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Texas Carlsbad Water

Description: This photograph illustrates the Texas Carlsbad Well at Mineral Wells, Texas, one of the early drinking pavilions in the "City built on water." It was located at 415 NW 1st Avenue, directly across the street west of the first Crazy Well drinking pavilion. Shown here is an early picture of the Carlsbad, as later views show slight additions and alterations in response to competition among drinking pavilions for business.
Date: 1900?

Vichy Well Natatorium

Description: An off-season picture of the Vichy Well Natatorium, once located in the 600 block of North Oak Avenue, where North Oak Community Center now [2008] stands is illustrated here. The picture dates to around 1900. The Vichy well featured a swimming pool, which it labelled a "Natatorium." Later improvements, when the name was changed to The Standard Well, included a motion-picture theater and a pavilion for dancing. (Note the Dr. A.W. Thompson residence and the Mineral Wells Sanitarium on the right skyline.) A USO was built on this location In World War II for white servicemen at Camp Wolters. The USO building was turned over to the city at the end of the war, and became known as the North Oak Community Center. Preservation efforts are underway [in 2008] to restore the Community Center.
Date: 1900?

Lower End of Mesquite St.

Description: 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 [2007] occupies this entire block.
Date: 1900-05?

[A Bird's Eye-view of Mineral Wells]

Description: 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.
Date: 1901/1902

[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

[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

[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?

West Ward School Mineral Wells, Texas

Description: This photograph illustrates a view from the east of the West Ward School at the time of its completion in 1902. It was located just north of Mineral Well's first public school, the "Little Rock School", at 205 NW 5th Avenue. West Ward housed first through twelfth grades. Mineral Well's first high school graduating class (four students) graduated from here in 1905. High School classes were moved from here to the East Ward School when it was completed in 1906. Only elementary school classes were taught here at the time West Ward school was torn down, about 1930. The Lilian Peek Cottage, Texas' first free-standing Home Economics building, was built by the W.P.A. in 1937 just to the north of where the West Ward School had been located.
Date: 1902

Looking south on Mesquite Street

Description: 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.
Date: 1902-05?

Bird's Eye-view of Mineral Wells

Description: 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.
Date: 1905?

Gibson Well, Mineral Wells, Texas

Description: 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.
Date: 1905?

[A Group of Hikers]

Description: 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.
Date: 1905

[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

Texas Carlsbad Well [1 of 3: People on Porch]

Description: The Texas Carlsbad Well was located at 415 NW 1st Avenue, directly across the street west of the first Crazy Well drinking pavilion. This picture appears to be a promotional advertisement for the pavilion. The name of the well was lettered at the top of the building under the large eaves of the roof. The pavilion was replaced with a brick building, the "New Carlsbad Well' around 1909. Stained glass windows were added to the new pavilion showing a picture of Ponce de Leon and his "Fountain of Youth" mineral water. This picture has been cropped, and the second picture of this image shows more of the outer detail.
Date: 1905?

Texas Carlsbad Well [ 2 of 3: People on Porch]

Description: An early picture (probably taken from a newspaper) of the Texas Carlsbad Drinking Pavilion, located at 415 NW 1st Avenue. It stood across the street west of the Crazy Well and its first Crazy Drinking Pavilion. The large, two story Second Crazy Pavilion, built adjacent, and to the south of the first one, faced west toward the Carlsbad. The Carlsbad had been replaced by a brick structure by 1909. Stained glass windows were later added to the building that depicted Ponce de Leon and his "Fountain of Youth" mineral water that "Makes a man love HIS wife. "Makes a wife love HER husband, "Robs the divorce court of its business, "Takes the temper out of red-headed people, "Puts ginger into ginks and pepper into plodders." (Please see the picture one down, but one, for a better view of it.) This is the second picture of this image. The first one has been cropped, and does not show the outer parts of the picture. The third one is a slightly clearer picture. A colophon on the lower left corner reads: "Evans Photo Min Wells Tex"
Date: 1905?

Texas Carlsbad Well [3 of 3: People on Porch]

Description: The Texas Carlsbad Well, located at 415 NW 1st Avenue, was one of the early mineral water wells in Mineral Wells. It was located directly across the street, and west of the first Crazy Water Well drinking pavilion. The Carlsbad slogan was: "Makes a man love HIS wife, Makes a wife love HER 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 Carlsbad Pavilion is prominent in several pictures taken in 1908, but this structure was demolished and replaced with a brick structure in 1911. This picture is slightly cropped but it is slightly sharper in certain areas than the previous two pictures.
Date: 1905?

Texas Carlsbad Wells, Mineral Wells, Texas

Description: Shown here is another picture of the Texas Carlsbad Wells, Mineral Wells, Texas. The Carlsbad was one of the early mineral water drinking pavilions in "the city built on water," located at 415 NW 1st Avenue, directly across the street and west of the first Crazy Well pavilion. The Carlsbad slogan was: "Makes a man love HIS wife, Makes a wife love HER 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 Carlsbad was on the Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway Line. Gasoline-powered trolleys, known as the "Dinky Cars", operated at 15-minute intervals between Mineral Wells and Lake Pinto from 1905 to 1909.
Date: 1905?

"Where the Famous Crystals Are Made"

Description: This is a photograph of a building with a sign that says, "Famous Mineral Wells Crystal Plant." There is a hill, covered in trees, behind the building. Writing at the bottom of the image reads: "Where Famous Crystals Are Made." Ed Dismuke, a druggist from Waco, came to Mineral Wells for his health after his family physician told him he only had a "short time" to live. After miraculously regaining his health, which he credited to the mineral waters of his new hometown, he sold water by the drink at the Damron Hotel, later opening his own company, The Famous Water Company. He also opened The Famous Mineral Crystal Plant on the east side of Lake Pinto in partnership with local banker Cicero Smith. The two also organized The Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway with its two gasoline-powered "dinky cars" named "Esther" and "Susie" after Smith's daughters. This is a picture of the plant where Famous Crystals, labeled "Pronto Lax" were made. Dismuke had outlived the doctors who had told him he only had a short time to live when he died at the age of ninety-four.
Date: 1905?


Description: A 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.
Date: 1907/1913?

[The Cumberland Presbyterian Church]

Description: 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 [2014] time. The picture was taken before North Oak Avenue was paved in 1914. The Church of Christ still [2008] occupies this location on N. Oak Avenue.
Date: 1907/1913?

Daniel Photo 1907

Description: 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.]
Date: 1907

James Alvis Lynch, Founder of Mineral Wells

Description: This is a photograph of James Alvis Lynch, who founded Mineral Wells in 1881, is wearing a suit, sitting on a donkey, and holding a bottle of mineral water on an unknown rocky hill.
Date: 1907?

[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?