Boyce Ditto Public Library - Browse

ABOUT BROWSE FEED

[The Donkey Trail up East Mountain - 1901]

Description: 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.
Date: June 11, 1901
Item Type: Photograph

[Newspaper Clipping of Mineral Wells School, Texas]

Description: A newspaper clipping with a photograph of a Mineral Wells School. This clipping had been mounted in a scrapbook, and the legible portion of the caption says, "Mineral Wells School, Texas." The whole caption read: Mineral Wells College. [sic]--A School for Both Sexes The building, which the Weatherford Democrat of September 12, 1895 says would be built in Mineral Wells (It would have been in Romanesque architecture), was to offer "Classical, Scientific, English, Music, Elocution, and Art Courses" . Professor J. McCracken was the head of the school. The building was never built, because the state provided education up to (but not including) college. A need for further education was not felt. .
Date: 1902?
Item Type: Artwork

[A Post Card of a Football Team]

Description: This postcard, taken around 1909, features the Mineral Wells High School football team. Please note the guards, hanging around their necks, that were used to protect the noses of the players. Those guards were held in place by means of a strap that went around the head, and were further kept in place by clenching the teeth on a rubber bit on the inside of the guard. The back of the card lists the players' names from top left: 1) Jessie Turner, 2) Tulane Smith, 3) J.C. Hayes, 4) Faburt Holmes , 5) George Oliver, 6) Blake Turner, 7) Bertram Hedrich, 8) Lamar McNew, and 9) Mr. Dinsmore. Front row 10) Carodine Hootin 11) Gordon Whatley, 12) Vernon Durham, 13) Fred McClurhin, 14) Achie Holdrige, 15) Chester Baughn, and 16) Hugh Brewster. Jess Turner(1) was later a member of Mineral Wells' only undefeated team in 1912. C.N. Turner, father of teammates Jess(1) and Blake Turner(6), purchased one of the early telephone companies in Palo Pinto County. He operated it with his sons as a family business. Jess Turner became a pioneer in the telephone business, and purchased the other family interests in 1924 to become sole owner of the family enterprise. His son, Jess Turner, Jr., operated the telephone company following World war II, relinquishing his position in October of 1975.
Date: 1909?
Item Type: Postcard

[Mineral Wells' First Public School Erected in 1884]

Description: This rock structure is now [2008] a museum dedicated to the preservation of the history of the city. There was some construction around the school at the time of this photograph, probably due to the building of Mineral Wells' first high school, the West Ward School, on the same lot, next door to and north of the little Rock School in 1902.
Date: 1902?
Item Type: Photograph

[A Souvenir Photograph of a Donkey Ride up East Mountain]

Description: Entertainment for the many visitors to Mineral Wells around the turn of the twentieth century was provided, in part, by donkey rides up a trail to the top of East Mountain. The donkey trail crossed a 1,000-step staircase, built in 1905, to the top of the mountain about half-way up. Photographers, first J.C. McClure and then J.L. Young, took souvenir photographs of the visitors at this crossing. This photograph of the Belcher family was a taken by J. D. McClure. Mr. John M. Belcher stands on the right and his son, John E. Belcher sits on a donkey at the left of the picture, with his mother standing beside him. The clothing suggests that the picture was taken in the early 1900's. The legend "19EE" in the lower left-hand part of the picture invites speculation concerning its significance.
Date: 1900?
Item Type: Photograph

[The First Boy Scouts in Mineral Wells, 1902]

Description: 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 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.
Date: 1902
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

[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 19067, 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 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

[Barber Lake]

Description: 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 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 NE 1st. Avenue as Barber School: the name was changed to Cullen Grimes in honor of a long-time principal when it was enlarged in 1942.)
Date: 1900?
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

[A LakeWood Park Scenic Railway, Dinky Car "Esther"]

Description: 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.
Date: 1905/1909
Item Type: Photograph

Mosquito Street, Looking North, Mineral Wells, Texas

Description: Shown here is a postcard, reading "Mosquito Street [actually Mesquite Street], Looking North, Mineral Wells, Texas." Please note the Chautauqua Theater (1905-1912) at the end of the street. This picture was taken before street car tracks were installed in 1907. Also note the the absence of cars on the street--only horses and buggies.
Date: 1905/1906
Item Type: Postcard

Cafe Royal

Description: The caption on the photograph identifies it as the Cafe Royal. This building that houses it, on the NW 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.)
Date: 1900?
Item Type: Photograph

[The Arch] "Welcome Ye Editors"

Description: 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.
Date: 1908
Item Type: Photograph

[West Ward School]

Description: This photograph appears to have been given to A. W. Weaver with the following information on the back of it: "Wasn't it Whittier who said 'Still stately stands the old school house, beside the babbling brook'?--well this one no longer stands. It was a firm & strong old building when they tore it down 4 years ago. I thought you would cherish this picture as a fond recollection of yours, mine & Hugh's school days & days of happy childhood, where, as we romped & played barefoot in the soft sands & green grass, we were not as yet familiar with the hidden stones & thorns that one encounters down the highway of life. "All the sheet metal contained in the top of this building including the tin roof was made & fabricated by Papa in Grandpa's store. The metal work consists of the ornamental cornice fittings, the steeples at each corner of the building, metal banisters on the roof top, pinnacles around cupolas, flag pole with large metal ball on top & all drain piping and roof ventilators. "The barren oak trees in the yard are very familiar. Far to the right, not shown in the picture were several mesquite trees, whose limbs were platted & tied in knots when they were saplings, by Grandpa Caylor. The trees grew in the fantastic shapes. All school boys were mystified at the strange shape of the trees and Grandpa was amused." The school was located at 205 NW 5th Ave. It is both interesting and amazing how much of our history is not evident in the pictures that preserve such a vital part of it.
Date: 1909?
Item Type: Photograph

The Bimini

Description: 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.
Date: 1900?
Item Type: Photograph

[The Norwood Hospital]

Description: A photograph of the Norwood Hospital during its completion. Note the "Parry and Spicer Architects" sign and the "Goodrum, Murphy and Croft Contractors" sign. Dr. Norwood was the first Osteopathic doctor to set up business in Mineral Wells. He departed this life at the age of 82 in 1953. The building was donated to the Mineral Wells Historic Foundation. Plans were announced to convert the clinic to a Bed and Breakfast facility, but no progress towards such a conversion has been made to date [2007]. The legend "1863" appears on the photograph, but it is not known what it signifies. It cannot possibly be the date of the building--or of its photograph.
Date: 1900?
Item Type: Photograph

[The West Ward School]

Description: The West Ward School is shown with "Dinky Car" tracks in foreground. The picture was taken around 1909. The first Mineral Wells School with a graduating class, built in 1902, it was located just north of Little Rock School on NW 5th Avenue. Mineral Wells' first High School graduation class, consisted of four students in 1903, as evinced by a photograph in "Time Was...", page 189. It was later named "Houston School" in 1915. The West Ward School was subsequently torn down. Another school, constructed on SW 4th Avenue, was then named "Houston School."
Date: 1909?
Item Type: Photograph

A July Crowd

Description: 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.
Date: c. 1900
Item Type: Photograph

[The Foster Hotel]

Description: A note on the back of this picture identifies it as the Foster House. It was located at 202 NW 6th Street (given in Polk's Directory for 1909 as "202 West Moore", two blocks north of the Crazy Well) and facing 6th Street. 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 other side of the hotel's block. It was built before 1904 but further history of this early hotel is not known at this time [2008]. Another picture (The Foster Hotel: Second Photograph, which please see) supplies a few more details.
Date: 1900?
Item Type: Photograph