominent building in the right middle portion of the picture. The first Roman Catholic Church can be seen on the side of West Mountain in the upper middle of the picture and the old High School, the "Little Rock School", and the West Ward School are at the base of West Mountain in the far upper left part of the picture. The Dr. A.W. Thompson home is at the foot of East Mountain in the lower middle foreground of the picture. The wide street in the left middle of the picture is NW 2nd Street, looking west. The First Presbyterian Church is the domed building on the right of 2nd Street at NW 4th Avenue, near the far end of NW 2nd Street.
Date: January 11, 1919

Famous Well

Description: This picture is taken from a series of 17 (4X4) negatives that were enclosed 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. The photographs were taken January 11, 1919. Also written on the envelope were some telephone numbers and the following: "Father - C.W. Simonds (Clarence Winfield)." The rock building housing the original well was located on Lake Pinto, across West Mountain from the City of Mineral Wells. Mineral water was piped to the Famous drinking pavilion. The Famous Water Company is still [2007] in operation at 215 NW 6th Street, vending "crazy" mineral water, deep-well water, and drinking water filtered by reverse-osmosis.
Date: January 11, 1919

[Farmer's Market at the Dancing Pavilion at Elmhurst Park]

Description: This photograph, printed in A.F. Weaver's "TIME WAS IN Mineral Wells..." on page 88, illustrates a display of fruit jars at the Mineral Wells Fair, held at the Dancing Pavilion at Elmhurst Park. Canned fruits and vegetables were customarily entered in Palo Pinto County's annual fall harvest fair. Elmhurst Park hosted the fair, among other popular events during its heyday. The popularity of personal automobile transportation made transit by street car unprofitable by 1913, and the park closed shortly after the street cars were discontinued. The City of Mineral Wells' water treatment facilities are now located in the southwest part of town, on the former Elmhurst Park property.
Date: 1910?

[The First Crazy Hotel]

Description: This picture shows the front of the first Crazy Hotel, which was destroyed by fire March 15, 1925. Built in two stages and joined together, the first (back) section was built in 1912, and the second (front) section was completed in 1914. A handwritten note on back of photograph states, "Crazy Hotel 1913. Front of Hotel Facing South Mineral Wells, Tx." This picture is included on page 15 of A.F. Weaver's book "TIME WAS...", and was probably taken before the second section of the hotel opened for business. The back of Crazy Flats (the second Crazy Water Drinking Pavilion) can be seen to the right, north of and behind the hotel in this picture.
Date: 1913

[The Foster Hotel]

Description: This picture depicts a hotel--done in Queen Anne style (Spindle-work sub-type). Please note the unusual two-story wraparound porch, also with spindle-work. It appears to have been excerpted from a fragment of advertising copy that gives the name of the building as "The Foster", and extols the owner (Mr. T.J. Foster) as "...an old hotel hand of large acquaintance and wide experience, who has studied the wants and needs of his guests[,] and loses no opportunity of making them comfortable." Polk's Directory for 1910 lists the proprietor of the hotel as F. J. Kowalski. A hand-written note on the edge of the negative (not visible in the picture) states: "NW 1st Ave 6th Street." This address is only approximate. A more accurate address is given in the photograph "The Foster Hotel", also to be found in this collection. Although it is not certain, the clothes of the people shown standing around the hotel strongly suggest that the picture was taken early in the twentieth century. A barely-legible colophon, appearing to read "FONE" appears in the lower left-hand corner.
Date: 1910?

Gibson Well

Description: The discovery of mineral water, and its reported healing powers, sparked an influx of health-seeking visitors in 1881-82. A flurry of drilling activity resulted in incorporation of the city of Mineral Wells in 1882, as water was sought to satisfy the booming market; so much so that no one remembers the order in which the wells were drilled. The Gibson well, however, was one of the early ones. Located at 705 NW 2nd Avenue, it grew into one of the largest parks and drinking pavilions in town. The gasoline-powered "Dinky cars" of the Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway passed by it every quarter-hour, from 1905 to 1909, on their journeys to and from Lake Pinto. The Gibson property was acquired by the Crazy. It was known as the Crazy Park in 1938, and it was made into a beautiful botanical garden. It is currently the site of the First Christian Church.
Date: 1910?

