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First Presbyterian Church in 1896

Description: Handwritten notes on this old newspaper clipping indicate that it was given by M. J. Graham to A. F. Weaver, and correctly reports that the church structure burned August 25, 1908. The article erroneously states that it burned July 4, 1914. The article appears to have been published in the Mineral Wells Index. The caption reads: "Crowd attends dedication of the wooden church as it nears completion in the summer of 1896, when the edifice was dedicated to the Lord and mankind. On July 4th, 1914, the church was destroyed by one of the most disastrous fires in the history of Mineral Wells, when 34 residences and hotels, for two blocks east and west, and four blocks north--from Hubbard St. to NW 4th Street--burned. Every place from Hubbard north to 4th Street except the Tygrett home. "The present church was constructed some two years after the wooden church burned, on the same site--the corner NW 2nd Street and NW 4th Avenue. Perhaps some of the youngsters in the picture are living in the community today [2013]. Picture made available by M. J. Graham from his file of papers and pictures on the history of Presbyterianism in this community. "Until the present domed brick church was completed, the Presbyterians held Sunday School and church on the lower floor of the Odd Fellow Building in the 200 block on North Oak." The domed brick church mentioned in the article was built in 1909, (at a cost of $15,000, according to the El Paso Morning Times of 1909) and was replaced by a third church at this location in the 1980's due to structural deterioration. Please note: The picture in this article has been slightly cropped from it's original form, which is also in the A. F. Weaver Collection with the title [First ...
Date: unknown

[The First Motorcycle in Mineral Wells]

Description: A caption, taken from "Time Was..." by A. F. Weaver, on page 116 states: "Pictured in 1908 is Frank Richards, owner of the first motorcycle bought in Mineral Wells. D. C. Harris owned the second motorcycle." Frank Richards was the manager of the Star Well during Mineral Wells' heyday as a popular health spa, and the boy on the motorbike with him has been identified as his son, Robert Frank Richards. D. C. Harris was the postmaster, and served as Mayor of the city at one time.
Date: 1908

First National Bank

Description: The first National Bank, at the southeast corner of Oak Avenue and Hubbard Street in Mineral Wells, was originally located in the Oxford Hotel. The Lynch Building and Plaza were built on the site of the hotel, commemorating the location of the discovery of mineral water with "miracle healing powers" by a well drilled here by James A. Lynch in 1879, after the Oxford burned in 1983.
Date: 1970?

[The First Crazy Hotel and Crazy Flats]

Description: A view of the Crazy Flats and first Crazy Hotel, as seen from East Mountain, is shown here. The Crazy Flats, at the right middle of the picture, was the second Crazy Drinking Pavilion--also with Rooms for Rent--was built in 1909. One feature of the Flats was "Peacock Alley", where the men gathered on Sundays to watch the ladies parade and show off the latest fashions in female gear. The first Crazy Hotel is to the left rear of the Flats; the first section of the Hotel, on the right, was built in 1912, and the second section, on the left, to its left, was built in 1914 and connected to the first with a common lobby. The Crazy Bath house adjoined Crazy Flats on the left, and a drugstore was located in the left corner of the Bath house building. A fire, starting in the drugstore on March 15, 1925, burned the entire block, sparing only the small building housing the first Crazy Pavilion (the right rear of the Flats.) The current (second) Crazy Hotel opened in 1927, and replaced all of the former businesses in this block.
Date: 1920?

[Five Women on a Bridge]

Description: The bridge shown here once spanned a stream in downtown Mineral Wells. It was channelized along the northbound Weatherford, Mineral Wells and Northwestern Railroad. The same women may be seen in the photograph "Women in Truck."
Date: unknown

[Games at Elmhurst Park]

Description: A girls' basketball game is being played at Elmhurst Park, around 1910. Ladies in the picture are wearing ladies' basketball uniforms of the day. Ladies at the time played on a half-court, and the game was strictly a no-contact sport. The game was re-started with a jump ball after each score, tie-ball, or any infraction of the rules. There were six players on each "side", three "offense", and three defenders. This picture may be found on page 89 of "Time Was in Mineral Wells...", Second Edition, by A. F. Weaver.
Date: unknown

[J. W. (Doon) Deberry and His Well machine]

Description: Drilling of the Vichy Well was done by J.W. "Doon" Deberry in the 600 block of North Oak Street. The Vichy Well Natatorium, later the Beach, and still later the Standard Well, was located across N. Oak Avenue from the Hexagon House Hotel, which can be seen at the right edge of the photograph. The wooden building on the left, with the false arcades, has not yet been identified. The Standard Pavilion boasted a variety of attractions including a swimming pool, movie theater, bowling alley, and dance floor. It was torn down during World War II, and replaced by a USO Canteen to serve the soldiers training at local Camp Wolters. At the end of the War, the USO was given to the City and utilized as a Community Center and later Senior Center.
Date: unknown

[The Interior of a Grocery Store]

Description: A legend on the back of the photograph reads: "D.M. Howard Grocery Simon Gilbert on Left Great Uncle of Estes Gilbert" A different hand has written "2nd is D. M. Howard himself" Please notice the moustaches on nearly all the gentlemen pictured. Please notice also that all of the men but two are wearing jackets. The store shows no sign of electric lighting. There may be a gas fixture at the left edge of the picture, which, along with the appearance of the men, may serve to indicate that the photograph was taken in the early part of the twentieth century, but definite information on this issue is lacking. The picture is featured in "Time Once was in Mineral Wells" on page 123.
Date: unknown

[Lake Mineral Wells, 4 of 4: The Spillway]

Description: Shown here is the lower end of the spillway from Lake Mineral Wells after the flood in March 1976. The dam is barely visible at the upper end of the spillway in the middle of the picture. The road directly below the dam is under water, and is not visible in any other pictures of this flood. It suffered such severe damage that it had to be rebuilt.
Date: April 1976

[The Ladies Civic League Fountain]

Description: The Ladies Civic League Fountain, shown in this photograph, is now [2009] located in the "Towne Common" (behind the Mineral Wells Office Supply), surrounded by "Memorial Bricks." It was originally located at the corner of SE 2nd Street and SE 1st Avenue as a watering trough for horses. It was moved in 1911 to the back part of the Gibson Well Park in the 700 block NW 2nd Avenue. (It may have been moved to facilitate the flow of the expected traffic around "the old Post Office", construction of which started in May the following year, 1912.) The fountain was relocated in October of 1972 (the time of the photograph) to West City Park on W. Hubbard Street (Highway 180 W), and placed at its present location in 2007.
Date: unknown

[Ladies Holding Flowers]

Description: This photograph presents a mystery. Ten ladies, dressed in 1920's-style fashion, stand on the steps of the Baker Hotel, holding bouquets of chrysanthemums; one lady has roses; a basket of flowers with a tulle ribbon stands in foreground. The occasion for this display is entirely unknown. A legend on back reads: "For Q from L Mrs Joe Young." The identities of the people mentioned are entirely unknown.
Date: unknown

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~

[Leon Cross, Shoe Shine Boy in 1975]

Description: Leon Cross was the only "shine boy" left in Mineral Wells in 1975. He worked in the first Crazy Hotel just before it burned; and has been with the Crazy Hotel ever since, working in different departments of the Hotel. He is the Shine Boy today [2003] in the Crazy Barber Shop, located in the Crazy Hotel. This photograph appears in A.F. Weaver's book "Time Was in Mineral Wells."
Date: unknown

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?

Lithia Wells

Description: The Lithia Wells and Drinking Pavilion was located on the southwest corner of the "Crazy Block." (400 NW 1st Avenue, the current [2008]location of the Crazy Retirement Home). The second Crazy Well Pavilion is the large building the upper left of the photograph. Note the three burros next to the horse. Riding burros up a trail on East Mountain was a popular tourist pastime, in addition to drinking and bathing in the mineral waters. The Mineral Wells Public Library was located in the Lithia Pavilion at one time. See also the preceding picture.
Date: 1908?