[The Gibson Well- - Souvenir Photograph]

Description: This picture appears to be a souvenir photograph of the Gibson Well drinking pavilion and park, one of the earliest mineral water supply spots in Mineral Wells. It grew into one of the larger parks and pavilions in town. The gasoline-powered "Dinky Cars" of the Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway passed here every quarter-hour (from 1905 to 1909) on their journey to and from Lake Pinto. The Crazy Industries had acquired the property by 1938, and it became known as Crazy Park, a beautiful botanical park. The mineral water industry became a victim of the FDA and the wartime activities during World War II. As a result, the mineral water pavilions, along with other parts of the local health industry, died a slow death. The First Christian Church now occupies the site of the Gibson pavilion.
Date: 1910?

[A Horse-Drawn Fire Wagon]

Description: Mineral Wells had an early horse-drawn fire wagon, pulled by two white horses (named Joe and Frank) and driven by a man named Cogdell. This picture is included on page 189 of the Second Edition of "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells...", by A. F. Weaver. The city's first fire station was located at 202 N. Oak Avenue, but the horses had difficulty responding to emergency calls from this fire station because the fire wagon's wheels tended to get trapped in the street car tracks that ran down the center of Oak Avenue, which was not paved at that time. This fire was in the central business district (note the roofs of two multistory buildings, visible at the upper left edge of the picture.) Fire hoses laid along the street are being used by two men in the left middle background to furnish water to fight the fire. The location of this particular fire is not specified, but is probably the Delaware Hotel (formerly the St. Nicholas.) Mineral Wells has experienced several disastrous fires in the past; one in 1914, two blocks west of the Delaware' location, destroyed six city blocks.
Date: 1912?

Hotel Damron, Mineral Wells, Texas

Description: This picture shows a post-card view of the Damron Hotel in Mineral Wells, Texas. It was built in 1906 as The Colonial Hotel by rancher J.T. Holt for his second wife, because she would not live in the country. The hotel was traded around 1917 to Agnew and Bessie Damron in exchange for a ranch. The hotel burned completely in 1978.
Date: 1918~

[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

[Ladies with parasols]

Description: "Sllew La Renim" (a social club) was "Mineral Wells" spelled backwards. Its members pose in front of the Old Post Office in 1913. Identified in the photograph are: Anna Mae Guinn, Ernestine Pollard, May Belle Smith, Ann Locke Galbraith, Ruby Andrews, Mattie Withers. Note the Mineral Wells Sanitarium in the left background. This photograph may be found on page 118 of "TIME WAS...", First Edition by A.F. Weaver.
Date: 1913

Laying the Cornerstone of the Post Office

Description: Shown here is the laying the cornerstone of the Post Office at 201 NE 2nd Street on May 13, 1912. The Chautauqua is at the upper left corner of the picture, and the Cliff House Hotel is visible in the upper middle of the picture. Buildings on the right side of the picture were situated on the east side of Mesquite Street (now NE 1st Avenue). Buildings on the far right of the picture were once located where the Baker Hotel now [2008] stands. Early automobiles and horse-drawn carriages also appear in the picture. The photographer appears to have been standing on the north side of NE 2nd Street, looking east. A holograph inscription above and below the picture cannot be read.
Date: May 13, 1912

[Looking South on Mesquite Street]

Description: A photograph that looks south on Mesquite Street (in 2008: NE 1st Avenue)is shown here. It was taken after 1914, as the pavement indicates. Several automobiles and a horse-drawn buggy share the street. Note the water fountain between cars in right-center foreground. This water fountain was later moved to Mineral Wells' West City Park, and is now in the "Towne Common", located in the 100 block of SW 1st Avenue. The picture may be found on page 79 of A.F. Weaver's "TIME WAS . . . " Mini Edition, 2004.
Date: 1915?

[Mesquite Street, Looking South]

Description: Shown here is a view of Mesquite Street (Now [2008] NE First Avenue) from its upper end at Coke Street (now NE 2nd Street). Horse-drawn vehicles are present. The building at the left middle of the picture with the "DRUGS" sign and the stone lion statue on its roof is the Yeager Building, home of what was popularly called "The Lion Drug Store." The first building on right, 205 NE First Street (with arched windows) was H. M. Coleman's clothing store for men, which even at this early date, appears to be undergoing renovation.
Date: 1912?

[Mineral Wells' First Police Department]

Description: Mineral Wells' first Police Department is shown on horseback here. On the far left is Jim Barrett, Chief, and in the middle is Paul Granbury. The man on the right remains unknown. This photograph comes from A. F. Weaver's, "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells", page 153. The picture appears to have been taken at the photographer's souvenir picture stand on the donkey trail about halfway up East Mountain. J. C. McClure, an early photographer, first owned the donkeys for the trail; but he was killed while riding a wild stallion on Oak Avenue. J. L. Young and his wife took over the photographer's stand. They built a rock house, here as a background, for souvenir pictures. In 1895, a policeman (C.M. Harris) was appointed as City Marshall." A night watchman (A. Scott) was also appointed. Their respective duties were primarily fire prevention and keeping livestock from roaming the streets; and seeing to it that businesses were properly locked up. Boys under the age of 17 were forbidden from roaming the streets at night (under pain of a $10 fine). C.M. Harris was elected to his position in 1896, at a salary of $60 per month. In 1889, upon the sudden death of Frank Johnson, Harris was appointed Interim Marshall to "Inspect and supervise all premises and places of business." J.I. Johnson became night watchmen at the salary of $12.50, and he was charged with roaming the streets at nights to be on the lookout for fire. The City Marshall was expected to corral any stray dogs--and kill them if they were unclaimed. He was to remove the carcasses from the city limits afterwards. in 19001, an ordinance was passed forbidding the possession of pigeons in the city--the control of which fell to the City Marshall. [Note: Several kinds of dove ...
Date: 1910?

Mineral Wells High School

Description: We have here a view from the south of Mineral Wells' High School, built in 1915 at 101 NW 5th Avenue. This side of the building faces W. Hubbard Street. The tower atop the West Ward School can be seen below the skyline, and to the left, above the high school. (The West Ward school was torn down in 1930.)
Date: 1915?/1930?

[Mr. and Mrs. R.S. Dalton]

Description: "Mr. & Mrs. R.S. Dalton on their 50th Wedding Anniversary as held in the second wooden structure of the First Baptist Church. Presiding is The Reverend Mr. Harlan Matthews." Robert (Bob) Dalton's father, Marcus L. Dalton, was killed by Indians on the Ft. Worth-Ft. Belknap military road in northeastern Palo Pinto County in 1870. Bob Dalton discovered the Dalton Oil Field on his ranch in north central Palo Pinto County, and the boom town that sprang up there was named Dalton City after him. He later moved to southwest Mineral Wells before building a large home, adorned with native rock, on 2101 NW 4th Avenue.
Date: 1910?

Oak Street, Looking North

Description: An early view of Oak Street (now Oak Avenue), looking North is shown here. The first intersecting road is Hubbard Street. Part of the Oxford Hotel is visible on the southeast corner of Hubbard and Oak. Please note the utter lack of street lights. Street car tracks and an overhead cable run on Oak. Mineral Wells Electric System (Street Car) ceased operation in 1913. The downtown streets were paved in 1914. A hardware store, possibly Davidson's, is on the southwest corner of Hubbard and Oak.
Date: 1910/1914

Oak Street, Looking South

Description: This picture shows the 100 block of what is now N. Oak Avenue, looking south. The "Palace Saloon" sign is still visible in 2008. The Palo Pinto County Courthouse Annex currently [2010] occupies the building that once housed Poston's Dry Goods (just down the street from the Palace Saloon). Please note the absence of trolley tracks--or the festoon of wires required to keep its power-line in place. The unpaved street dates the photograph prior to 1914, and probably prior to the previous picture.
Date: 1914?