[A Man and a Woman on Donkeys]

Description: Shown here is a rocky, bosky hillside. A man and a woman are both on donkeys; he leans over with a hand on her donkey; five photographers, under veils, catch the scene with cameras. Note that the photographers all wear vests. The clothing of the woman suggests early 20th century. No more is known about this picture.
Date: unknown

[Mineral Wells' Municipal Airport]

Description: An aerial View of Mineral Wells Municipal Airport and Downing (named after Colonel Wayne Downing, who was killed in a stateside accident) Heliport is shown here. In 1946, the City of Mineral Wells obtained use of the airport, although the Department of Defense retained an "Emergency-use" provision until 1966--after which year it was not renewed. In April 1966, the Department of Defense leased 970 acres from the City of Mineral Wells to build a heliport ("To improve helicopter training", it was stated) that was due to be completed by September of that year. The Fort Wolters "Trumpet" reported the progress of the construction of the heliport in detail in its subsequent numbers.
Date: unknown

[D. W. Griffith]

Description: D. W. Griffith is shown standing on the roof of the new Crazy Hotel, which opened in 1927; and replaced the First Crazy Hotel, which had burned in 1925. Mr. Griffith, who produced silent movies including the "Keystone Kops" comedies, and the classic film "Birth of a Nation", was a guest at the Crazy Hotel while visiting Mineral Wells in 1929. A commemorative postage stamp was issued in his honor on May 27, 1975. Local folklore has it that Mr. Griffith was impressed by the "WELCOME" sign on East Mountain (the world's largest non-commercial, electrically-lighted sign at the time). He developed the "HOLLYWOOD HILLS" addition with other partners when he returned to California, and he erected what is probably the most recognizable landmark in America: The HOLLYWOOD sign now graces Los Angeles. Both signs have survived similar difficult times in their histories. This picture appears on page 19 of A.F. Weaver's "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells", second edition, 1974.
Date: 1929

[Two Old-Time Stores]

Description: This picture appears to show two stores that stand cheek-by-jowl. A saddlery on the far left shares space with a furniture storethat also sold cofins. The sign over the stores combines their functions in a way that would--under other circumstances--seem comical. The building itself was located at the corner of SE 1st, and South Oak Streets. A note on the photograph states that it was south of the MARTIN BUILDING. It was once the McBrayer-Armstrong Grocery, then later the Nash Hardware store. The location of Lattner eventually became the Buy-Rite store [116 South Oak Avenue, at the corner of SE 1st Street, until some time in the early 1980's]. The road is unpaved, there is no evidence of lighting--except for the lamp mounted on a post at the front of the building. The horse-drawn hearse (without its horse or plumes) suggests that although it was in front of the stores, it was not at the time in use. The picture, therefore, dates from the end of the 19th century--or the earliest 20th century.
Date: unknown

[Unloading Grain From Box Cars]

Description: This picture depicts men unloading grain from box cars at the Mineral Wells railroad yards into horse-drawn wagons. During the days if the Great Depression years of the 1930's, grain and cotton were the principal cash crops of farmers around Mineral Wells, and the WMW&NW (Weatherford, Mineral Wells and Northwest) Railroad was a prime shipper of the crops to market. This photograph is featured on page 92 of A.F. Weaver's "Time Was in Mineral Wells," second edition.
Date: unknown

[The Thompson House, at 215 NE 2nd Street]

Description: Shown here is a photograph of the front of the Thompson House (later the "Cunningham House"), a two-story, Queen Anne-style home located at 215 NE 2nd Street in Mineral Wells, Texas, just north of the Baker Hotel. Architectural elements include decorative woodwork around the eaves in the gable ends and across the front porch, and cutaway bays on the left of the photograph. A cupola serves in place of the tower that is characteristic of Queen Anne styles.
Date: February 1974
Location Info: